It’s that time of year again! Snowflakes and mittens, sparkling lights, a steaming cup of cocoa by the fireplace…The weather outside may be frightful, but as Franky put it best- the vibe is so DELIGHTFUL.
For some, the holidays mean large family gatherings, soda stains on the carpet, fighting over the remaining turkey gravy, or your brother’s Christmas present. But not all of us can stay local Whether your family lives out of town, your boss is taking you on a holiday business venture or you want to get AWAY from family- you’ll almost certainly be traveling.
But between flight layovers, unpredictable weather, shortened in-store holiday hours, and the high cost of hotels and cabs- you don’t want to be running around buying essentials the minute you land. Holidays are a beautiful time to bond or renew bonds with family you may not have seen in a long time. They bring a chance to travel somewhere new, cross adventures off your bucket list, and renew your inspiration for creativity or attitude towards work life. With preparation and a good mood, you can have a great time- even if things get in the way of your travel plans.
When it comes to short holiday stints, it's crucial to have everything you need, when you need it. Here are five tips to help you plan and prepare accordingly so you can spend your time doing what matters most with the people who matter most.
It starts with a pen and paper (or laptop if you’re super organized) and long before you even begin to pack.
Everyone has an itch to travel since covid restrictions were lifted, and holiday travel is always costly. If you wait until the holiday season to book- prices will be sky-high.
Many airlines are no longer providing free changes or cancellations, even though they were quite accommodating during the peak of Covid.
Consider paying a little extra for a flight with a free change or cancellation. You never know what unforeseen circumstances may come up and some flexibility is never a bad thing.
Ask a friend or family member to stay with them if you’re on a budget.
You can also find great deals or holiday sales but once your travels begin, any last-minute hotel reservations or car rentals will be far more expensive.
Car rental prices always increase during the holidays, consider using uber or lift to save money you can use elsewhere. If driving in your vehicle, make sure you’re full of gas, oil, and windshield fluid and that the car is working as it should be. And don’t forget your driver's license and registration!
Look for deals in advance (or last minute) on Expedia, kayak, booking.com, or Priceline. Sites like DansDeals, The Points Guy, and Scott’s Cheap Flights often contain promotions at different times of the year. Consider signing up for a credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire preferred.
Numerous credit cards are offering incredible bonus rewards and insurance for cancellations, luggage, and car rentals. It may seem like a costly signup fee, but the benefits outweigh the costs if you’re a frequent flier.
With winter in North America, you never know if you’ll wind up stuck on the tarmac or highway due to blizzards or snowstorms. Prepare for road closures, delays, cars that need boosting, and other weather-related events.
If you’re rushing to a family gathering or work-related event, perhaps travel a day or two early and avoid flights with a layover in case of any last-minute disasters.
Always check the weather a day or two before your flight and be on the lookout for email notifications about flight changes or delays.
Niece never forgave you for forgetting to bring her a Christmas present last year?
Left those massive packs of M&M’s your uncle overseas has been waiting for?
Included in this list should be clothing, accessories, toiletries, medications, travel/identification documents, gifts, etc.
Order and pick up necessary medications or important items so you’re not scrambling the day before your flight.
Prepare a list of nearby shopping malls, restaurants, grocery stores, and pharmacies. If you need last-minute medication, a bottle of milk, or a promise to pick up goodies for the family to get together- you won’t get stuck driving around in circles or frantically looking online at the last minute.
This is tricky. On the one hand, the less you have the easier it is to navigate travel. If your destination has a washing machine, go easy on clothing to save room However, especially when traveling with children, the last thing you want is to be scouting for Walmart off the highway to buy diapers or Tylenol. Stores close early on the holidays and you want to spend time with family and friends- not shopping for items you could have easily brought with a proper packing list. Also, Leave some space in your suitcase for the gifts you hope the family bought you.
Getting turned around at the airport can be devastating, especially when you’ve been planning your trip for months. If your passport is expiring soon or is invalid, apply for renewal long before your trip so there is adequate time to receive your documents.
Check the international requirements for your destination. Crossing the border by land may be easier to navigate than flying by air. Perhaps there is an easy way to receive a travel visa online or some wiggle room for traveling on an expired passport.
Don’t risk it. It’s best to start the process early to avoid the anxiety and stress that inadequate documentation can cause.
Keep your travel and identification documents in a special compartment inside your bag or wear a fanny pack on your waist. Documents are needed multiple times throughout the airport and you don’t want to risk dropping your passport or boarding pass in the bathroom or while waiting in line. Having everything you need accessible and in one place gives you peace of mind and security to navigate your travels.
Pre-check can only be done 24 hours before the flight and doesn’t always speed up wait time at the airport. However, If there is an option for pre-check-in, complete it, print and bring it with you to the airport so you can skip the boarding pass process.
Above are tips for planning travel, but as the trip gets closer- you may find yourself stressed and tight on time. Having to meet pre-holiday work deadlines, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and planning your trip- it’s important to address last-minute details so you’re not still packing on your way to the car. Here are some tips to think about the week of, or a few days before your trip.
This may include a small bag of toiletries- a mini toothbrush and toothpaste, lenses and solution, glasses, face wash, feminine products, makeup, deodorant, and a shaver. Don’t forget any important electronic devices and accessories such as your laptop, phone charger, and a universal adaptor for international travel. Imagine having to blow dry your hair or shave only to find your devices don’t fit the outlet.
Additionally, you may want to avoid checking in your laptop, jewelry, and other valuables you don’t want to risk checking under the plane. Airports typically allow two pieces of carry-on luggage. Consider bringing a small carry-on suitcase with wheels and a knapsack.
Many people travel over the holidays. In case of delays or unexpected mishaps. Bring along Snacks, a soft sweater, a neck pillow, an eye mask, earbuds, earplugs- anything that keeps you comfortable on the plane, in the airport, or en route to your destination.
Consider a change of clothing, a couple of basic makeup items, and any other items you would need in case your bag is lost or delayed. Entertainment is also important. Grab a book or magazine, pack your laptop and other valuables you may not want to check under the plane in a knapsack or carry-on with wheels.
Check out this affordable 11 pc ladies’ travel kit to keep you cool and fresh while traveling,
Or our new men’s 13-piece travel kit that comes in a durable black bag with handles for easy carrying!
When traveling with children, make sure to create a packing list and ALWAYS bring an extra change of clothing and pajamas in case of bathroom emergencies or delays. Diapers, wipes, diaper creams, and medication should be packed in a carry-on with easy access.
An extra blanket or sweaters, snacks, and some toys or coloring books are a great way to keep them entertained on the plane, at the airport, and during any transitions during travel. If short on space, consider purchasing a baby travel kit like this one
Which includes wipes, diaper cream, baby wash, a comb, and a couple of baby toys for your little one to play with!
Especially during peak travel season, there are often luggage delays or unfortunately, lost luggage. Label or air-tag your suitcases with a name, phone number, and address. Put something noticeable such as red tape, paint, or a handkerchief on the handle of each bag.
This can help you easily recognize your luggage or describe it to airline staff should the need arise. Ladies, keep your travel kit handy to freshen up while waiting at the airport for your luggage!
Ok, so you’ve collected up-to-date travel documents, packed your suitcases and hand luggage, and organized transport, activities, and potential mishaps. You’ve brought along a trusty budget travel kit for everyone in the family
But are you prepared for the DAY of travel? Procrastinators may find themselves pulling an all-nighter trying to get organized and begin traveling exhausted and stressed. Following the tips below will help you feel energized and prepared for the day of travel itself.
Difficult circumstances are often inevitable, but how you cope in response is directly correlated with sleep, food, and energy levels. Sleeping well before traveling provides energy to remain cool, calm, and collected no matter what pops up along the way. Eat a healthy meal or pack nutritious food along with you, and make sure to stay hydrated.
Worried about germs? Flu? Covid? Take precautions by washing your hands with warm water and soap, especially on the airplane, at the airport, or after using public transportation. Alternatively, use hand sanitizer or a wet wipe instead, especially before eating. Try one of our essential hygiene kits which includes a toothbrush and toothpaste, gloves, a mask, and wet wipes so you can feel clean, safe, safe, and protected at all times.
Sit down with your children or partner and review what the next day of traveling will look like, and how they can help. Tell them what time in the morning (or evening) you are traveling, that checking in and security may take time, or the amount of time it will take to reach your destination (be it by plane or car.)
Ask if there are any last-minute toys or snacks they’d like to bring for the trip, and consider downloading some child-friendly games on the iPad or phone if the car ride will be long. Bring gravel and a plastic bag for your car-sick child and ensure everyone uses the bathroom before the ride. Give each child a responsibility, such as carrying their bag or some hand luggage through the airport.
Try to give your children an ‘early night’ so they’re not cranky while traveling. Make sure your children are well fed in the morning and finally- pack along some prizes or treats for good behavior and play nicely with siblings.
Things happen. Flights are missed or delayed. Stormy weather wrecks our holiday plans or perhaps you wind up paying a fortune to make it to your destination. You may not even end up traveling at all. Remind yourself, and your family- that your holiday plans may not turn out the way you intended. And that’s ok. Practice deep breathing and gratitude. Resolve to plan better next year and have an enjoyable backup plan, such as a nice restaurant or activity should life get in the way of your plans.
It’s important to feel clean while traveling- no matter the circumstances. You’d be surprised what a toothbrush or face wash can do for your mood!
Particular about the products you use? No worries! Create the perfect travel kit with our customized hygiene kit. Pick your travel bag, fill them with your favorite products and enter your info and we’ll respond as soon as possible with a cost-effective quote. Customizing your travel has never been so easy!
A couple of extra things…
Did you know we work with many outreach organizations? Consider giving back this holiday season with one of our not-for-profit travel kits. You or your organization can help support battered women, homeless shelters, veterans, and emergency relief efforts by donating one of our prepackaged hygiene kids. All kits are reusable and portable. (like our standard 9-piece hygiene kit, you can order regular or in bulk here,
Surprise your coworkers or employees!
Are your co-workers, employees, or family members traveling for the holidays? Show them you care with a stocking stuffer. With our cute reusable travel kits, they’ll undoubtedly appreciate such a thoughtful and practical gesture. Pick from a variety of men, women’s, and unisex kits here and help their travel plans be as smooth and unique as yours!
Happy Travelling, and Happy Holidays!