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When it comes to traveling, the holiday season is probably the most active and stressful. In between catching flights and or trying to secure a seat on the train, managing to make it through the holiday period is no small feat. But contrary to traveling at different times of the year, holiday travel comes with its own set of rules.

Watch Out For Weather
Particularly during the winter, snowstorms, heavy rainfall, and even wind gusts can halt travel. Between October and January, stay abreast of local weather conditions and the conditions of the destination. It’s also prudent to have a backup plan in case the mode of transportation is grounded due to inclement weather.

Larger Crowds
Depending on the dates of travel, crowds may or may not be an issue. On major holidays, like Christmas or Thanksgiving, it can go either way. However, Thanksgiving is usually the worst day for travel, regardless of starting or endpoints. Christmas, on the other hand, is the least busy, so getting through customs is usually a cinch. As for New Year’s Day, many people take the day to rest after the holiday. 

Prepare in Advance
With so many people traveling during the holidays, it’s important to plan ahead. Never wait until the last minute to schedule or change travel plans unless there is an emergency. Since holiday travel can be delayed or even canceled due to weather conditions or overbooking on a flight or train, make sure to verify the reservations all the way to one hour prior to departure. 

Running to the gate only to be told that there was an error never makes for a happy holiday. The same holds true for returns home. Albeit it a plane or train, take the time to verify that everything is running as scheduled and on time. For this reason, it’s also a good idea to have travel insurance, just in case anything goes wrong.

Traveling during the holidays can be taxing, so it’s important to keep an open mind. From traveling on the actual holiday to only packing the essentials, there are ways to make holiday travel just a little less painful.