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How to travel happy during the holidays

Stephany DeBerry | 12/30/2013, 5:30 a.m.
It’s that time of year again. The holiday travel season is officially underway.

It’s that time of year again. The holiday travel season is officially underway. Arriving at the dinner table to enjoy the family feast is the final destination, but getting there can be a battle.

AAA is reporting that travelers (people traveling 50 miles or more) has decreased slightly this year. However, there will still be millions of people on the highways, railways, and the friendly skies. The key to a timely arrival is preparation and planning.

Despite your mode of travel there are several things that you can do to enhance your travel experience:

Check the Forecast: Many parts of the country are already experiencing winter weather. Snow, high winds and record rainfall can put a damper on travel plans. Stay updated and plan accordingly.

Dress Accordingly: Regarding the weather, wear extra layers. You can always peel them away if you get too warm.

Get Some Rest: Get plenty of shut-eye so that you can be at your personal best during travel.

Leave Early: To avoid traffic and long lines at ticket counters at the airport and AMTRAK.

Use Online Tools To check the status of traffic, delays and cancellations.

Specifically for those that are packing up the vehicle and considering a family road trip, make sure to take these tips into consideration:

Vehicle Maintenance Check-up: Before jumping on the highway, take your car in for service because being stranded on the side of the road is not an option.

First Aid: Place an emergency roadside assistance kit and a First Aid kit in your car; because you just never know.

Fuel: Locate the least expensive gas prices in your area and fill up.

Did you make a decision to catch a flight this year? If you haven’t purchased a ticket yet, don’t stress there is still time to get a great last minute deal.

Travel Websites: Visit different travel sites and compare pricing, baggage fees, connecting flights (if any), travel insurance options and read the small print.

Crowd Control If Possible: Travel on the holiday to avoid long lines and possibly receive a reduced fare.

Pack Light: To avoid baggage fees and to minimize time spent in the airport.

No matter how you decide to get to grandma’s house take your time and plan. Travel can be less stressful if you do your part. Setbacks will occur, prepare for them as best you can. Even if you make it to the dinner table after dinner has been served keep in mind the objectives are to arrive to your destination safely and to enjoy time with your loved ones. Blessed travels!

Stephany DeBerry is a former airline employee and author of “Plane Etiquette, Godly Wisdom for Flying.” She is also the host of Take Off With Stephany, a travel radio program coming to a network near you soon.