11 T+L Editor Tips For Surviving Holiday Travel

Photo: Getty Images

It’s no secret holiday travel is stressful; and while there may be 47 million people heading out for Thanksgiving this year, there are simple ways to make it to your destination (and back!) without losing your holiday cheer. Read on for editor-approved tips that will make travel this season a breeze.

Be prepared. “For me, the strategy is all about advance preparation. Pack snacks, water, etc. into your carry-on in advance (where you can; with airports you have to get the water there, but you get the idea). Have your book in there, your headphones, iPad with pre-loaded movies. These are the essentials that go in the bag that’s closest to me, so that no matter where the delays come from—waiting to board, in transit, waiting for pick-up at my arrival station—I’ve got the things I need to carry me through it.”—Corina Quinn, Digital Travel Editor

Get TSA Pre-Check / Global Entry. “It makes a HUGE difference in terms of security lines, especially on busy travel days.” Nathan Lump, Editor

Pack alcohol. For the flight… “If there’s one time to splurge on an in-flight beverage, it’s over the holidays. Since it’s the festive season, go for a proper cocktail with this carry-on kit, which has everything you’ll need to make a tasty (and soothing) Old Fashioned on the plane.” Stephanie Wu, Senior Editor

…and during your stay: “This year, I’m bringing my own DIY cocktail kit to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner, which I expect will make me the most popular person at the table. After taking master bartender Eben Freeman’s cocktail class at Genuine Liquorette, I’m planning to use my newfound skills to create some delicious mixed drinks. All you need is a shaker tin, hawthorne strainer, and jigger or mini-measuring cup and you’re good to go. I’ll pick up some spirits and mixers on the way to dinner.” Laura Itzkowitz, contributing digital editor

Go carry-on only: “"If at all possible, I avoid checking a bag. Not only will it get you in and out of the airport more quickly, but there’s also no possibility of lost luggage.” Caroline Hallemann, Associate Digital Editor

Pack athletic clothes. “A brisk walk outside will help you burn off the holiday bloat—AND the pent-up steam that inevitably collects when a bunch of related people spend too much time under one roof. Be sure to pack athletic-wear and seasonally appropriate clothing that encourages you to spend some time outdoors.” Sarah Firshein, Digital Director

Try Aromatherapy. “I love Tata Harper’s Aromatic Irritability Treatment – it’s an oil that you apply to your pulse points or palms. It smells like a spa, and, like a spa, it induces a relaxing sense of calm and well-being. Use when feeling annoyed or stressed. I love it on long flights (and short subways trips, too).” Jane Bishop, Style Director

Turn traffic into an adventure. “Install a dashboard car mount for your phone, let Google Maps run, and don't be afraid of veering off when you see too much red. Apps like Foursquare can help locate cool, noteworthy restaurants wherever you are; after all, unexpected surprises and local finds are one of the best parts of travel—any travel.” Sarah Firshein, Digital Director

Video streaming services are your friend. “When you simply can’t stand any more redundant chatter between relatives, turn on and tune out. Suggest watching a movie together so you have an excuse to ask your rowdy siblings to keep the noise down. For emergencies, an entire season of Jessica Jones should do the trick.” Adeline Duff, Editorial Assitant

“Amazon Prime Video is an in-flight savior: it lets you download free streaming shows to your smartphone or tablet for offline viewing, so I'm no longer racking up hefty iTunes charges to feed my media addictions. Rewatching Arrested Development makes a few hours in a cramped middle seat an almost-pleasant experience. Okay, maybe not pleasant, but...better.” Lila Battis, Associate Editor

Do quick yoga sessions. “Subscribe to a service like Yogaglo, which lets you download yoga sessions that are as short as five minutes. All you need is your phone and a quiet corner--they’ll never even notice you’re gone. PS: You can filter for “stress reduction.” —Sara Clemence, News Director

Get noise canceling headphones. “Having the ability to tune out of the chaos of a train station, airport, or over talkative family members during the holidays is a must. I always bring a good pair of noise-canceling headphones, and have a playlist of both music and my favorite Podcasts ready before I head out the door.” Ellie Storck, Digital Editorial Assistant

Bring a great book. “If you have something you’re engrossed in reading, it really helps pass the time when you have delays, long flights, etc.” Nathan Lump, Editor

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles