We’ve all been through that holiday experience which left us more drained and irritable than when we set out.

Already frazzled nerves really take a beating when we try to combat last minute fare hikes, flight delays and unforeseen hurdles that pop-up to spoil our travel plans. The following tips will help you avoid these hurdles and enjoy the hassle-free holiday you’ve been dreaming of.

Plan ahead for next year’s holiday. Once you’re clear about when and where you want to go, you’ll be able to tie up everything in a much more organized fashion. Getting leave approval from the office, reservations for transport and accommodation and tallying up expenses are all time-consuming tasks, so get started way ahead of your travel date. Also, bargain offers on tickets and hotel reservations are much better if you book early.

Before you leave, allow yourself extra time. You can think much more clearly if you’re all packed up the night before and have those extra minutes to locate keys, see that home security measures are in place and appliances and faucets are turned off. Put down a checklist on paper to tick off, so that you don’t get a panic attack halfway to the airport, wondering if you left the boiler on.

Always have a backup plan. Remember that in holiday season especially, security and baggage check-ins take longer. Check flight departures and have alternatives in-mind in case you’re running short of time, like taking a different route or a different mode of transport to get to the airport.

Carry smaller, lighter hand baggage. It will make the treks in busy airports much easier. Plan for changes in temperature and keep a jacket in your hand luggage. Airport lounges and planes, or your destination city may be cooler and you’ll be more efficient when you’re not freezing.

Accept a bad situation and plan your next step. Bad weather, overcrowded airports, flight delays are part of holiday travel. You can’t control situations but you can control your reactions. Staying calm will help you find better solutions.

Hold on to good humour; the plight you’re in will likely make a funny holiday story in retrospect. Now that you’re in it, might as well have fun with it!