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Nov/Dec 2013 Issue

Don’t stress about holiday travel

If you’re going to be traveling over the holidays, here are 12 tips to take along that will help to make your time in the air or on the road less stressful.

Last year, AAA estimated that 5.6 million people traveled by air during the year-end (Dec. 22, 2012, through Jan. 2, 2013) holiday period. If you’re flying this holiday period, remember to:

  1. Arrive early at the airport for departure. Two hours ahead of your flight generally is a good guideline.
  2. Check in online with your airline at least 24 hours in advance to obtain a boarding pass.
  3. Confirm your flight’s departure prior to leaving for the airport.
  4. Give your relatives or friends your flight itinerary so they can check on your flight’s arrival time.
  5. Eat well and drink plenty of water while traveling. Airport Web sites usually list the facility’s amenities, such as restaurants.
  6. Exercise or stretch while waiting for your flight. This is especially helpful during long layovers.

    If you’re traveling by car–and last year, 84.4 million of you did, according to AAA–be sure to:

  7. Pack your AAA membership card. You’ll need it for emergency road service, hotel and restaurant discounts.
  8. Make time to schedule pre-trip vehicle maintenance that includes checking belts, hoses, tires, fluids, and battery.
  9. Stop by your AAA full-service office for TripTiks®, maps, and TourBooks®.
  10. Make hotel reservations well in advance if you’re not staying with friends or family.
  11. Leave during off-peak travel times if possible, and remember to allow for weather conditions unfavorable for travel. This can help you ensure you’ll arrive in time for turkey dinner.
  12. Keep smiling! A positive attitude can work wonders as a stress buster.



Scotland wraps up homecoming

Next year promises to be memorable for those planning to travel to Scotland. The culmination of a four-year celebration of Scottish culture and history–Homecoming Scotland–will include an array of festivals, the Ryder Cup, and more.

From poetry to tartans, whisky to wine and food, there will be a festival for almost everyone to enjoy. In Edinburgh, for example, the Beltane Fire festival is a revival of a pageant marking the beginning of summer. It fuses drums, dancing, and fire.

The Scots-born naturalist and founder of America’s National Park System, Jon Juir, has a festival in April, as well as a new trail named after him that stretches from Dunbar in the east to Helensburgh in the west.

Others with Scottish heritage can research their family tartan during the Tartan Festival in July.

For more information about Scotland’s homecoming, visit, click on To plan a visit of your own to Scotland next year, contact your nearest AAA Travel agent. Find an travel office in your area.

Visit Britain photo

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