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The 12 Tips of Christmas travel

Holiday travel can be stressful, but these tips can help reduce your stress levels when travelling this Christmas season.

1. Check your essential travel documents

Make a list and check it twice. It sounds obvious, but make sure you have all the documents you need before you set off to avoid last-minute panics. You could also consider using a travel checklist to help you pack.

  • Passport – check the expiry date – some countries require you to have at least 6 months remaining on your passport
  • Visa requirements – check if you need a visa before you travel
  • Tickets – print or save any boarding passes or other travel tickets

You should also check if any vaccinations are recommended for your destination before you travel. Bear in mind that vaccinations may also be recommended in colder climates!

2. Clearly label any luggage

Minimise any worry of losing your bags – write your destination, as well as a mobile number or email address on a luggage tag. Consider making your bag easier to spot by tying on some coloured ribbon, or even tinsel.

3. Check chargers and adaptors

You wouldn’t want to deprive your Instagram followers of pictures of your Christmas dinner! Make sure you pack any chargers for any gadgets you plan on taking with you, including the correct adaptor for your destination.

4. Pack light

Unlike Santa, you won’t have a sleigh to carry your goods! Pack as lightly as you can, leaving unnecessary items at home – this will make manoeuvring busy airports and train stations much easier!

5. Check costs for additional baggage

Nobody likes unexpected charges for extra baggage – make sure you check costs of additional baggage before you leave. Sometimes, this can be cheaper when you book online before you travel, so consider checking this option out if you think you will need additional bags. You could also pack an additional lightweight bag inside your main luggage to hold any presents you receive. 

6. Have your liquids, laptops and e-readers ready to go

If you are flying, save time at the queue for security by having all of your liquids in a clear, re-sealable plastic bag. Also have any laptops, e-readers and other devices easily accessible in your bag, as these will need to be scanned separately when you go through security.

7. Know your festive limits

Remember that the limit for liquids in hand luggage is 100ml per item. If you are thinking about taking any drinks in your checked-in luggage, make sure you check the limits of what you can bring into the country you are visiting, and what you can take back into your home country. 

8. Bring snacks / provisions with you

A quick bite to eat often makes a stressful situation feel much better. However, avoid the need to buy overpriced and perhaps lower quality snacks in airports or train stations by taking some food with you. If you are bringing your own food, check with the airline you are travelling with for any food or drink regulations.

9. Plan your journey in advance

Always allow plenty of time to get to the airport or train station, and plan as much in advance as possible. If you are driving, always check the traffic before you set off – the AA’s traffic news site is a great place to start. If travelling by train, check that the service you need is running. Many operators change their timetables and will not be running a normal service over the festive period

10. Leaving your Home Alone? Make sure you secure your property when you leave 

You don’t want to be worrying about the safety of your home when you’re meant to be enjoying a Christmas break – so make sure you leave everything safe and secure while you’re away. Consider using an automatic timer for a lamp to make it look like someone is in, or speak to a neighbour to keep an eye on the place. If you’re away for a long time, consider using Royal Mail’s Keepsafe® service to avoid mail piling up outside your building.

11. Keep the kids entertained

If you’re travelling with children, consider bringing an activity pack to keep them busy during travel – colouring books, phone games and tablets might be a good idea. A quick warning of a phone call to Santa may also be enough to deter any bad behaviour – nobody wants to be on Santa’s naughty list!

12. Look after yourself

Try to reduce stress wherever you can – travel at reasonable hours, allowing enough time for delays but also enough time for rest. The festive season is all about indulgence – do what makes you happy, but also bear in mind how you might feel the next day! After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, so do what you can to make it feel like it.

Date of preparation: December 2018 | SAGB.MIS.18.11.1841