Quick answers to resolve holiday travel stress

12/5/12 | 9:34:00 AM

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It’s easy to have a love-hate relationship with the holidays. On the one hand, it’s a joyous time of the year full of festivities and delicious baked goods. On the other hand, it’s stressful. For something like traveling which is already stressful on its own, traveling during the holidays can feel like twice the trouble.

One way to cut down on some of the stress before you head to the airport is to plan ahead. Let’s say this year you’re traveling to France for the holidays. Here are some quick answers that can make your planning faster and easier -- we recently redesigned these features to be richer and more interactive on mobile and tablet, and now you’ll see them on desktop as well, so you can plan ahead whether you’re at home or on the go:

  • Figure out your budget. Since luggage space is limited and you don’t want to pay an overage fee, you may want to buy your gifts when you land in France. Find the currency exchange rate ahead of time so you can figure out how much that $15 (USD) fruitcake actually costs in euros by searching [15 usd in euro] or [french currency].
  • Learn about French traditions. Friends who live in Paris have invited you to their reveillon dinner. Trouble is, you don’t know what that means. You can quickly find the answer by typing [define reveillon] in Google.
  • Plan your holiday Hangouts. Even though you’ll be oceans apart, you can still wish your family a happy holidays in person. Schedule a date for a Google+ Hangout, but don’t forget to factor in the time difference, which you can figure out by searching [time in france].
  • Track your flight before you leave the house. To avoid arriving at the airport only to find out your flight’s been delayed for hours, you can quickly check the flight status by typing the flight number like [united airlines 942] or [UA942], into the search box.

Other quick answers we’re updating on desktop over the next few weeks are finance, unit conversion, holiday and sunrise times, and weather. And, of course, you can also make your holidays easier to manage using things like our Flight Search feature to book your trip, Google+ to share your photos with family and friends, Google Docs to track your holiday spending, and more.

Happy holidays!