With Christmas and New Years quickly approaching, many mid-Missourians are loading up the family vehicle to travel to see friends and family that don’t live in the Callaway or Boone County areas. For us at The Callaway Bank, the car ride can sometimes seem like a hassle that stands between us and the celebration. This year, we decided to focus on enjoyable and affordable travels – and compiled a couple tips to help you do the same.

Schedule your trip as far in advance as possible

Having the time to plan will help you feel more prepared. You’ll have more time to remember to hold the mail (https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/) or ask a neighbor to pick it up, and to clean out the fridge.

Pack snacks and meals

Eating during your travels can be expensive. While you are scheduling and preparing for the trip, remember to plan around where you will be stopping to eat. There are multiple rest areas across every state where you can stop for a quick break and a fast meal. Just pack up a cooler with sandwich makings and bring bread for an extraordinarily inexpensive break in travel. It even gives the kids a chance to stretch out their legs. Missouri has all its rest areas and welcome centers mapped out for your travel plans: https://www.modot.org/missouri-rest-area-guide

Avoid heavy travel days

With Christmas falling on a Saturday this year, try to avoid the heavy travel days such as Thursday and Friday (if possible). Sitting in traffic wastes gasoline, and there is the added danger of having so many more drivers on the road. Some of the worst traffic we come across is while driving through St. Louis, but now it’s easy to check what traffic is like before you leave, thanks to http://www.gatewayguide.com/

Map out an itinerary

Know where you need to stop for gas, and plan the stops strategically. If you have children that still take naps, plan to drive through the entire nap. This will allow them to continue sleeping and give you some quiet time. Don’t forget to build in a little extra time for unexpected stops, especially when traveling with little ones.

If you aren’t driving this holiday season, and flying instead, the Columbia Regional Airport has travel tips for you to read before jumping on the flight. http://www.flymidmo.com/documents/holidaytraveltips2010.pdf


Hopefully, these tips help us all enjoy the time spent traveling. If you’re back in the area for New Years Eve, don’t forget about First Night Columbia 2011. It’s an alcohol-free celebration of the New Year in The District with performances and entertainment suitable for the whole family.

What are your plans this season? Do you have any travel tips that save your sanity?