The nature of locum tenens makes frequent fliers of us all, but sometimes the holidays have a way of making travel less than joyful. Stick to these tips and you just might stay sane.
1. Get a few extra workouts in before you travel. It can help you adjust to being sedentary on the long flights. It can also boost your immune system, help with circulation and aid digestion, but you knew that.
2. Give yourself plenty of time. You probably know this, too, but the holiday season means more people. Allow for traffic jams and slow-moving security lines as you plan the prerequisite two hours before boarding time.
3. Taking kids? Prepare them for potential pat downs at security, especially if they haven’t traveled before. On the same token, reassure them that you’ll be okay if you’re pulled aside for a pat down yourself.
4. Keep extra essential medication in your carry-on. More people at the airports and the likelihood for delayed or lost luggage are directly related!
5. Know the 3-1-1 liquids rule? If not, here it is straight from the horse's (TSA's) mouth: "Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces or less per container; must be in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin." Oh, and keep in mind, this rule applies to gifts, too. Jams, jellies, sauces, syrups...yep, they’re all subject.
6. Take some snacks and water. There’s nothing worse than being cranky at an airport because you’re hungry or dehydrated. Or worse, having cranky-hungry-dehydrated kids.
7. Be wise about what you take with you. Although gifts and bulkier winter clothes are a must during the season, you'll avoid pricey baggage fees if you take time to ship the big gift, or if you leave behind the big coat. Plus, lugging heavy jackets and bags through crowds might make you less jolly.
8. Last but not least, always be courteous to airline workers and fellow travelers. You don’t have to kill them with kindness, but don’t be the bad-tempered traveler either.
Remember, some of the best holiday stories often come from the worst holiday experiences. The extremely chummy (AKA talkative) person next to you on the plane; the sprint to a missed connection; the gift you wrapped beautifully only to have security tear into. They all make for great stories, but hey, that’s what holiday traditions are all about, right?