Simple Ways To Reduce Stress While Traveling For The Holidays
Traveling during the holiday season presents a unique set of challenges. In addition to the fact that everyone and their mama seems to be traveling at the very same time that you are, holiday trips also come with their share of logistical issues that add to the stress of holiday travels. Thankfully, almost all of these hiccups can be overcome or avoided completely with a few travel hacks and effective planning. Here are ten tips for reducing stress when traveling for the holidays.
Secure your own transportation
While getting a ride to the airport or Amtrak station with a relative sounds good in theory and could potentially save you a few dollars, it can end up being a source of stress. Plans change, emergencies happen, and some folks are plain old unreliable. To mitigate the likelihood of you finding yourself in a bind the day of your trip, try to secure your own transportation to and from the airport.
Organize a group meetup
A week seems like enough time to spend with family, but once extended relatives and your friends from high school and college hear you’re back home they’re going to want to connect and that can be overwhelming. Organize a night out at a bar or bowling alley so you can see everyone at one time and no one feels slighted.
Use your travel time to knock out work
The last thing you want to do is spend the time you’re supposed to spend with your family working. Use the flight, train, or bus ride to knock out last minute projects (and draft your out of office message) so you can be truly present with your family and friends for the holidays.
Wear comfortable clothes
Whether you’re taking a road trip or catching a flight, you’ll want to prioritize comfort over style. Your body will thank you. Soft fabric and materials that stretch are ideal.
Book your trips as early as possible
Trying to book a flight, hotel room, or rental car at the last minute is both stressful and costly. Do yourself a favor and secure your travel plans well in advance of the actual trip.
Double-check that your documents are up-to-date
If you’re planning to leave the country, it’s a good idea to double-check your passport and other forms of identification you’ll need to travel to be sure that they don’t expire before or during your trip. Make sure your license is also up to the new TSA regulations.
Pack your bags several days in advance
Once you’ve created a packing checklist, it’s a good idea to pack your bags a couple of days in advance. This way, you’ll know ahead of time if you need to make a last-minute Target run.
Arrive at the airport early
There’s nothing more stressful than waiting in a long line at the airport while wondering whether or not you’re going to make your flight. Save yourself the headache and get there a couple of hours before your scheduled departure.
If possible, travel on the actual holiday
You can save money and avoid large crowds when you make arrangements to travel on the actual holiday. Peak travel times are typically the day before and the day after a holiday.
Have your gifts shipped to your destination
Instead of having gifts for loved ones sent to your home, consider having them shipped to your destination. This will help you to cut down on the amount of luggage you’ll have to bring, which will save you both time and money.