While traveling during the holidays, we get so consumed with finishing holiday shopping for our little princes and princesses, figuring out what we need to pack (my little one always wants to bring her tutu and rain boots even if we are flying) and finalizing destination plans, that we sometimes forget little things that can turn out to be very large problems. Here are seven simple steps to ensure a safe and stress-free holiday without the help of medication.
Make plans and buy tickets ahead of time to guarantee your travel plans. Planes fill up. If you wait too long, you, your hubby and even your kids may be sitting on opposite sides of the aircraft, if on the same flight at all. This will lead to tears, lots and lots of tears (not just from the kids). Plus, you can save money and time if you plot connections carefully and, as Independenttraveler.com suggests, build in time for flight delays. If possible, create a buffer day to account for weather woes and snotty noses.
Try to be flexible on time if you are attempting to save money. The peak travel hours will slow you down on the road, in the airport and with all of the planes going out at the same time, you could miss your connecting flight even if you were solo, let alone with the troop in tow. Breathe easy and plan ahead.
Thanks to the ever-growing world of technology, we can now visit our home from our mobile devices. You can get web access to a visual live feed of your home from Life Shield. You can look at history of what's happened in your home and you can arm and disarm your system right from you phone or laptop.
You can also put your interior lamps, along with your outdoor sconces, on a timer and there is a device available that simulates the flickering glow of a real TV. Check out faketv.com.
Home Security Tips
A holiday issue of Reader's Digest looked inside the mind of burglars and found some interesting things they will do (and notice) to be sure your home is easy to invade while you are away. Here are some simple steps to take to ensure your home is not vulnerable.
- Stop newspaper delivery
- Have a neighbor collect door flyers
- Avoid Facebook posts and check-ins (watch the kids with this)
- If it snows and you're away, ask a neighbor to create tire and foot tracks to your home. Virgin snowfall in the driveway is proof you are nowhere in sight.
- Of course you'll turn on your home security system, but be sure to have it wired over your kitchen sink and on the second floor. People often overlook these locations and thieves know it. Reader's Digest suggests motion detectors near your valuables.
- According to the RD article, burglars tend to avoid young kids' rooms, so if you have something very valuable, hide it there while you are gone.
Airlines are flying full during the holidays so the planes will be packed. Want to get through security quickly and easily? Prepare the entire family ahead of time.
- Everyone wear slip-off shoes and don't wear a belt.
- Don't pre-wrap your gifts. TSA will rip them open if there is a mysterious shape on their monitor.
- Put your liquids (if not in checked baggage) in one clear quart-sized sealable bag with no liquid bottle being over 3.4 oz. and take it out of your carryon while in line.
- Check to see if there is a family line.
- Certain foods are allowed but check with the TSA website for specific guidelines.
- Snow Globes are not allowed in your carryon baggage.
Be willing to endure. Put a worry stone or something in your pocket to remind you that it is going to be alright and that you can get through any challenge. Realize, it's going to take some composure to get through this holiday travel and keep breathing...in through the nose and out through the mouth.
About the author: Debbie Fishman used to be a flight attendant and now she writes about travel. She doesn't miss waiting on people, but she does have a strong appreciation for attendants who can demonstrate how to fasten a seatbelt without scowling.