We love holidays!!  At The Travel Agent, Inc., we are all romantics at heart (which is why we love travel) and as the holidays approach, we are planning our decorations, our charitable gift giving and, of course, our personal holiday travels.

The holiday season brings it’s own set of travel challenges – car rides to grandma’s house, presents to pack, food to tote, and the holiday rush in the airports and on the interstate.I asked the expert travel advisors at The Travel Agent, Inc.’s office to share their top holiday travel tips.Here is what they shared:

  • For Thanksgiving travel, try to avoid the Wednesday before Turkey day and the Sunday after.  These are the two busiest days of airline travel each year.   For my Thanksgiving travels, I am flying out on Tuesday evening and returning the Tuesday after—I got great airfares and the flights are not full at all so far.
  • If you are bringing presents to your destination, I would advise booking Southwest airlines if available.  You can check two pieces of luggage with no fee.   That way you can take an extra bag if needed for the presents (although I prefer shipping for simplicity’s sake).
  • Book your air tickets at least one to three months prior to the holiday for best pricing.  If you wait till last minute for either holiday prices just keep going up closer to TG and Xmas.
  • Also I love to stay one night at a hotel during my stay with my daughters.It gives everyone a break and I love the big City Hotels at Christmas time – all decked out for the holidays!
  • Pack holiday movies and music that the kids can all watch and listen to during the drive.
  • If we are taking gifts for family, I have to think small because of space. Gift cards and smaller items are easiest to pack!]
  • We plan our restaurant stops ahead of time and give the kids a basic schedule for the day. Breaking up the drive into several increments of time makes it easier for young ones to anticipate the length of the drive.
  • While the kids watch movies in the back, my husband and I listen to books on CD in the front seat and that makes the drive go so much faster!
  • Arrive early, Do not wrap your gifts, and be patient stay in the holiday spirit and your travels will go smooth.
  • Biggest tip of all – just take things – delays/crowds/weather/attitudes/lines – as they come.
  • Purchase a Kid’s Road Atlas for each of your children.That way, when they ask you if they are there yet, you can show them how to look at the mile markers and the interstate and see how far they have to go.It teaches them to use maps and they can chart your progress.
  • If you are celebrating Christmas away from home, consider shipping your gifts, presents, and holiday decorations to your destination.If you are renting a home or villa and do not have a rental office, you may be able to ship to the nearest UPS or postal store for a fee.
  • Arrive at the airport earlier than you think—perhaps donning a Santa Hat to remind you to stay in the holiday spirit.