Long lines, airport delays, roadways crowded with impatient drivers … tis the season for holiday travel! We’re all anxious to get home for the holidays (or maybe someplace more exotic!) so we can re-connect, relax and rejuvenate. However, sometimes the stress of traveling makes us question if it’s all worthwhile. It is! Below are some tips for holiday travel that may help make the journey a little easier.

Be Flexible

If you’re traveling around Christmas or New Year’s, check the dates on which they fall. Try to avoid the days that will make for an extended work break. Everyone wants to take a long holiday, so it’s going to be busy at the airport. If you can be flexible in your travel days, you’ll have better luck maintaining your sanity.

Don’t Delay

Try for the earliest flight of the day. Lines are shorter and flights tend to be on time at the beginning of the day. If delays pop up, you have a better chance of getting on a different flight later in the day.

There’s An App For That

There are tons of apps designed to make your life simpler while traveling. GateGuru will let you know approximately how long security lines are. Skyscanner will help you find the cheapest dates to fly and alert you when prices change. If you’re driving, GasBuddy will help you find the cheapest gas on your route. There are so many great options to ease the stress of travel right on your phone.

Pack Lightly

Don’t be a Del Griffith and drag a trunk on your trip. Whether traveling by plane, train or automobile, pack lightly. Avoid checking bags if you can (eliminating the risk of a lost bag) or pack a carry-on with essentials like medication, change of clothes and important documents.

If traveling with children, pack a bag with hand-held games, small toys, snacks and books. This busy bag may be the difference between angelic behavior and a Frosty-sized meltdown!

Breathe S-L-O-W-L-Y

No matter how well you prepare for your holiday travel, you’ll probably have a few glitches along the way. The kids will tantrum, other drivers will irritate you, long lines and loud crowds will try your patience. Take a deep breath, invest in some good ear plugs, and try to enjoy the ride! The destination is always worth it!