Vinnie Van GO Shares these Tips from guest writer Yijen Liu, VP of Product at Mezi
Home for the holidays. It’s a phrase ingrained into our minds since we were mere babes; written in greeting cards, sung gleefully in songs, and murmured by many as we sprint through to the New Year’s Eve finish line.
While we bask in the joy of holiday traditions, visit old friends and indulge in the seasonal fare; we also tiptoe around family confrontations (ahem, differing political views anyone?!), struggle to find exciting ways to occupy our time, and dodge questions about our relationship status like our lives depend on it.
So, we ask: Why home for the holidays? According to a survey conducted by personal travel assistant app Mezi, 44% of Americans would prefer to spend their holiday vacations relaxing on a beach, discovering a new city or hitting the slopes this holiday season.
And while we may not want to head home for the holidays, travel still stresses us out over the busy holiday months. In fact, two out of every three people report having anxiety traveling over the holidays.
If you’re feeling bored, stressed or just totally over the idea of going home for the holidays, Yijen Liu, VP of Product at Mezi has your back. Alleviate any holiday travel stress with these top travel tips:
1. If you’re planning totravel with your snow gear, always pre-book additional baggage like skis andboots to make check-in as smooth as possible. Wearing your big, clunky ski coat saves room in your luggage. Oh, and (bonus!) active ski vacations can help you shed those extra holiday calories.
2. Headed to the beach for your holiday vacation? Be sure to plan for some down time. A day basking in the sun can be more taxing than you realize. Especially for the kids.
3. Don’t forget, this is your vacation. Let it be stress-free! Bring your running shoes, read a new book, schedule a relaxation/spa session or download meditation apps like Headspace to help you sleep or to get zenned out amidst the travel.
4. Use travel-booking app Mezi before and during your trip to book flights, hotel, dinner reservations, event tickets and more. Powered by the world’s smartest chatbots and human guided experts, Mezi acts as your personal assistant to help with all your travel needs. Put Mezi to work researching your vacation plans while you stay focused on your day job—it’s as easy as sending a few text messages!
5. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Make a packing list: apps like Travel List help you stay organized and insure that you don’t leave anything important behind. Notifications and personalized settings will help make packing and getting to your destination a breeze.
6. Download your favorite movies and TV shows from Netflix ahead of time. Binge watch Stranger Things while on flights and other places where Internet is expensive or limited. This way your 20 hour travel day will be a bit more bearable.
7. Traveling with children who still believe in Santa? Ship select gifts straight to your destination or pack a stocking full of transportable gifts. But save the wrapping until you arrive at your destination. Can’t accommodate the gifts this year? Be sure gifts are waiting under the tree when you return home!
8. Over the holidays, TSA can be (even more of) a nightmare. Make sure your items are allowed by using the “Can I Bring My…” tool to see what is and isn’t allowed to avoid delays and the accompanying panic to get to your gate on time.
9. Keep track of the little things. For a glitch-free trip start to finish, simple steps like taking a picture of your parking spot at the airport can save you a world of headache trying to locate it later.
10. Book on Tuesdays around 3 p.m. Eastern time. This time and day gives you access to the best deals. Also, travel on off-peak days and times to beat the crowds (and the inflated prices.)
11. Traveling abroad? Circle is the easiest way to borrow money from friends and divvy up expenses (like hotel fees and large group checks at dinner) while you’re traveling. Circle automatically factors in exchange rates for UK Pound Sterling and Euros, so you can pay someone back for that pint immediately from your U.S. bank account.
12. WhatsApp is also a great hack for traveling abroad. WhatsApp is a cheaper alternative to SMS for sending messages around the world. In addition to texting, make phone calls for free (over the Internet). It’s easy to communicate with the friends you’re traveling with, and those back home.
13. Choose a destination not celebrating a holiday to save on travel expenses. Or visit a well, less wholesome destination like Las Vegas. Hotels are usually super cheap over holidays like Christmas or Hanukkah.
14. Bring snacks! Airport food can be expensive and unhealthy. Curb the temptation by packing healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruit or popcorn. Save the indulgence for the flight with these fun cocktail kits, you’ve earned it!
15. Pack your best attitude. Holiday travel is often riddled with delays due to snow storms and heavy winds. Keep things positive. Check out the many restaurants, bars and shopping malls most airports have to offer to make the most of unexpected situations!