Family | Travel | Did You Know

3 Tips for Smart and Safe Traveling During the Holidays

With the holidays just around the corner, more and more people are starting to travel. Whether you're traveling to the 596 square miles of Oahu in Hawaii for a relaxing getaway or to your hometown to be with family, traveling during the holidays can be stressful, to say the least. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make holiday travel a little easier.

First off, it's important to shop around for the best deals possible. While it may be tempting to book the first flight you find, you can save a ton of money by looking at all of your options for traveling. So if you're one of the seven in 10 Americans who have a credit card, don't put hundreds of dollars on your card before you explore all of your travel options. If you don't have a specific day you need to leave or come home, expanding your search to multiple days can help you easily compare prices and flight times. If possible avoid traveling on popular days, like the weekend before Christmas. Being flexible with your traveling options can help you save money on an already expensive trip.

If you're traveling somewhere only a few hours away, you may want to consider driving instead of flying. Taking a road trip can not only be a fun experience for the family, but it can also take a lot of the stress away that comes with flying. You can pack as much luggage as needed, you can leave whenever you want, and you can save hundreds of dollars by not having to pay for flights. But if you are driving, make sure you're fully prepared for the trip. Getting your vehicle inspected can be a good idea, especially with 77% of vehicles on the road needing repairs or maintenance. So make sure your car is in good shape, always have alternate routes planned in case of traffic or roadwork, and leave with extra time so you can get where you're going in time.

And lastly, you should be prepared for the unexpected. If you're flying, you should give yourself plenty of time to get through security and you should know how much time you have between connecting flights. Bringing snacks and drinks that are allowed on the plane can help keep kids satisfied and save you a few bucks. And if you're driving, make sure to have a roadside safety kit in the car. This is especially important if you're traveling in snowy weather. You should bring tire chains and kitty litter for super snowy weather and always have an emergency kit. You should travel with a flashlight, water bottles, blankets, and a first aid kit. With about three million patients visit urgent care centers every week, you never know when someone is going to get sick or hurt. While it's impossible to be prepared for everything, taking a few extra precautionary steps can make a big difference if something does go wrong.

Traveling during the holidays is rarely easy -- from missed or canceled flights to heavy traffic to losing luggage, there are a lot of things that can go wrong when traveling. But it's important to remember why you're traveling. Spending time with family and friends is one of the best parts about the holiday season so all of the hassles you have to go through to reach your destination will be worth it. So keep these tips in mind, and remember to take deep, calming breaths, and you'll hopefully have a pleasant traveling experience this holiday season.

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies. emma@shared.com