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  • Strategies for Holiday Travel

    Years ago, I'd avoid traveling during the holidays because it was so stressful with small kids.

    How do you cope? Do you plan holiday trips or is most of your travel during the season done because you have to go.....to grandma's, your MIL, Uncle Ernies, etc.

    ??
    Laura
    Senior Manager Community

    "Montauk on my Mind"

    Create your own countdown clock!

  • #2
    Re: Strategies for Holiday Travel

    I usually try not to go anywhere that requires flying over the holidays, since airfare is so expensive that time of year. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas I do a LOT of driving from one family member's house to another (my parents are three hours away), and then I often like to go to Ocean City, NJ for New Year's. They do a little first night sort of celebration there, but I mainly go because it's so cozy to hole up at the beach in the off-season. And you never know what the weather will do -- two years ago it was in the 60's over that weekend, so we went out walking on the beach and had a great time!
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

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    • #3
      Re: Strategies for Holiday Travel

      Ever since I started dating my husband eight years ago, we've switched who's side of the family we'd spend each holiday with ... so we've never traveled outside of NJ for the holidays. I don't think I would anytime in the near future or with kids, because of money reasons (everything is too expensive that time of year) ... but since January always feels very boring to me, perhaps somewhere for New Year's or early in the year would be in the future for me.

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      • #4
        Re: Strategies for Holiday Travel

        We've made the holidays a time of reflection and reconnection in our house. If we were dashing off to the airport or sitting in traffic jams, it just wouldn't jive with what's important to us. We have the luxury of our parents living locally and since we have a young child, they actually prefer coming to us. (I'll take making a holiday dinner over being stuck with a bunch of grumpy over-stressed holiday travelers any day!) We also make a point to spread meaningful visits with other family members throughout the year...why should it just be an expected year-end event?!

        --Kimberly

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        • #5
          Re: Strategies for Holiday Travel

          Holiday travel is far easier now than it was when the the kids were little, but I wouldn't have traded it for the world. That's what the holiday is all about to me...travel, families and traditions.

          I think back 20-30 years ago when we had to be at grandmom's for her traditional midnight dinner. Packing the kids in the car with their Christmas outfits, and making sure you had enough formula and diapers and their PJ's for the ride home. Now that grandmom is gone, you miss it but it's something you and the kids won't ever forget.

          The next day letting the kids open their presents from Santa, eating a quick breakfast, letting them play for an hour or so and then off we all go to my sister's for her traditional Christmas dinner. Everyone was there and the kids always had a great time. Those are the traditions you just don't forget and hopefully (which I have) you carry them into the lives of your grown children and their kids.

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          • #6
            Re: Strategies for Holiday Travel

            The holidays can be stressful enough that I don't need to throw cross-country or international travel into the mix. Especially Christmas.

            As for traditions, sure Mom and Dad used to drag us around like crazy when we were kids. And yeah, it was fun and all. But I just wanted to be at home, in my jammies, playing with all my new toys. Now that I have a kid, I'm sure to keep the holiday season travel to a minimum and stick to our usual routine as best as I can. We all get to enjoy it a little more and start the new year more refreshed than totally razzled.
            Last edited by TinFins; 10-25-2006, 02:43 PM.
            --TinFins

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            • #7
              Re: Strategies for Holiday Travel

              TinFins boy do you bring back memories. I remember opening gifts on Xmas morning as a small child and then having to leave them all behind....while we went to grammas! Oh, how I hated that....

              One thing I do like about holiday travel to places far away is to view the decorations....for those that don't live in the NYC area for example, the hassles of traveling to the city during the holiday fade fast when you see how beautiful it is here....

              Also, I have a friend who moved to Florida a few years back and really misses cold weather. Each year she treks back up to the Northeast right after Xmas day....to enjoy that cold air!

              Laura
              Laura
              Senior Manager Community

              "Montauk on my Mind"

              Create your own countdown clock!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Strategies for Holiday Travel

                I remember trekking back and forth to Grandma's on Christmas Day as well ... and having to leave all my dolls and toys behind. I hated it. I would choose one or two to bring with me, but it wasn't the same as getting to play with all of them at once.

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                • #9
                  FlightStats Mobile

                  FlightStats recently released their new mobile tool -- it's a free service that allows you to access flight status and more, such as flight alerts, security wait times, delays, eather info, airline info, etc. -- from your mobile device. The URL is:

                  http://mobile.flightstats.com

                  I'm sure that having access to this data will save time and ease frustration for those traveling or picking up travelers.

                  Safe travels and Happy Holidays!

                  --K

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                  • #10
                    Re: Strategies for Holiday Travel

                    Jumping off what KimberlyB said, you can check flight statuses by sending a text message to 4info (44636).

                    My brother just flew from Phoenix to Chicago, so I can check if his flight got in OK (because I know he's not gonna call me like I asked) by texting the airline and cities, "ual phoenix chicago," and in seconds they text the flight info back to me. Works for flight numbers and airport codes, too.

                    What's esp. cool is that this isn't just for flights, there are dozens of other uses for 4info -- check out 4info.net for the whole menu.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Strategies for Holiday Travel

                      Originally posted by bonniejo
                      Jumping off what KimberlyB said, you can check flight statuses by sending a text message to 4info (44636).
                      That's pretty cool, bonniejo -- thanks for sharing! I checked out their site and was stunned to see that it's a 'free of charge' service. Of course, there's the text message fee (minimal) but even that's cheaper than using a service such as Verizon's 411.

                      --K

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                      • #12
                        Re: Strategies for Holiday Travel

                        I try not to travel during the holidays, or, at least not during peak periods now that the children are grown. I will not drive anywhere over the Thanksgiving weekend since a miserable experience many years ago when it took 8 1/2 hours to drive from Stamford, CT, to Washington, DC (normally 5 1/2 hours or so). The back up to pay at the end of the NJ Turnpike began when we got on in! That was the last time I went anywhere for Thanksgiving that was not local.

                        Christmas is easier because people do not all come and go at the same time. If you can arrange to return a few days after New Year's after the children are back in school, the prices on flights go down. In 2004, I had a home exchange in Rome, Italy, for Christmas. We timed the flights on both ends to advantage the prices in airfares and it worked.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Strategies for Holiday Travel

                          Re. parking tickets, remember that if you get one on your rental car and don't pay it, you'll end up with the cost of the ticket plus a hefty late charge on your credit card bill.

                          I am a big fan of using public transit to get to and from airports. It's cheap and it works. It just takes a little longer. Just type the name of the city and "airport" and/or "transit" into any search engine. I've used it at every big and medium size city airport I've ever flown into in the US and Canada. Also in Russia and India. Unfortunately, cheap public transit doesn't seem to exist at major western European airports. But even there, trains are always cheaper than shuttles, and shuttles are always cheaper than cabs.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Strategies for Holiday Travel

                            Originally posted by Up4Travel View Post
                            Years ago, I'd avoid traveling during the holidays because it was so stressful with small kids.

                            How do you cope? Do you plan holiday trips or is most of your travel during the season done because you have to go.....to grandma's, your MIL, Uncle Ernies, etc.

                            ??
                            I don't think that it's stressful to go on holiday with kids. Sometime they're very funny and create a lot of interesting game. You don't have to cope with. Let it be then everything will be ok

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                            • #15
                              Re: Strategies for Holiday Travel

                              I've never traveled farther than NYC (and I'm in Philadelphia) for the holidays, at least as far as I can remember. That was last year for newyears. We had to be in the area to cat sit for my sister =P Still, it was quite cozy. Just my boyfriend and I in my sisters loft in Brooklyn. We ordered indian food and drank champagne. Lovely.

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