Reduce Stress with Holiday Travel Tips from the Better Business Bureau

December 13, 2013

CHICAGO,IL – December 10, 2013 – The holidays are a time for cheer but can also be atime for stress due to hectic travel plans. For those planning to travel, stayingsafe must be a top priority and theBetter Business Bureau (BBB) recommends taking a few extra precautions whenhitting the road or airport this holiday season.

“Nothingtakes the joy out of the holiday season more than travel plans that go awry,”said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau servingChicago and Northern Illinois. “Planning ahead helps to ensure safe and stress-freetravel.”

TheBBB recommends taking the following steps for travel this season:

Tips for the Road:

Create a car safetykit.Holiday driving often includes the threat of dangerous winter weather. Snow andice can lead to accidents, car troubles, long delays and road closures. You canprepare for bad weather by creating your own safety kit. Basics for the kitinclude a blanket, flares, flashlight with extra batteries, radio, first aidkit, cell phone with an extra charged battery and charger, jumper cables,non-perishable foods like granola bars and nuts, bottled water, an ice scraperand warm gloves.

Take the car in fora checkup. Breakingdown on the side of the road can definitely put a damper on the holiday spirit.If your car is due for a check up, take it in before making that long haul. Atthe very least, check the car’s fluid levels, wipers and tire pressure. Check thecondition of your tires and if you plan on driving through serious winterweather, consider getting snow tires. For a listing of dealers and mechanicsyou can trust, visit

Drop thedistractions.When you’re behind the wheel, don’t text and drive; if you must talk on yourphone, use a hands free headset and put someone else in charge of the GPS.

Start early andslow down.The best way to fight holiday travel stress is to allow extra time. Theincreased number of travelers means longer lines through security check in andmore cars on the road.

Tips for the Air:

Make sure you areorganized.Plane travel can get overwhelming, especially when traveling with the family.Make sure you have all the necessary documents including plane tickets,identification and itineraries. Having everything easily accessible makescheck-in much easier.

Look into therequirements of your airline. Different airlines have different ways ofhandling luggage, and many charge extra to check a bag. Look ahead so you donot get stuck with extra, unwanted fees. Also, airport security has strictrules about carrying liquid in carry-on bags. Check in advance to avoidproblems through security check points.   

Plan ahead forairport parking.Before heading to the airport make sure to look into parking rates at theairport garage. If you are traveling for an extended time, it may be more costeffective to find alternative transportation to the airport. Some taxicompanies’ offer fixed rates to and from the airport. There are also shuttlesthat offer daily schedules for airport drop off. Looking into these alternativeroutes may be a great way to save some cash.

Formore advice on staying safe over the holidays, visit


As a private, non-profit organization, the purposeof the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs helpresolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation andarbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices andcharitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reviews on businesses andnonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charitybefore making a purchase or donation.