The holidays are right around the corner. Are you filled with excitement and anticipation or anxiety and dread? Most holiday travelers experience the latter due to the stress that accompanies crowded airports and inclement weather. It is, however, possible to remain in the holiday spirit throughout the chaos; you just have to be prepared. Follow these three tips for holiday travel and spread joy, not dread on your journey.

Pack for Comfort and Entertainment

A long flight can seem infinitely longer when you just can’t seem to get comfortable. Why it may seem like you’re sacrificing valuable luggage space, making room for a airplane pillow is well worth it. That added time of relaxation will be greatly needed between dodging irritated travelers and all that comes along with the holiday season.

Plan Ahead

Most of the stress of holiday air travel comes from waiting in line, from the line of cars in the parking garage to the check-in counter, to the line to get through security. While these lines can’t necessarily be avoided, you can save yourself some time and stress by being prepared ahead of time. First off, leave earlier than you think you need to. By planning for that unforeseeable traffic jam or security backup, you reduce the risk of missing your flight. Printing your boarding pass and reserving a parking spot ahead of time are other great ways to save some time. Also, when getting dressed the day of your flight, keep in mind that you will have to take off your shoes as you go through security. You know your favorite pair of winter boots that need to be intricately laced to wear? Leave those at home or pack them for later.

Don’t Forget the Gifts

Packing light during the holiday season can be trickier than at other times of the year. If you are traveling somewhere cold, you must make room for all of the extra layers, coats, scarves and gloves that go along with wintertime. If you are visiting friends and family, you will likely also need to make room for gifts. If you are traveling with presents it’s generally best to wrap them after your flight. The wrapping may be damaged during travel or the gifts may even need to be unwrapped when you are going through security. Also make sure your gifts follow all TSA guidelines and that there aren’t any holiday baggage restrictions put in place by your airline.

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