Navigating Holiday Travel: Tips for a Successful Journey

Navigating Holiday Travel: Tips for a Successful Journey

The holiday season is fast approaching, and with it comes the exciting anticipation of reconnecting with friends and loved ones—but you have to get there first.

Still, the journey to your destination can sometimes get marred by unforeseen hurdles, delays, and, of course, plenty of stress. That said, a lot of these things can be avoided by just a little bit of strategizing. Here are some tips on how to set the stage for a smoother, less stressful holiday traveling experience, regardless of your method of travel.

Plan Ahead


Prior to embarking on your road trip, research and jot down not just alternative routes (in case of things like inclement weather, traffic backups, etc.) but also some scenic driving routes to enhance the travel experience and offer a break from the mundane you can often encounter on some highways and interstates. It’s also a good idea to strategically plan your stops for meals and other breaks, taking into account areas with potential traffic congestion depending on the time of day.

Oh, and always keep a vigilant eye on the weather forecast and consider using apps like Waze to stay informed about real-time road conditions and traffic to ensure a more seamless drive from start to finish (but please don’t mess with your phone while driving).


For those soaring the skies, check any flight restrictions beforehand and familiarize yourself with the airline's baggage policies well in advance. Nobody wants to be surprised with such things when they’re already at the airport. Not an ideal start to the trip.

Pack Light (If Flying)

One more tip for flying: If possible, opt for a minimalist packing approach. This allows you to navigate airports with ease, skipping the long waits at baggage carousels and negating the fear of one of the most undesirable things that can happen on a trip: missing luggage. It may not be possible to cram everything into your carry-on, but it’s certainly worth a shot.

Remember Your Travel Essentials

Whether you’re flying or driving, don’t overlook packing things like a portable charger, extra charging cords, cases, headphones, and earplugs. Sure, you can always grab most of these at an airport store or kiosk, but expect to pay way more than you normally would (and oftentimes with a minimal selection). Depending where you are in the world, it's probably chilly in your final destination (unless you're going to somewhere tropical; in which case, we are envious of you) so be sure to stock up on our cozy accessories that pack up super small.

If you’re driving, don’t leave without an emergency roadside kit, flat tire repair products, and a portable car battery jumper. It’s probably a good idea to throw in some bottles of water, snacks, and a few blankets as well—especially if your travels are likely to take you through cold temps or inclement weather. If that’s the case, don’t forget the de-icer and a windshield scraper, just in case.

Ship Your Gifts (or Consider Taking the Gift Card Route)

Here’s a thought: Lighten your load a bit by shipping gifts directly to your holiday destination instead of bringing them with you. Allbirds offers discrete logo-free packaging so you can send our shoes to your final destination without ruining the surprise.

This convenient alternative not only saves you from lugging around extra baggage but may even prove to be a cost-effective strategy, avoiding additional baggage fees and reducing the risk of damage to your gifts as your bags run the baggage handler gauntlet from airport to airport. And if the idea of shipping everything isn’t doing it for you, consider buying everyone gift cards instead. Allbirds offers digital gift cards or physical cards in stores (but keep them in your carry-on if you can’t buy them at your destination city).

These approaches are also useful if you’re driving and running low on space in your vehicle, whether that’s due to multiple passengers or someone inevitably packing too much. (Hey, it happens.)

Avoid Peak Travel Days, If Possible

Evade the bustling travel rush by opting for off-peak travel days and times. Early-morning or late-night travels are your best bet for a peaceful journey. And please, if at all possible, steer clear of the day before Thanksgiving or the Friday before Christmas to enjoy a more relaxed and hassle-free travel experience. Veteran holiday travelers know.

Keep Your Schedule Flexible

A flexible schedule is a boon in navigating unexpected delays and last-minute changes. And considering the last few years, “unexpected” may no longer be applicable at this point.

So, allow yourself ample time for each segment of your travel. This buffer is crucial in ensuring that even with delays, your holiday spirit remains undamped, even if a cancellation is thrown your way. Look at it as a way to catch up on that show (let’s be honest, shows) everyone keeps telling you to watch. You know the saying: a travel buffer day keeps the negative vibes away.*

*(This is not an actual saying, at least that we’re aware of).

Stay Comfortable

It’s okay; live a little—prioritize your comfort any time you travel. Opt for stylish yet cozy travel attire that provides plenty of the former but not at the latter's expense.

Allbirds offers a range of comfortable and fashionable footwear perfect for travel, like the Tree Runners for active exploration, Tree Pipers for a classic look, the Tree Dasher Relay for sporty comfort, Wool Loungers for relaxed outings, Tree Skippers for easy on-and-off, and more. Regardless of your destination or style preference, these shoes will offer unrelenting comfort whether you are behind the wheel for hours or navigating airport terminals between connections.

Looking for cozy socks to get you through your flight or long drive? We’ve combined our superfine merino wool and eucalyptus fiber in these Trino cozy crew socks, which are soft and breathable under any shoe choice.

By keeping these pointers in mind, you can make sure your holiday travel is not only stress-free and smooth but also, dare we say it, enjoyable. So, by all means, set the tone for a wonderful holiday season with a delightful travel experience, ensuring you arrive at your destination on time, relaxed, comfortable, and ready to revel in the festivities with your friends and loved ones.

Safe travels and happy holidays from Allbirds!

Back to blog