Stress-Free Travel Tips
Airport lines, flared tempers and lost luggage. Before you tear your hair out in frustration trying to get from Point A to Point B, check out these tips for stress-free travel from Orbitz.com's Jeanenne Diefendorf, and get the scoop on some must-have items that can help pass the time or help you relax.
Booking your trip:
Don't take the last flight of the day. Statistics show that flights scheduled earlier in the day have better on-time performance. If problems arise due to weather or other delays, an early flight gives you a better chance to book on another flight and still get to your destination the same day.
If you can travel on off-peak days you'll avoid crowds and find cheaper deals on flights. If you can, avoid traveling during Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July and Labor Day Weekend. And during the height of travel season: November 26-27th and Dec. 22nd-26th.
Check options at alternate airports as it can really make a difference. Parking, rental cars, traffic to and from, nearby hotels -- you can score on all fronts, saving on both time and money.
Before you go:
Email yourself important phone numbers that you might need if your documents and/or wallet are lost or stolen, such as airline and credit card phone numbers. All you need to do is check your email for these phone numbers so you call and report any issues you might have.
Tag the inside of your bag. In the chance that your outside luggage tag gets ripped off along the way, put your contact info inside your bag as well. If your luggage gets lost, this will help ensure it makes its way back to you!
Do any gift shopping online and have your gifts shipped to your destination. This will cut down on luggage you have to carry with you. If they do fly with you, your packages may be opened by a screener, so leave them unwrapped. Pack valuables and fragile items, like laptops or jewelry, in your carry-on bag.
Check-in before you leave home. Simple steps like checking in online, printing your boarding pass before you leave home or using the kiosks to check-in at the airport can save you valuable time.
At the airport:
The chance for delays over any holiday season is much greater, so bring some food and water aboard with you in case you are stuck on the tarmac for a while. (This is even more important if you're traveling with kids.)
Talk to your kids ahead of time about what to expect at security. Prepare them for temporarily letting go of special objects like blankies and stuffed animals as they are sent through the x-ray machines.
Keep your stroller until you actually board the plane. You can "gate check" it at that time and it will be returned to you in the jetway as soon a you land. The airport is particularly crowded at this time of year so keeping your child in the stroller is a great way to keep everyone from getting separated.
Things to make your journey a little better
These items are great travel accessories, whether you're keeping the kids entertained, catching some z's or picking up a few things in the duty-free shops!
Magnetic games - keeps little ones (and big ones for that matter) entertained without worrying about disappearing game pieces
Neck pillow - prevents the embarassment of falling asleep on a stranger's shoulder. Does nothing for drooling, however.
Expand-a-bag - because you're always going to come back with more than you went with!
- latest show clips
- celebrity friends
- cooking videos
- rachael between the scenes
- backstage pass
- tips and stories
- be on the show
- set tour
- audience tickets
- rachael's bio
- what's rach wearing
- rach on the radio
- follow us on twitter
- join us on facebook