If you have already made up your mind about traveling for the holidays, brace yourself. In the Philippines, it is the time of the year where everybody desires to travel not only to see places but also to see family members, relatives and friends they haven’t seen for a long time. The bad news is, a lot of Filipinos make sure their holiday travel plans happen.
Christmas season is the most celebrated holidays in the country. Everybody expects that during this holiday season, a lot of people from all over the metro will converge on bus stations, piers, and airports. Even with the knowledge that it would be a hassle (and sometimes poses danger), most of these people will pursue their holiday travels.
Are you ready to face the challenge? Do you want to be included in the statistics of stressed, depressed, disappointed, and exhausted travelers?
Would you consider having a plan first before carrying on with your holiday travels?
If you want a stress-free holiday travel, you have to do a lot of thinking. When you think first, and not act on impulse, you will spare yourself from the hassles, dangers, stress, and fatigue that a holiday travel can bring.
All you need are the three Ps – Plan, Prepare, and Pack.
In any undertaking, there is always a plan. If you are considering holiday travels, the more that you need to plan. What do you do when you plan? You make arrangements, you think about many things ahead of time.
For holiday air travels, consider cheaper deals from travel agencies. Airlines in the Philippines offer travel deals or cheap flights to different destinations in the country and to a number of international destinations. These travel deals offer seat sales or promos but you have to check these airlines’ websites often to book early or take advantage of the promos.
For sea and land travels, there are websites like TripAdvisor that has forums where there are discussions about different topics (like schedules, rides, hotels, etc.) with regards to traveling by sea and land.
The plan is to travel on days before the holidays and not during the busiest days. You have to check schedules within this time frame and you have to stick to it. One important tip to remember that most travelers share – travel on the actual holiday or at night. You will find that the crowd is smaller and the roads are less congested.
Develop Plan B for possible delays. Interview people who have traveled to the destination you plan to go to. Or you can directly ask the airlines how often delays happen and how much time you have to wait for another schedule so you can prepare for it.
If you have children traveling with you, plan about teaching them about what to do during the travel or at waiting areas, where to go if they get lost, or what to say if that happens. Teach your children how to be smart even when afraid.
After conceiving the plan, you need to prepare the things that you need for the travel. Here is a list of things to prepare:
- Money for necessities. It is possible that you might forget some important essentials. An available cash will solve any inconvenience.
- Extra cash given that possible emergencies can occur. You do not need to bring a lot but just enough as reserve money.
- Entertainment source and paraphernalia. You will have to bring your smartphone, tablet, laptop, chargers, and other forms of entertainment, on situations that anyone in your group gets bored or stressed. If you are not fond of games, you can consider bringing a book. You can download e-books for your tablets, too.
- Food and snacks. Any food that feeds will divert attention from boredom and stress. Again, you do not need to bring a lot but just enough for the number of people who are going to travel with you.
- Basic emergency kit. It is not that you are expecting for bad things to happen, but it is better you are ready. Other than money and food, prepare an emergency kit.
- No, you do not bring these packages during your travel. It will cost you a lot of money because airlines charge high for extra luggage. If you are traveling by land, you will spend a lot of fuel because of these heavy packages. Consider shipping them ahead of time and you will save money and energy.
- In order to survive holiday travels, you have to stay mentally and physically healthy. Even with the preparations, a lot of things can challenge your patience and your stamina. When you prepare for any situation, make sure that you are on top of everything. Be in control. Take charge and call the shots if needed.
Now that you have everything for your holiday travel, the rule of thumb is to travel lightly. Pack separately food and snacks, entertainment paraphernalia, and basic emergency kit. Put your money, phones, and jewelry, in one carry-on so that it would be easy for security to check.
Even with traveling by land, the same principle applies – pack according to your needs. Have a mental note what bag has your essentials, your food, your emergency kit, and your entertainment paraphernalia. If you find it difficult to remember, you can put tags or labels on each bag.
Your food and snacks will include non-sticky and manageable kinds. You can bring hard-boiled eggs, biscuits, and crackers, nuts and candies. Do not bring foods that are messy to handle.
Your basic emergency kit should at least contain first aid kit, flashlight, can opener, at least two 1-L bottles of water, blankets, and extra keys.
For land travel during the holidays, ensure that you have brake fluids, water, tools, flares, and the like for your car or vehicle.
Now, that you have planned, prepared, and packed for your holiday travels, do you think you can survive?
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