The Holiday Survival Guide

What Is Your Best Holiday Travel Tip?

Readers share favorite tricks and strategies to make traveling easier.

Bag of toysTina Rupp

Managing the Gifts

Because you cannot bring wrapped presents on a plane (and they’d get wrinkled or torn anyway), I pack cloth bags to put gifts in, such as velvet bags from fabric stores or a fun purse I may find on sale. It’s easy to "wrap" the presents once I arrive, and the bag is a bonus gift. It also helps the environment a little by eliminating discarded wrapping paper.
Carrie Cihasky
St. Francis, Wisconsin
 
To travel light and save money when visiting my family in Germany for the holidays, I purchase gifts through the German branch of Amazon.com and have them sent to the home where we celebrate, thus saving international shipping charges.
Katharina Wilkins
Weston, Massachusetts
 
 

Traveling With Children

A few tips for traveling with young children on a long flight: (1) Check in early and request front-row seats. You’ll be less frazzled because Junior isn't kicking the seat in front of him for 10 hours, and the nearby crew seat is needed only for takeoff and landing, so you can get some extra space. (2) Bring along little gifts: mini coloring books and crayons, to make your kids happy and relieve boredom; chewable candies to prevent earache and tears on landing; and a spare set of clothes for each child, plus a fresh T-shirt for yourself. (3) If you have a baby or a toddler, take your umbrella stroller with you on the plane. The crew will store it during the flight, and customs and luggage checks are much less stressful when your hands are free.
Emma Fashokun
Houston, Texas
 
When I traveled overseas with my 16-month-old daughter, I was inundated with equipment (car seat, stroller, diaper bag). To thank fellow travelers who helped me through the customs and immigration lines, I gave them gourmet chocolate bars―a great way to see smiles on your travels rather than scowls.
Holly Driggers
Austin, Texas
 
My husband and I make his-and-hers travel CDs with copies of our favorite holiday tunes. As we take turns playing them throughout the long road trip, it’s fun to see which songs the other has come up with.
Deanna Holt
Springfield, Illinois
 
For long drives, I bring holiday and thank-you cards, stamps, and my address book. During the drive, I write cards for those I am on my way to see. On the way home, I write thank-yous for gifts, dinners, or parties for the people we just left. That way, no one is forgotten and the details are fresh in my mind. Finally I stamp them, and they are in the car, ready to be taken to the post office.
Annesia Bixler
Dayton, Ohio

  
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