How To Survive Holiday Travel, From An Out Of State Student

With every break comes the excitement of seeing my friends and family. What also comes around? The dread of holiday travel. Nothing is worse than waking up a 4 am to catch the shuttle for the three-hour drive to the airport. Then of course once you get to the airport, it is packed, your plane is delayed, and you forgot your headphones in your apartment before you left town. Here are some tips and tricks I have learned from traveling from Purdue to New Jersey in the past three years.


First, the holidays are the worst at the airport. Always are, always will be. (Unless they invent teleportation machines, or some miracle happens.) Go in prepared for big crowds and long lines. The more you are prepared to fight through the crowds and stand in the long (let me say it twice) long lines the more relaxed you will be at the end of your tedious travel adventure. For example, over my 2017-2018 winter vacation, on my way back to school the security line in Newark airport was over two hours long. So, a word from the wise, if you are traveling through any New York area airport, expect that. Show up early and be prepared to stand in line and wait.


Second, you see I just called it a travel adventure and that’s really because it is. For some reason, it is always more than just a flight or just a bus and for some reason, there is always some additional excitement. Whether it Is your shuttle bus backing up down a highway because it missed the exit or sleeping through your alarms and having to take an hour and a half Uber ride, there is always something. Be prepared for huge curveballs to try to stay calm and cool through your adventure.

Pack snacks. Airport food is incredibly overpriced and usually not even that good. For some reason, cheese snacks must come out of your bag through security so I would recommend not packing those for your flight. Sometimes they make you take all snacks out though so keep them toward the top of your bag to avoid having to dig through your bag and hold up security. (Trust me the people behind you will make it known how unhappy they are that it took two additional seconds out of their day.)


Make sure that anything else that may need to come out of your bag is right at the top of your bag. Keeping it towards the top will save you time in the long lines. Also, I highly recommend wearing shoes that are easy to take off and put back on. Again, it will save you time and make things a little less hectic.


Make sure you download movies for the flight or have the airline app downloaded on your phone so that you can stream on there. It will help make the time pass faster and keep you entertained. I recommend downloading one extra movie than you think you might need to in case there are delays, you are prepared with your entertainment. 

I highly recommend doing a face mask or heavily moisturizing before going to the airport. Airplanes are very dry planes and will suck all the moisture out of your skin. For this reason, it is also super important that you stay hydrated too before and throughout the flight. Also, for more comfort, try to bring a neck pillow with you on the plane. This will make sleeping easier and help you wake up without a stiff neck.

            These are some tips and tricks I learned through my various travel adventures. I hope that you can follow them and help make your travels a little bit easier!