It’s no secret that traveling during the holidays can be stressful. The road to grandmother’s house is filled with packing troubles, TSA lines, and weather delays– it can be overwhelming. Here at EF, we’re pro travelers. We polled over 50 EF staff members and gathered some of our most useful travel tips to help you get home for the holidays.
Avoiding Airport Troubles
An overwhelming majority of EF staff agreed that the best thing you can do to avoid problems at the airport is to arrive early – especially when traveling with large groups. The holidays can be some of the busiest times for travel, so give yourself some extra time to check in and go through security. You’ll have peace of mind, and might even have time to peruse some shops!
Dress for comfort and not fashion – you want to be comfortable on those longer flights! Slip on shoes will help you make it through those security lines faster.
Avoid mark-ups by bringing your own snacks and an empty water bottle– you can fill up for free at the airport!
Download your airline’s app before you fly! This will allow you to check the status of your flight, stay up to date on gate changes, and monitor delays.
If you have a layover GateGuru can help you find restaurants and shops in your terminal.
Pack Like a Pro
Follow the less is more rule, if you pack smart, almost everything can be worn more than once! Do your best to fit it all into a carry-on. This is especially important during the holidays, when delays and overbooked flights can lead to lost luggage.
If you are checking a bag, add a colorful ribbon or luggage tag. This will ensure your suitcase is easily recognizable in baggage claim. Take a picture of your checked bag in case it does get lost. This way you will have an exact description if you have to file a missing bag report.
The rolling vs. folding debate will be an argument that continues to haunt every EF dinner table – we couldn’t reach a consensus. No matter your preference, almost everyone agreed that packing cubes make traveling a breeze. They maximize space and keep you organized! Vacuum bags are also a fan favorite for over-packers.
Planning on doing a little shopping while you travel? One staffer suggested packing a small, flexible tote or duffel bag in your luggage in case you need some extra room or need to offset the weight of your suitcase.
It can be worth it to invest in high-quality packing gear, especially if you’re a frequent traveler. Most travel backpacks and suitcases will last you a lifetime due to their fantastic warranties.
In Flight Tips and Tricks
You packed smart, made it through security, and boarded your flight– now how do you stay entertained? Come prepared with movies, podcasts, audiobooks, books, magazines, or puzzles to help the time past. But the most important thing to do on your flight is sleep and hydrate! This will keep you energized and jolly through all your holiday festivities.
The EF inflight packing list consists of noise-cancelling headphones, earplugs, an eye mask, an external phone charger, a comfy travel pillow, and socks!
On long flights, take time every few hours to get up and out of your seat, walk around, and stretch! It’s good for your body!
Once You Arrive
You made it to your destination at last! If you’re traveling abroad we recommend following the time zone of the country you’re in to avoid jet lag. That means staying up if it’s daytime, and sleeping if it’s nighttime– no matter how tired you are.
If you’re arriving somewhere new, many staffers suggested you try to make a new local friend – even if it is the taxi driver/hotel concierge. They can give you an insider’s perspective and some awesome restaurant recommendations! This will help you to get the most authentic experience possible.
Always make sure that you have photos or copies of important documents, and keep them in a safe place. Keep the address of the hotel you’re staying at on hand at all times for easier navigation with taxis or public transportation.
Must-Have Travel Gadgets
As constant travelers, we’re always looking for new products that will make the journey to our destination easier. Some staff recommendations include a portable footrest, an all-in-one power adapter, a collapsible water pouch, and, a great, sturdy suitcase like this one!
EF Staff Favorite Holiday Destinations
Where’s our favorite place to spend the holidays? When we can’t spend it with families, friends, or significant others our go-to destinations to visit include: Paris, Sydney, Italy, New York City, Lucerne, Latin America, England, Germany, Iceland, Vietnam, and Prague!
Remember, in order to be successful during peak travel seasons, you have to be flexible and patient – there’s a lot that could go wrong but if you just plan ahead, take extra precautions and try to relax as much as possible then everything will be okay!
Happy Holidays from all of us at EF!