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Holiday Travel: Convenience or Budget? Why Not Both?

Photo by Bill Ward

Unlike many folks this Christmas, I’m staying put. I won’t be dealing with the stress of holiday travel. Fortunately, I’ve never had to experience traveling during the holidays. In years past, I’ve sat at home and watched on the news as travelers made their way around the country, sometimes getting stuck in airports because of winter storms or missed flights.

Now as a new father, I know my days of enjoying the comfort of my home during the Christmas break are soon to be forgotten. Next year, for example, we’ll be heading to N.Y. to visit my in-laws. To grandma and grandpa’s house we go!

When that time comes, I’ll have some adjusting to do. You see, I consider myself a budget traveler, willing to sacrifice a little convenience. I’m the kind of traveler who will cram a week’s worth of clothes into my carry-on, and then stuff the rest of it in every nook and cranny of my laptop bag, what I like to call my “personal item.” You’d be hard pressed to catch me paying for a checked bag, especially with the cost of checked bags nowadays.

As a new father of a growing family, however, I know my days of traveling light are numbered. As I begin to contemplate my future holiday travels, I can’t begin to imagine the complexity of traveling with kids. I can picture myself chasing kids all over the airport terminal. Suddenly, “convenience” is starting to look pretty good.

But wait a second. Can’t I get convenience on a budget? What’s a budget traveler like me to do? Well, fortunately, we are no longer at the mercy of the airlines’ checked baggage fees. We now have options, like luggage shipping at The UPS Store. Ship it as is, put your suitcase in a box, or try The UPS Store luggage box, named one of 8 luggage innovations by MSNBC.com.

Imagine that … shipping your luggage ahead so it’s waiting at your destination. What a convenient alternative to checking your bags with the airlines! Not only does it make your travel a little lighter and more enjoyable, but you’re also able to keep tabs on your luggage every step of the way via UPS tracking. So there’s no question where your stuff’s at.

Of course, shipping luggage may not be for everyone. For the die-hard budget traveler, it may cost less to check your bags than to ship them (depending on where you’re going and how heavy your luggage is). Or you may find an airline that doesn’t charge for checked baggage. But for those who are looking for a more relaxing, convenient travel experience (especially those frantic parents, which I’m sure I’ll be someday), The UPS Store can be your stress reliever this holiday.

Suddenly, traveling with a bunch of kids doesn’t seem all that bad. I only have two hands, and I think I’ll need them to wrangle up my kids. I will definitely be considering shipping my luggage ahead.

Category: Helpful Tips and Ideas
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