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5 Essential Tips for Traveling During the Holidays

5 Essential Tips for Traveling During the Holidays

There are many different holidays throughout the year when friends and family travel to gather together and spend time with one another. However, a large majority of that holiday travel comes at the end of the year when people travel for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, and more.

In fact, the end of the year is such a busy time for traveling that over 110 million people travel between December 23rd and January 1st. On top of that, over 50 million people travel each year for Thanksgiving. While it’s nice that there are so many people who want to spend time with their loved ones, it can lead to some major problems if you are also traveling. In this article, we’ll share 5 essential holiday travel tips.

Things To Keep In Mind When Traveling During the Holidays

  • Drive if You Can – Many people prefer flying to driving due to its speed, ease, and the fact that you don’t have to worry about paying attention since someone else is in control. While flying as a passenger is easy, dealing with airports isn’t always quite as painless. The popularity of flying means that thousands of other people will also be doing it, which can lead to major headaches. If you can, skip the airports altogether and drive to your destination. This also gives you the flexibility of having your own transportation while there and being able to leave whenever you want.
  • Book Your Trip Early – Whether you are planning to drive or fly to your destination, it’s crucial that you book your trip as early as possible. This will ensure that you secure a plane ticket and also save money before ticket prices rise closer to your departure date. If you are driving for over a day, you’ll also want to ensure you have your hotels booked since there will be millions of other drivers on the road at the same time. Booking early will give you peace of mind and help avoid having to scramble at the last minute.
  • Use Your Perks – Traveling during the holidays can’t only be physically and mentally exhausting, but it can also be draining on your bank account. Whether you fly or drive, traveling is expensive, especially if you do so for multiple holidays at the end of the year. In order to save some of your hard-earned cash, be sure to use your perks to your advantage when traveling. This could be booking your flights with points, using free night rewards at hotels, upgrading your plane seats, avoiding airport crowds by relaxing in an airport lounge, or beating the security lines by signing up for TSA PreCheck ahead of time.
  • Read the Rules and Policies Carefully – Whether you are booking flights or hotel reservations, make sure you read the rules and policies carefully. Cancellation policies are especially important to pay attention to so you know what your options are in case something changes. It’s also a good idea to closely examine baggage rules and limits for airlines if you are flying, as they have recently been cracking down on the number and size of bags that passengers are traveling with. For many airlines, even wearing a fanny pack will be counted as an additional carry-on if you can’t find a way to fit it in one of your other bags.
  • Take Safety Precautions – While many parts of the world have essentially returned to normal, COVID-19 is still a threat, and so are other illnesses. With so many people traveling during the holidays, you’ll want to make sure to take the necessary safety precautions to ensure that you stay safe and healthy. This means making sure you are up-to-date on all your vaccinations, washing your hands often, attempting to stay socially distanced, and wearing a mask if you want to.

On top of health precautions, you should also prioritize your overall safety. Keep loved ones up to date by texting or calling them during your travels. Try to avoid any situations where you are alone, especially late at night. If you require any specific medication, make sure you have enough for your whole trip so you don’t run out, and consider bringing extra in case there are unexpected changes in plans or timing. Finally, make a plan for what to do in case an emergency does arise while traveling.


Thompson-Markward Hall’s Impact

Thompson-Markward Hall (TMH) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the academic and professional success of young women. Located in the heart of Washington, DC, TMH offers safe, affordable, and convenient housing for women working, attending school, or interning in our nation’s capital. Included in the room and board rates are utilities, free high-speed Wi-Fi, breakfast and dinner, and a diverse, welcoming community.

In addition to offering a wonderful place to call home in DC, we provide useful information to residents and prospective applicants as a resource to help them become familiar with DC and be successful in all of their endeavors. Whether you’re currently looking for a place to stay in DC, planning for a potential future here, or simply looking to learn more about the DC area, TMH is here to help!

Learn more about our accommodations or to submit an application today to start enjoying all of the benefits of living at TMH! You can also make a donation to support the crucial work we do!

Resident Resources

Room and board is due on the first of every month. TMH does not issue payment notices. A $20.00 late fee is charged everyday beginning at 9:00 pm on the 5th day of the month until the room and board payment is received. If you are unable to make your monthly payment for any reason, please speak to management immediately.

Room and board includes the first day of the month until the morning of the last day of the month or until the morning of the day of check-out, whichever day comes first.

In the event that a resident does not stay the entire month, rent will be prorated within the same month. To view the pro-rated fee schedule and a list of other fees—click here: TMH Pro-Rated Fee Schedule 6-1-2022


Each resident is asked to abide by the TMH House Rules and Regulations stipulated here: House Rules and ProceduresRule-packet-Emergency-Procedures-Updated-12-2019. Please read this document to become familiar with TMH policies and procedures such as guest policies, meal times, smoking areas, printer and copier use, Internet and telephone use, damage charges, and much more.

Monday-Friday hours / breakfast 7:00am-9:30am dinner 5:45pm – 8:00pm sat hours / breakfast 8:00 – 11:00am sun hours / brunch 8:00 – 11:00am dinner 5:00pm-7:00pm

Weekly Menu

Commuting: Metro stops within walking distance are Union Station, Capitol South, and Eastern Market. Refillable SMARTRIP cards are available for purchase at all metro stops. For more information on public transportation visit WMATA.

Parking: TMH does not offer parking and street parking is limited. Most areas offer 2 hour parking from 7:00am-8:30pm and unlimited overnight parking without a permit. However, if you do not have a Residential Parking Permit and your car is seen in the area repeatedly within a 30-day period you may be ticketed for not obtaining proper tags.

Union Station is the nearest public parking garage. There is generally a wait list for obtaining a parking space. Click here to visit their website to obtain up-to-date information.

Temporary Parking Permits: DC offers Reciprocity Parking Permits in special situations. Click here to see if you qualify. If you meet the requirements, you can obtain a Proof of Residency form from the front office.

Registering Your Vehicle in DC: If you do not meet the requirements for a temporary parking permit, you may choose to register your vehicle in DC. Click here for specific instructions.

Other Transportation Information:

  • Voting: To become a registered voter in the DC area, visit the Board of Elections & Ethics. Please note that you must unregister from your current voting state in order to register as a voter in DC.
  • DC One Card: DC has a new initiative to incorporate multiple cards into one all-inclusive card. The DCOne Card is a library card, Metro card, and can grant access to Public Parks programs. Click here to register or get more information.
  • DC Plastic Bag Policy: Washington DC’s Skip the Bag, Save the River Initiative requires a $0.05 fee per bag from businesses selling food and alcohol. Be sure to take reusable bags with you to the grocery store to avoid the fee.
  • DC Emergency Alerts: The DC Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Response has an alert system to notify residents of severe weather, police activity, road closures, and school and government closings. Notifications can be received via email or text message and can be specified to neighborhoods or work areas. For text alerts sign up here.
  • DC Metropolitan Police Resources: DC Metro PD offers several resources as well as an anonymous tip line for security concerns. You can find the tip line number as well as other important emergency phone numbers here.