11 December 2014

Make Holiday Travel Bearable This Year

With the holidays upon us, that means an extreme uptick in traveling. Traveling for family, friends, loved ones, you name it, there's a big chance a plane ticket or car ride is involved--or even both! So with all this travel during the holidays, I think it's safe to assume some people might want to know some travel hacks to make holiday-time traveling a lot less stressful and a bit more practical.

The cool people over at RelayRides asked me to talk about my travel must-haves, and trust me, I have a list along with tips because I'm quite used to traveling. I've done it for work, for family, and even for just myself and I've come to learn some major things.

1. Always find the best deals
Back when I was a noob at traveling, I'd just book my airfare and whatever else without any real rhyme or reason until one day I had to cancel a flight and rebook for a different date--ouch. Now there are all sorts of tools to help you find the best deal, especially when travel rates are hiked up during peak seasons.

Some of my hacks include:
  • Peak times for travel are at the end of the week and Mondays but things tend to slow down around the middle of the week, such as Wednesday or Thursday. According to FareCompare, the absolute best days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday in mid-afternoon.
  • Use an add-on like PeerBlock so you aren't geo-targeted and locked into possibly higher prices because of your location or even the type of device you're price matching on.
2. Traveling is meant for comfy clothes
I know this might sound like a given but I still see many people trying to dress up while traveling when they really don't have to. I can understand if it's a business trip and you need to scurry to the office right off the plane, but you don't need to wear your Sunday best to grandma's. Also, going through pesky TSA lines is so much better when you're wearing slip-ons and minimal accessories. Trust me.

3. Skip out on the car rental places
You know what's annoying after a long, horrible plane ride next to a screaming child? Having to wait on your rental car for what feels like an eternity. Thankfully, the wonders of technology allows us to stay clear of traditional rental car places, like the cool people over at RelayRides. You can even pick up your car right at the airport! Think of them as a super Uber without the creepy founder or surge pricing.

And, of course, here's a checklist of must-have travel gear for us geeks!

Lumsing Portable Power Bank
Three words: external. battery. charger. This can be an absolute life saver when your electronics are running extremely low on power and you can't find an outlet in sight. Or worse yet, the airport you're stuck in has decided to cover up all of their outlets or make you pay.

Portable gaming device
Whether it's a 3DS or PS Vita, stay entertained while on the go! I have my trusty ol' PSP (literally, it's one of the older models but still kickin') and bring along a few of my favorite games just in case I'm grounded at an airport or need to survive a long car ride somewhere.

Fujifilm Instax
These are SO cool! Take instant photos, just like a Polaroid camera back in the day, with a smaller photograph. Perfect to capture annual holiday moments with the fam or even remembering good times with friends. I actually asked one for Christmas this year and I'm really hoping I get one.

Secure USB Drive
Slightly different from your average USB flash drive, these are typically encrypted or secure in some way so that if you lose it while traveling, your data won't be compromised. Pretty cool, huh?

Are you traveling for the holidays this year? What are some of your travel hacks to make holiday travel a bit more bearable?

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  1. These are some great travel tips! Fortunately, I'm staying home this year, but I have done lots of holiday traveling in the past. I'm always surprised when I see people in super nice clothes at the airport. Easy and comfy is my go-to travel attire!


  2. Srly. If I owned one, I would probably do all my traveling in a kigurumi. I might get searched more often, but man would I be comfy.

  3. I like what Mariko said about the kigurumi...Now I really need one!
    I agree with the 3DS/gaming thing.
    Also, a good book never hurts, and, a zip up hoodie that is warm, cause planes can be cold!!!

  4. I'm traveled out for the year, so I'm staying home for Christmas... I find that I bring a book, a tablet and a notebook to write in.
    It's surprising how many people who don't think about coming to the airport with a fully charged phone etc (mid day flights I might understand but not for an very early morning flight)

  5. As someone who travels a lot, these are some great tips!

  6. Couldn't agree more with checking for the best deals and dressing for comfort! Great list and tips. - Tasha


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