It's the most wonderful time of the year, unless you're traveling. Here's a guide to help you survive.

I LOVE traveling. Every time I hear an airplane overhead, I wish I were on it heading out for adventure to some exotic destination far away from my work-a-day world. Sometimes, especially around the holidays, leisure travel is far less than leisurely. Here are my top five ways to survive.

Leave Plenty of Time

I remember Glen and I were discussing leaving for our honeymoon. The flight was at zero dark hundred because we were going to spend literally all day flying so we had to get to the airport, navigate the construction, find a parking space that wasn't going to charge us an arm and a leg and check in with the airline and that was all before we got in the slower than molasses in January security lines. If you're flying domestically, typical guidelines say to allow 90 minutes before boarding. International travel guidelines suggest 120 minutes. For holiday travel, allow even more time because there are a lot of people traveling this time of the year, and there are many passengers who aren't frequent travelers and aren't familiar with air travel policies and procedures. Also, allow plenty of time to make your connecting flight if you can't fly non stop. The Gate Guru App from Trip Advisor can be a huge help, too. It has airport maps, wait times plus food, shopping and passenger services. GateGuru is free for iPhone and Android devices.

Beat Boredom

Most people I know think that travel is very boring. At least the getting there part. Long flights and waiting at the gate can be very boring. We pack our phones, tablets, laptops and DVD players to keep us from going stir crazy, and our kids quiet, but what happens when the batteries die and the charger is in our checked bag? Have a backup plan. We always had fun old school card games like Uno, Crazy 8s, Old Maid or Skip Bo for rainy days. For little ones, coloring books, activity books, scratch paper and crayons can also work.

Getting Sick

Not just air sick or motion sick. I'm talking about full blown coughing, sneezing, fever, I just want to stay in bed and die sick; or worse; the stomach flu or food poisoning. None of these make for a pleasant experience for anyone. One way I try and prevent getting sick is to ingest plenty of fluids, take vitamins, get plenty of rest and eat properly. Sometimes when we're on vacation, we don't stick with our routines. We sleep too little, drink too much, and eat poorly. It's a recipe for nothing good. When you're making your list and checking it twice, make sure you include your multivitmains and a pack of Emergen C, Airborne and your neti pot. Glen laughs, but I'm one of those "Whatever it takes because I hate getting sick" types of people.