The holidays are a magical time. Fall brings colorful leaves and hearty turkey dinners, while joyful music, snow and fun decorations herald the arrival of Christmastime. Vacationing or visiting family for the holidays can be a very rewarding experience. Unfortunately, everyone else seems to have the same idea! According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, long-distance travel increases 54% during Thanksgiving week versus other times.
Whether you’re traveling for business, visiting family, or enjoying a leisure vacation, holiday crowds can be a drag. With a little advance preparation, however, your holiday vacay will be smooth and relaxing. Here are five tips from Magnolia Hotels to make holiday traveling easier.
- Weigh your options. If you’re taking a flight, try to avoid peak travel dates such as Christmas Eve and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save by flying out just a few days earlier. Head to the airport (or get on the road) earlier than you normally would, and get to know the airport layouts in advance – especially if you need to take a connecting flight.
- Get holiday communications ready before you go. There’s nothing worse for your vacation, and your sanity, than having to spend hours trying to catch up with loved ones at home. Stamp and mail all your holiday cards at least several days prior to your trip. If you’re on vacation for pleasure, call your parents, relatives, friends etc. prior to leaving so you don’t have to spend hours on the phone during your family trip. Or, why not skip the calls altogether? Set up holiday e-cards in advance, and send one universal text to your contacts with a holiday message the morning of the holiday.
- Book a holiday meal. If you’re vacationing on a major holiday, keep in mind many restaurants close for the day. Also, eateries with bountiful holiday buffets or gourmet dinners will likely be booked well in advance. You don’t want to spend your holiday driving aimlessly around looking for an open restaurant – trust us, we’ve been there! Browse holiday meal options near your lodgings. Better yet, contact Magnolia at 888-915-1110 to see what holiday dining options are available during your stay.
- Postpone the gift-giving. If you’re on vacay during a holiday where gifts are typically exchanged, such as Christmas or Hanukkah, schedule a time for presents before or after your trip. Even if your spouse, kids, friends or other family members are with you, it’s near impossible to travel with wrapped packages in tow.
- Pack smart. When you’re traveling to cooler climes, it’s tempting to cram dozens of sweaters and heavy pants into your suitcase. Traveling with a lighter load can ease your vacation burdens during the holidays. Pack only what you need, but don’t forget a nice holiday outfit or two if you’re going out. Wear your heavy coat on the plane to save space in your case, and check with your Magnolia location to see if laundry services are available. Tip: If you’re staying for longer than a few days, purchase liquid grooming products near your hotel rather than stowing them in your travel bags to avoid potential leaks.
At Magnolia, we’ll work hard to make sure your holiday stay is easy and enjoyable. Our boutique hotels are in major metropolitan areas around the country, many in historic buildings near the city’s top attractions. Get your holiday vacay in the works today by calling 888-915-1110 or visiting us online.