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10 Practical Tips For Holiday Travel You Can’t Miss

10 Practical Tips For Holiday Travel You Can’t Miss

Whether you are visiting family in another state or taking a vacation at an overseas location, holiday travel can be stressful, crowded and expensive. No matter how much you plan, you always have cranky travelers, long lines through customs, delayed flights or a combination of all of these. You can’t control everything about your holiday flight plans, but here are 10 invaluable tips you can’t pass up.

1. Create an ultimate check-list

There are so many things you need to do when you travel for the holidays. You might think that you can keep a mental list in check, but statistically you are bound to forget something. Make things easier on yourself, and create an ultimate check-list. This list should include all of your major, important tasks as well as the little things that matter. If you like, create pre-flight, flight and post-flight check-lists so that you can better keep track of what you need to get done at specific times.

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2. Shop around for the best travel deals

Air travel is a popular commodity, and everyone claims to have the best deals. Don’t let the hype get to you, though. And don’t limit yourself to searching for flights on one site. Shop around to see who really has the best deals, and enjoy your savings. Often, airlines offer better deals to customers who buy directly from them rather than using a middleman.

3. Fly nonstop or plan out connecting cities

Oftentimes, nonstop flights are less expensive and take less of your time. If it’s possible for your destination, book a nonstop flight. However, if you have to connect, select your connecting cities wisely. It is not unusual for some cities to be more prone to weather delays during the holidays than others. Check the weather forecasts for your connecting city options, and plan accordingly.

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4. Travel at non-peak times and days

Holiday travel is so much easier when you avoid traveling at peak times or busy days. Ideally, you should book your flight at least a little before a holiday. Try not to travel on a weekend or during midday. Book your flights early in the day or late at night. The best days for travel are usually, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

5. Pack strategically

When you travel, keep in mind the luggage restrictions you must follow. These restrictions differ a little for every airline, so make sure you check online. You can try to travel with a carry-on only, but don’t be afraid to check a bag depending on what your needs are.

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6. Give yourself extra time for airport security

Leave for the airport early to allow enough time to get through security checkpoints. Make allowances for traffic as well. Most airlines have a maximum of eight hours before your flight that you can check-in. Use this time to get through customs well before your scheduled flight.

7. Make plans for your ground transportation in advance

The difficulty of holiday travel doesn’t end when you flight lands. Ground travel is bound to be crowded and busy too. So make plans in advance. Know exactly how you will be traveling to your local destination. There are many private cars and limos available to drive you where you need to go. Sometimes local buses or free shuttles are available as well.

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8. Take snacks and entertainment for your flight

Airport food and in-flight snacks are notoriously pricey. Try to pack some snacks ahead of time, so that you have more choices in the food you eat without emptying your pocket. Also take some form of entertainment. Netflix or DVDs are great ways to entertain yourself if you have a particularly long flight.

9. Use the Internet to make your trip more convenient

Traveling for the holidays is stressful. Use amenities available online to make your trip a little easier. For example, you can use your airline’s online check-in to beat the lines. You can also print your boarding passes at home.

10. Relax and try to stay calm

Whatever happens during your trip, try to stay relaxed. Just remember that it is the holidays. One of the happiest times of the year. Don’t let a cranky traveler or a testy TSA person upset you. Stay calm, and carry on. You’ll be just fine.

These are 10 invaluable tips for holiday travel. How do you deal with the crowds and the stress? Do you have any cool tips to offer?

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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