7 Ways to Survive Airport Travel During the Holidays

On the morning of Christmas Day 2017, I found myself in a crowded Singapore Airport. Traffic had been especially stressful and I was ready to be on the plane. At this point in my trip, I had acquired quite a bit of luggage and would have to check my backpack to the Philippines. Walking up to the counter I was shocked to find the bag line wrapped a few times around the large space.

After almost two hours of waiting, I had my ticket in hand and was quickly walking to security. I reached for my phone to check the time, only to not find it in my pocket. Panic set in as I frantically searched my belongings. I had almost given up when this angel of a woman appeared and held out my phone to me… it was a Christmas miracle!

I tell you this story to prove that I might not be proficient, but I am definitely experienced in hectic holiday travel. I hope these tips help your travel days go smoother than mine.

  1. Arrive Early – This is a given, but it’s so important. One thing I have started to do is to check Twitter, often the airline or other annoyed travelers will give updates on wait time, security, or parking.
  2. Pack Smart – This might mean squeezing everything into a carry on size bag (unlike I did) to avoid long lines. I would also suggest you finish packing the night before, so you are not rushed the day of.
  3. Presents – Small and flat items are your best friend when traveling with presents, everyone loves a gift card. I would also avoid wrapping any gifts until you get to your destination; I have made that mistake before.
  4. Essentials – My airport survival kit includes snacks, a book, external charger, water bottle, neck pillow, jacket, and headphones. I also like to pack an extra change of clothes and toiletries, in case my luggage is lost.
  5. Check in – Check in early for flights, rental cars, and hotels. Most paperwork and red tape can be handled online ahead of time. I like to have the corresponding travel apps for each of these, it often makes the process easier.
  6. Delays – Around the holidays it seems like delays are inevitable, make sure you sign up for text alerts for any flight changes. When a delay does occur, instead of waiting in a long line try calling the airline hotline instead.
  7. Remain Calm – Stressful airport situations can sometimes carry over into your vacation. Don’t let delays or bumps in the road affect the trip you have looked forward to so much.

Happy Holidays and Safe Travels!

Singapore – View from Marina Bay Sands


Singapore – Gardens by the Bay


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