“It’s the most Wonderful time of the Year..”

12/15/2014 - 2:37:25 PM

“There’ll be parties for hosting marshmallows for toasting and caroling out in the snow.”

For some people Christmas is the most glorious time of the year, because of family, food, and the celebration of Christ’s birth into earth. For others it signals one of the most stressful seasons of the year because, oh, we have to travel, it might snow, it could ice, and here’s a news flash: everyone else is traveling too! This snarls holiday cheer and the roads and frustrations grow galore, so that whether we are taking road trips or flying somewhere sometimes the inevitable storm, or traffic jam, or accident, or plane de-icing happens and we sit there gnawing on our fingernails and glancing at our watch hoping beyond hope that we’ll be on the way soon, safely and on time.

Sound familiar? It does to me. To avoid some of these years being taken off our lives there are a few major travel tips that always help to de-stress traveling.

Take more time

This is probably the single most important thing you can do especially in air travel. Without knowing for sure what is going to happen you can pretty much count on some extra traffic, possible bad weather and parking issues. Most airports will offer real time updates on parking, and availability of flight status’ so make sure to use those resources.

If wondering how much time to give yourself, check google maps to see what traffic conditions are on your route and go from there. At the very least you might want to figure in at least ½ to 1 hour more time to get somewhere, especially if you will need to drive in a city.

Check the weather

This one goes for road travel. If you see you can avoid a storm by leaving a little bit earlier or later, do it. It’s not going to be worth creeping along in frustrating and potentially dangerous roads just to leave on schedule. If the storm is supposed to be worst at the time you were planning to leave, change up the schedule.

Practical Airlines Tip: Download their mobile app if you can, as alerts and flight status are easy-as-pie to read up on there, as well as any necessary flight changes that might come up.

 

Pack Light

Especially if you’re a woman this is a big one. As women we tend to overpack which will often lead to us spending more money on air travel for a bunch of things we probably won’t use. Even in cars it is best not to overload the car, and for plane travel you’ll save a lot if you can pack in a carry-on, or carry-on plus one checked bag.

Practical Tip #1: One way to take up less room in a suitcase is to wear whatever the bulkiest item is you’re planning to take. It’s winter so coats and boots are inevitable for colder destinations, but let’s be honest, how many of us actually wear the two coats and three pairs of boots we think we’ll need? Unless you have special events to attend you can probably get by with less than you think.

Practical Tip # 2: Accessorize. Take along scarfs, jewelry, hats, and maybe a pair of compact flats in addition to those boots. These items are what creates interest in a wardrobe anyway, and take up much less room.

Don’t try to carry on cranberry sauce.

This one seems obvious, but TSA spokespeople say that they encounter many people at this time of year who try to carry on all kinds of holiday food. The rule of thumb is that if you can spray it, pump it, spread it, smear it, spill it or pour it that would be defined as a no-no for carry ons. If your sister insists on having one of your special recipes at the holiday dinner consider shipping it on ahead, or making a road trip.

Practical Eating Tip#3: Do take some snackables along though. Whether it’s airport food or food along the road you can save a bundle of money by having something healthy and filling along like granola bars or nuts. For example, the recipe we have used (included below) costs about $0.70 per bar vs. the $2.50 bar at the health food store.

Orange Ginger Honey Nut Bars


Ingredients:

 

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving flaps on all four sides. 
  2. Roughly chop all the nuts (by hand or machine) to about 1/4 “ at largest. 
  3. Combine and stir all other ingredients except honey in a large bowl, and then pour in honey and stir with fork until everything is evenly coated. 
  4. Spread mixture in the baking dish you prepped, press it down to pack it in and reach all the corners evenly. (Tip: using coconut oiled hands works great)
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, remove to wire rack and use the parchment flaps to press the bars down to compact the rest of the way before they cool. 
  6. Cool for 30 minutes, lift bars out of pan by the parchment paper flaps and flip over onto another piece of parchment so the top is now the bottom. Reshape back into a square and press down a little if the nuts got a little out of place. Peel off the parchment paper and allow to cool completely. 
  7. Cut into (16) 2”x2” bars. Wrap individually for a quick snack and eat within the next week. 

Bakers Tip: We discovered that the bars can be a little crumbly if not kept in the cool, or in the freezer if you aren’t planning to use them soon. But since Christmas and traveling is right around the corner, well, what is the likelihood of that happening?

Also check into this awesome morning comfort food we’re featuring this week from zoomyyummy. We made it and give it two thumbs up! Be sure to top it with Sriracha or hot sauce or for non-spicy eaters ketchup or salsa tastes wonderful as well.



Stay safe out there!

“Behold every good and every perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights in whom there is no shadow of change or variableness…”

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