6 Family Travel Tips for the Holidays

Since I'd almost consider myself a seasoned travel pro, here are some family travel tips I am currently swearing by. Although I can't promise they'll make your travels completely enjoyable, these tips will surely help add a little cheer to your holiday season.
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Tis the season for holiday travel, which means anxiety-clad parents are decking the halls while trying to find a Xanax dealer. While many adults enjoy traveling solo (catching up on a new book, sipping on decent wine and drifting off to sleep while listening to your iTunes does sound pretty amazing), traveling with a spouse, children and pets can be quite challenging (and maybe even horrible).

Since I'd almost consider myself a seasoned travel pro, here are some family travel tips I am currently swearing by. Although I can't promise they'll make your travels completely enjoyable, these tips will surely help add a little cheer to your holiday season.

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  1. Shop around for flights. If you're diligent, it is possible to find reasonably priced flights. Frontier Airlines has been offering very steep discounts on flights throughout the holiday season, so my family of three (plus pup) will be flying via Frontier while still being able to pay our mortgage and purchase holiday gifts for everyone on our list. I also love sites like Kayak to price compare flights, hotels and rental cars.

  • Be overly prepared. Oh were the days when you could pack the morning-of, fly first class or hop a private jet for the more lavish lifestyle you once had. When traveling with your family, early planning is absolutely crucial. Start your travel plan at least one week prior to your departure date.
  • Navigate the airport like a pro. If you're not familiar with the airports you're traveling in and out of, view their website and online map. If you're traveling with kids, it's helpful to know where the food, convenience shops and bathrooms are located.
  • Buy comfort gadgets. You are a parent now, so your family's comfort makes your life easier. New gadgets that once seemed unnecessary are now actually welcomed. This season, two of my go-to's are a portable sanitizing wand (to sterilize airport bathrooms and aircraft seats) and a travel diffuser for essential oil (because the ability to infuse lavender on an airplane is pretty awesome.)
  • Ship gifts or give gift cards. TSA suggests to ship wrapped gifts or wait until you reach your destination to wrap them, as they might have to unwrap a present to inspect it. Ship gifts ahead of time or bring gift cards.
  • Pack everything but the kitchen sink. Not really but, as we mentioned in #2, be overly prepared for kids. Pack a backpack for each child and have items of necessity (snacks, baby wipes, sippy cups,) as well as plenty to keep them happy and occupied. This holiday season, parents' are opting for things like Crayola Pip-Squeak Markers, Play-doh and mini Lego sets as well as splurge items like a Smart tablet - anything to help your kids stay happily occupied while zipping their lips.
  • Order a drink. If all else fails, order a glass of wine and try to tune out with your iTunes. Hey -- it worked a few years ago.
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