Reduce Holiday Travel Stress – 5 Tips!

For lots of people, the holidays mean more than family, gifts, and fun… They mean TRAVEL STRESS. Usually it centers around missing a train or plane, but can include not being packed in time, not packing the right things, or getting lost in a strange place… But a few easy ‘prep steps’ can reduce the possibility of these nightmare scenarios from becoming your reality.

Since many of us are on a tight budget,  saving money is step one to reducing holiday travel stress. Several travel insider sites, including, agree that Wednesday is the best day to travel if you want a good deal. Travel consultant Peter Greenberg believes Wednesday is the best day to BUY your tickets too, suggesting that midnight is the best time to plunk down your greenbacks, due to the competitive nature of the various airlines.

Relax Maxie, no taxi! That’s another way to say have a good plan for getting to the airport. Sounds easy right? It might be if you live close to a major airport and your flight isn’t too early… But sometimes that’s not that case. Sure, you can try to convince a friend or family member to get up in the wee hours to drive you there. But sometimes that’s not an option, and that’s where we come in. At,  we offer affordable packages that let you spend the night at a hotel, and then leave your car there during your trip. Parking lots often fill up over the holidays, so the peace of mind of a guaranteed reservation is a huge stress-reducer. Get a good night’s sleep, take a quick shuttle trip to the airport, rest easy knowing your car is secure, and enjoy your trip!

Back to the pricier issues of flight and hotel. There are lots of great travel search engines (Kayak, Expedia, and Orbitz to name a few) that publish low fares and allow for comparisons among airlines and hotels. Timing is key on these sites too, as a recent search for first class tickets from LA to New York proved. Staring first with Kayak, all the one-way fares on major airlines were approximately that same price, except the first flight of the day on American Airlines, which left at a decent hour and was significantly less expensive (just over $800, vs $3,000!). Don’t wait until the last minute and hope that these fares will magically be there waiting for you; Start your search well in advance of your target travel date – The bargains may influence your plans and save you a bundle. Also, check out the chat-rooms of travel sites such as Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree Travel Forum or Fodors for great tips from fellow bargain hunters. Also check out travel books from your local library – a free excuse to start dreaming of your tropical getaway while it’s still snowing at home!

Get your suitcase out of storage ASAP. Don’t worry if your trip is weeks away. Find a spot in your bedroom and open up that suitcase. Each time you do laundry, set aside a favorite pair of jeans, seasonally appropriate attire, even spare undies. In no time you will have packed without realizing it! Bonus points for only using a carry-on, as you won’t have to stand around after that long flight or stress about the possibility of lost luggage, and you’ll save money on baggage fees. If you do have to check bags, try to carry one change of clothes in your carry-on, just in case. For more useful packing tips check out this post.

And on the eighth day, they invented earplugs. For just a few dollars, most local drugstores sell earplugs that come in a handy carrying case and cut out plane (and airport/bus/random people) noise. They are re-usable, can be rolled up into a ball, and are worth ten times their weight in gold. (Click here to compare earplug options.) If you can spend a bit more, look into buying some noise reducing headphones. While not as compact as earplugs, they can do wonders for your need to sleep.

Do you have tips that might help ease our readers’ way this holiday season? Share them in the comments!

ParkSleepFly brings you the essential travel news and deals. You can keep up through our email newsletter and social channels.