Our family loves to travel. There’s something so wonderful about packing up and heading off to explore new places, while creating family memories. And, while the holidays make for a great time to travel as a family, there’s definitely a bit more stress involved in traveling this time of year. So, I’m here with a few tips to help you plan family holiday travel without losing your mind. Let’s thank Capital One for sponsoring this conversation and here’s hoping these tips leave you with more time to enjoy your loved ones.
Tips for Easier Family Holiday Travel
Before you go:
- Save up. Stack up. Reward up. Start planning your holiday travel early and put money aside for your trip (our 360 Savings from Capital One makes that easier for us). Look for discounts and coupons and stack them up to maximize your savings. If you have a good credit card rewards plan, take advantage of that as well. The Capital One Venture Card is a travel rewards credit card that offers double miles on every purchase and allows cardholders to decide when, where and how they’ll use their miles. If you’re not already a cardholder, you’ll definitely want to check it out.
- Do your research. There are so many places to go, so many options to choose from and great deals to be had out there. Do yourself a favor by researching your travel options before you commit. You’ll be glad you did.
- Budget. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. You know how much you can reasonably afford, so make a commitment to stay within that range. This is especially important around the holidays when you’ll have the added expense of gift purchases.
- Pack smart. Traveling during the holidays is challenging enough without the additional stress of excess luggage. Pack wisely–only take what you need and outfits you can re-wear. Send your gifts ahead of time or order them online and have them shipped directly to your destination. Also, double check TSA restrictions if you’re flying and stick to them.
- Inform the credit card company. If you’ll be traveling overseas during the holidays, remember to call the credit card company and let them know. We’ve had the experience of having our card declined while traveling because we didn’t know this little tip. Don’t let it happen to you! It’s probably a good idea to let them know even when you’re traveling from state to state as well.
- If traveling last minute, expect extra challenges. While you can definitely find some great last minute travel deals, waiting until the last minute often brings a little extra stress. For one thing, you just might pay more for hotel rooms and flights to popular destinations. Leverage this by making sure you’re using those credit card travel rewards and remember the Venture card allows cardholder to use rewards on any travel-related expenses.
- Download those apps. There’s an app for everything, from weather to local tourist attractions, and I recommend that you use them. We use apps for transportation, airline updates, language translation and, of course, directions when we’re traveling. Just make sure you’ve sorted out an international data plan with your carrier if you’re traveling overseas.
When it’s time to go:
- Spend wisely. Remember that budget you created, stick to it. Stay under it if you can, but definitely stick to it. We also pay with our credit card so we don’t have to worry about currency exchanges. We’ve never had any trouble with fraud and we totally trust Capital One to keep our money safe.
- Be prepared for challenges. Whether you’re on the road, or in a plane, train or a bus, things can often go wrong when you’re traveling. Be prepared to face those challenges calmly and keep in mind the reason you’re traveling in the first place. Have a back up plan, travel insurance and access to roadside assistance to keep things less stressful when problems occur.
- And most importantly, make memories and enjoy your family! Remember why you’re traveling in the first place and keep that on your mind. It will result in more smiles and less stress. Also, take lots of pictures–you’ll be glad you did!
I’ll leave you with my wish for you to have the best holiday season yet. Thanks again to Capital One for inspiring this post! Remember, Capital One offers straightforward, intuitive products and tools to help consumers use their money wisely during the holiday season and beyond. Check them out using the links above and let’s chat about these tips in the comments.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.