Holiday Travel: Are you a Neal Page or a Del Griffith?

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AAA Texas has predicted that during the holiday travel period, close to 9.1 million Texans will be driving, flying, or taking a train somewhere for family fun or festivities. This travel forecast of a different sort was offered on Thursday, December 13, and it raises the question – what type of traveler are you? Take a page (pun intended) from John Hughes’ “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.” Are you a Neal Page or a Del Griffith?

Estimated to rise by 4.3 percentage points from this time last year, it was noted that those making plans for holiday travel are doing so between Saturday, December 22, 2018, and Tuesday, January 1, 2019. They’ll be booking air, hotels, and train tickets, trying to secure great rates and possibly coordinating multiple types of travel (rental cars, shuttles, cabs, or even bus trips). If you’re a Neal Page, you like everything orderly, will shop around for deals diligently, and ensure you have all of your confirmations, tickets, and discounts appropriately accounted for. If you’re a Del Griffith, you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants traveler. You go with the flow, click “buy now” without wasting valuable time shopping around, and if there’s a hitch in your plans, you look for a workaround. Neither one is wrong, and neither will get you an improved holiday travel experience. However, both will have their benefits for coping with the stress that mounts at this time of year.

Holiday Travel: Are you a Neal Page or a Del Griffith?

Photo: Facebook/Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Across the nation, AAA has projected that 112.5 million people will make arrangements for holiday travel in 2018. This too is an increase of a similar nature to the Texas statistics. It may speak to the length of the holidays (last year’s holidays were a day shorter), or it may be because last year’s Christmas and New Year’s Day fell on Mondays and we’re having to accommodate for that. However, it may also be an indication that our economy can support the change, and many more people are able to be mobile for the holidays as opposed to staying put. Whatever the reason for the increase, as a willing participant in holiday travel, you’ll be in considerable company.

That being said, prepare thyself for travel stress. A Neal Page will probably have a travel pillow for the airplane, a de-stressing app on his phone, and perhaps a Xanax for the anxiety of it all (provided they aren’t driving). A Del Griffith might get in on a card game with fellow passengers waiting for a flight, change travel plans when/if he gets bumped, and take the edge off with a drink in the closest liquid lounge. Whichever you happen to relate to, holiday travel stress can suck the fun out of your Christmas and New Year’s experience. Don’t let the possibility of a glitch turn you into a Grinch (sorry, wrong movie!).