If there's anything Trains, Planes and Automobiles has taught us, it's that travelling during the holiday season can be a nightmare, whether you're heading home to spend time with loved ones, or jetting off to an exotic location. Christmas travel is an especially stressful experience, but it doesn't have to be. Hence we've compiled a conclusive list of the ultimate do's and don'ts of Christmas travel, so check it once, check it twice, and fingers crossed you'll have a hassle-free journey home for the holidays.
Keep your cool, and don't be a Grinch!
This is by far the most important piece of advice! Christmas is obviously an extremely busy time of year. Millions of us will be rushing home to spend time with friends, family and loved ones. In the travel world, this equates to chaos. Undoubtedly it will be easy to become frustrated with the never-ending traffic jams, long airport queues and likely delays and disruptions, all of which will severely test your patience. But remember, everyone is in the same boat, so keep your cool and don't lose your temper; the last thing you want is to be labelled as the Christmas Grinch!
Don't let expiry dates catch you out
Imagine discovering on December 22nd that your passport has expired. Nightmare, especially during the busy Christmas period when it's even more unlikely that you will be able to get your documentation renewed in time. Remember, nowadays some destinations have a six month validity rule, so it's especially important to check all of your travel documents. If you are planning to fly overseas this Christmas, ensure at least a month in advanced that all paperwork is in check and up-to-date, or you might not make it home in time for Christmas dinner!
Winter-proof your home
Whilst it is incredibly easy to get caught up in festive cheer and become distracted by the exciting prospect of seeing your friends and family, one thing all Christmas travelers must remember to do is to winter-proof their homes. As well as carrying out all the typical checks such as locking doors and windows, turning off all electrical items, and hiding the hidden backdoor key, it's especially important to protect your house over the cold Christmas season. Keeping the heating on a low setting will avoid any burst or frozen pipes - the last thing you want is to return to a flooded home!
Check your vehicle
This year, Friday the 22nd of December is set to be the busiest day for road traffic throughout the holiday period. You can expect roads to be chockablock and traffic jams rife, so make sure you thoroughly check your vehicle before you set off. Hazardous winter conditions and an influx in long distance travel means car breakdowns can be a common occurrence throughout the Christmas period. The Chris Rea classic 'Driving Home for Christmas' may be playing on the radio; but the reality could be quite different. You don't want to be the car responsible for a standstill traffic jam because you've broken down in the middle of the highway, so take our advice and check your car before you travel!
Fail to plan and you're planning to fail. Thinking ahead of the game is crucial when it comes to Christmas travel. As time can be of the essence, it's essential that you book and research all relevant methods of transport in advanced. Naturally, the roads and skies will all be that little bit busier, with journeys taking that little bit longer. Plotting transport connections carefully and accurately ensures your journey will be as smooth as possible and you won't miss out on any of the festive fun!