Surviving Holiday Travel

Manhattan, New York
United States

With the holidays quickly approaching, it is crucial to have a game-plan for how you are getting home. Many students in the city will be flying home this season and will inevitably deal with some level of stress while at the airport. As someone that has a lot of experience with things going wrong while traveling, I put together a list of advice that will help you survive traveling this holiday season.

1.  Try to book the earliest flight possible

This might be my least popular piece of advice, but the earlier your flight is the better. Having an early morning flight allows you to leave the city before people are awake and leaving for work. This can help with traffic, the length of the line at security, and your overall sanity. This year, I have to leave Pace at the unreasonable hour of  3 a.m. for my Thanksgiving flight. Like most college students, I hate waking up early, but I’m willing to do this if it means I can have an easier time getting out of the city and getting through the airport.

2. The 2-hour rule

My other bit of advice about timing is to try to be at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight. Personally, I try to get to the airport 2.5 hours before my flight if it’s during the holidays because there is always something that could go wrong. If you get there at least 2 hours before, you should have enough time to go through security, find your gate, and get something to eat before your flight. It’s so important to be early for your flight, especially during a time as crazy as the holiday season.

3. Don’t wear boots

Please don’t. I can’t even count the number of times that someone has held up the line at security because they are trying to unzip or untie their boots. Try to stick to sneakers or ankle boots that won’t make everyone mad and so you have better shoes to slip on and off. Just don’t wear anything that will hold up the line at security and you’ll be fine.

4. Take care of your skin

When on a flight, the last thing I want is to be wearing a face full of makeup. I usually choose to not wear any and to constantly care for my skin while on a flight. Your in-flight skincare routine should consist of using a makeup wipe (even if you’re not wearing makeup), using moisturizer, and about 45 minutes before the plane lands, I like to use an under eye mask so my eyes aren’t as puffy and tired looking when I get off the plane.

5. Take a deep breath

Traveling can be one of the most stressful things to do alone. If I took you around the San Diego and Newark airports, I can easily point out all the spots I’ve had emotional breakdowns due to stress. I have had a lot go wrong while traveling so I can tell you that everything will work out and it will all be okay. It’s so easy to break down if something goes wrong, but you just need to take a moment and figure out your next steps. Before your travel days, try to mentally prepare for something to go wrong. Going into the airport with lower expectations about your travel day will help you stay positive if something goes wrong or if you have no problems at all. Remaining calm is definitely the most important thing for traveling during the holidays.

Now with this advice, you can take on holiday travel like a pro!