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The holidays are the busiest time of the year, and you don’t want anything to ruin the spirit. Although mishaps are unavoidable, you can check out these travel tips below to make the most of your holiday travel.

1. Be Prepared

Accept that the holiday season will be hectic and unpredictable. Know that there will be lines and delays. Expect the worst, and be surprised at the good. The holidays are always crazy, but if you get yourself ready for them, you’ll be prepared to handle whatever comes your way.

2. Avoid Peak Travel Days

This isn’t always a possibility, but if you can, research peak travel days for your holiday vacation and try to avoid them. Maybe leave a day or two early, or even a day late, if it will help you avoid the headache.

3. Get an Early Start

There’s no better way to prepare yourself for the holidays than to get started early. Wake up an extra hour or two early, leave for your trip with a lot of time to spare. The holidays are unpredictable, so it’s good to give yourself the extra breathing room.

4. Research Holiday Sales

Make sure you know what holiday sales are coming up. For the holidays best sales occur in mid-December, and that’s when you can snag the best bargains. Make note of all the holiday discounts coming up so you can put a little less pressure on your bank account. And, consider for the following year, buying your gifts whenever you see a good sale all year round. Store them in your “Holiday Drawer” so you won’t feel rushed come next December!

5. Packing Gifts

Do your best not to travel with gifts. You run the risk of losing or damaging them. Try giving gift cards or certificates instead if you have to travel with presents, that way it can take up less room. If you can, send your presents ahead of time so you don’t have to keep track of them!

6. Travel Light

It can be a bit hard with all that winter holiday gear. If you can use a carry on, do it. The less you have to bring with you, the less stressed you’ll be.

7. Avoid Getting “Hangry”

Pack food, water, and any other goodies that will keep your tummy from rumbling during inevitable holiday delays. Hunger can be the cherry on top of a stressful sundae, so make sure you take care of yourself by storing snacks somewhere in case you find yourself needing to eat.

8. Get your Phone Ready

Make sure your phone is charged and if you can, pack an extra portable charger. Download all necessary itineraries and apps.

9. Be Kind

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, and that’s no exception over the holidays. You aren’t the only person who’s stressed- think of the people who have to actually WORK over the holiday season. Extend some kindness to everyone and you’ll get it in return. After all, that is the spirit of the season!

10. Pick Memories Over Money

Create unforgettable holiday memories and try not to think about the presents. Getting gifts is nice, but what will you remember years from now—what you got, or who you got to spend time with?

11. Relax!

The best way to distress is to turn the volume down. Pack a good set of earplugs to give yourself a mental escape from the loud hectic holiday crowd. Top it off with a warm set of earmuffs to keep the silence surrounded by something warm and cozy!