Here are some sensible travel tips for you…

While many people choose to stay in—or close to—their Tampa FL home during this busy season, a large number of folks travel via plane, train, or car to celebrate with family and friends.  To maximize holiday travel happiness and minimize coal-in-the-stocking disappointment, follow these basic but helpful tips compiled by ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) as they reveal secrets that will help you and your family arrive at Grandma's house full of holiday cheer.

airplaneBefore leaving:

  • Packing light saves time and energy when it comes to filling the trunk with fragile bags packed with gifts or racing to fill the last empty space in the overhead bin.
  • Be sure to secure your Tampa FL house. Lock all doors and windows, and don't forget to set the alarm.
  • Also, give your home that lived-in look to repel potential burglars by having a friend collect your mail, setting lights on timers, and omitting details of your trip on the answering machine.

Air travel:

  • If possible, have a friend drive you to the airport, or take a shuttle or public transportation.
  • Take the worry of getting to the airport completely out of the equation by staying at an airport hotel the night before an early flight.
  • As flights are sometimes overbooked during the holidays, it's critical to check in early. Domestic travelers should arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to departure, while international travelers should arrive at least three hours in advance.
  • Remember that delays can occur. Bring water and snacks, an inflatable pillow, a good book, your favorite CDs, MP3 player, and a deck of cards to help pass the idle time.

Car travel:

  • Before you leave your Tampa FL home, have a qualified mechanic check all the car's vitals: brakes, battery, fluid levels, tire pressure, light bulbs and any parts that need regular maintenance.
  • Bring emergency equipment, such as a first-aid kit, flashlight, blankets, drinking water and snacks, along with flares and jumper cables.
  • Don't leave valuables in your car. Pack all items, especially brightly wrapped packages, in the trunk. If you’re afraid of squashed bows, wait until you arrive to wrap the gifts.
  • If you're travelling with children, get everyone involved by singing or reminiscing about favorite past holidays. The ride will be over before you know it, and you may actually look forward to the drive back home.

Whatever your mode of travel, make sure you take along a large supply of holiday cheer!

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