By Adam Ewart
Travelling abroad or within the UK at Christmas time can be an exciting prospect, especially if it is to visit or spend time with loved ones. However, travel at any time of the year can be stressful and involves a great deal of organisation, so at Christmas, the anxiety levels can certainly be higher and more planning, and patience, will be required!
The thought of relaxing in front of an open fire with a tin of Quality Street and maybe a nice drop of port, or even lounging on a beach, is certainly one that can motivate even the most disorganised of people to manage Christmas travel effectively. But fear not, extra help is at hand with some of the latest services to ease the process.
· Pre-book any travel to and from the airport/ferry port if travelling abroad now. This may sound obvious, but calling round at the last minute to get a cab, at such a busy time of year with people going on Christmas lunches and parties, can be a recipe for disaster. Make sure you plan plenty of time for the journey and start the vacation as relaxed you want the rest of the week to be.
· We’ve all had the last minute passport drama, running around like a headless chicken because it isn’t where you thought it was. However, Christmas can’t be postponed, so ensure you can find your passport with the new Passport Minder App, which allows you to keep track of this valuable travel document. You can enter your passport details, tag it and even take a photo of where you left it. The app also reminds you when your passport is due to expire – genius!
· If travelling abroad with gifts for relatives, ensure you have researched the fees to take extra baggage on board the plane. Airline excess or heavy baggage costs can soon rack up and be as expensive, if not more so, than the gift itself! Look into other ways to send Christmas gifts, such as getting them delivered directly from the retailer. If this isn’t possible, there are some shipping companies that allow you to send a bag cost effectively, in which you can include all your Christmas presents already wrapped in one easy-to-send package. This door-to-door option removes the hassle of carrying extra luggage or being cramped up in the car if you’re driving to your destination.
· If travelling within the UK, monitor weather forecasts and road works in the run up to your trip. Apps like Weatherbug include an interactive map which detects your location and gives real-time updates. Featuring photos and live cameras from certain locations, it’s bound to be the most accurate weather report you’ll get. To get the latest news on what’s happening on the roads, download the Highways Agency’s hands-free traffic app, available for IOS and Android.
Travelling at Christmas travel will always be popular as people naturally seek to visit friends and relatives or simply want to get away from it all and truly kick back and relax overseas. Don’t let the potential headache put you off; with the right planning, it can be a venture that is really worth it.
Adam Ewart is the founder of Send My Bag, a global courier service popular for student shipping and removals, as well as sending skis, snowboards and other luggage at an affordable cost. For more information on shipping to destinations across the world and to send Christmas gifts quickly and safely, please visit www.sendmybag.com.