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We love time-and-stress-saving travel hacks! Here are 10 awesome travel hacks that will make your winter dude ranch vacation one to remember:

Bar W Guest Ranch sleigh ride

Sleigh rides at The Bar W Guest Ranch, Montana

We all want to get the most out of our precious vacations, especially over the holiday period and we want to make sure you have the winter ranch vacation of a lifetime. Just follow these hacks for a trauma-free trip!

1) If you’re booking a flight to get to your winter dude ranch the best prices for departures are usually found on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, returning Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Monday-to-Monday trips are usually good value. Basically flying during the week where you can, offers you the best deals.

2) Avoid the dreaded jet-lag by getting plenty of exercise the day before you’re due to fly – tiring yourself out will also help you sleep on the plane! And being outdoors in the fresh air when you arrive, doin’ all those winter ranch activities will also help stave off jet lag, helping you make the most of your festive vacation.

3) Got a long journey over land or by air? Avoid giving your kids those Christmassy sweets before or during the journey – this should help minimize the risk of meltdowns.

4) Invest in a tough cover for your phone to prevent scratches, water damage and dirt getting in when you’re horsin’ around – for a cheap alternative, use a zip-loc freezer bag!

5) To get more warm winter gear into your suitcase, roll those checked cowboy shirts rather than foldin’.

6) Double-check before you leave that your transfer to the ranch is confirmed and you have their contact details available for arrival – they’re sure to have it in order but the last thing you’ll want is to be stranded if your flight’s delayed or the weather’s bad.

7) Find out from your dude ranch what equipment they have that you can borrow – no point luggin’ a huge set of ski equipment if they have everything available for hire!

8) Hold off on the Christmas cards ‘til you’re at your gorgeous festive ranch, then take a few shots of your vacation and turn it into an e-Christmas card for your friends and family at home! They’ll be so jealous they’ll be booking theirs for next year!

Snowy trails at Latino Ranch

Explore the snowy trails at Latigo Ranch, Colorado

9) Download the latest travel apps before you go away to keep you posted on any unforseen problems and delays. Flight Status gives you real-time updates on delays, baggage numbers and more, and GateGuru gives you approximate times you’ll spend in security. Very handy for planning your journey times.

10) Spending Christmas away from home is great fun, but inevitably the kids will want their usual stash of pressies. Cue heavy, heavy bags, broken items and unhappy families. Or not… Instead of wasting precious space in your suitcase, send presents to the ranch ahead of time by purchasing online and shipping straight there for your attention upon arrival! (N.B. Check with your winter dude ranch first that this is ok, and they can accommodate and advise.)

Happy Holidays!

Looking for a ranch vacation this New Year's Eve? We've hand-picked 8 of the best ranch New Year's celebrations in the US!

Don't forget to check out the Top50 Ranches Specials for the latest ranch vacation discounts, offers and events!

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