Traveling during the holidays is simultaneously one of the most anticipated and most dreaded events of the year. It’s an opportunity to visit family and friends you might rarely see, which can be wonderful, but it’s also the time of year that everyone else is doing the same, which results in long lines at airport security, crowded train and bus stations, delays, and the sort of hectic atmosphere that makes us forget essential travel items. We’ve put together a few easy reminders to make your last-minute travel prep go a little more smoothly.
Ever forgotten your phone charger for a big trip? It can make you feel like you’re missing a limb and add unnecessary stress to an already stressful travel time. After leaving mine at home several times and having to buy a $40 replacement at Penn Station in a pinch, I keep a spare in my bag at all times, just in case. Consider this your reminder to pack your charger now!
Even if you do remember to bring your charger, charging stations and outlets are often all occupied when the airport is busy. Another option is to grab a portable external battery pack as a backup plan. Mophie makes a case that can charge your iPhone while protecting it, but there are tons of options out there to make charging on the go less of a headache. If you’re driving, grabbing a car charger is always a great idea.
Know Thy Airport
USA Today put together a really handy infographic guide to act as a resource for your travel plans. They’ve listed transportation, WiFi availability, food options, and more for some of the nation’s busiest airports, which is especially helpful if you’ve got a layover. If your airport isn’t listed, take a second to look up a map of the terminal beforehand so you’re not scrambling if you’re running late or have only a short amount of time to make a connecting flight. At the very least, take a look at what kind of food is available in your terminal so you can plan ahead and pack a sandwich if you need to! It’s the worst to be starving, tired, waiting for a flight, and left only with trail mix or bags of Cheez-its from Hudson News as food options. (No offense, Cheez-its.)
Staying well hydrated can help you feel less exhausted on a long day of traveling, so leave some space for a water bottle while you pack. Worried about airport security? Bring an empty refillable bottle like a Klean Kanteen or a S’well and refill it with water at a water fountain once you get through security. That way, you won’t have to buy a $4 bottle of water at the terminal, and you’ll be able to refill as many times as you’d like.
Travel Now, Wrap Later
If you’re bringing gifts with you for the holiday, wrap them when you get to your destination. Wrapped gifts will not only take up more precious space in your luggage due to added boxes, bags, and tissue paper, but the TSA can actually unwrap your gifts for security reasons if you’re flying. Bringing boxes along for wrapping? Flatten them and place them at the bottom of your suitcase to save on space. Alternatively, you can use holiday gift bags to carry items you’re bringing along.
We hope these last-minute reminders were helpful. Best of luck on all of your holiday travel endeavors and enjoy a warm and happy holiday season from all the folks at Karma!