We all know how stressful traveling during the holiday season can be. Make it easier on yourself and your family this year with a few simple steps, so you can focus on the reason for the season and make memories with your loved ones you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
- Book Your Travel Plans Early
You get the best deals on flights and hotels by booking early. Even if you’ve missed out on your chance for this year, remember this key piece of advice for next year. Use sites like Travel Zoo or Travelocity to ensure you’re getting the best prices, and set alerts designed to email you when cheap flights pop up or hotel rooms become available.
- Gift Planning
Instead of worrying about packing and carrying all of your Christmas gifts into a tiny suitcase, order them online and get them delivered straight to your loved one’s home. Choose Etching Expressions engraved wine bottles for the wine lover in your family, and personalize the label for a present they’re sure to love.
- Make Treats Beforehand
If you’re expected to bring treats to an upcoming family event, don’t head to the grocery store the day of. Save yourself stress by making some delicious goodies beforehand, and freezing them. Take them out on the day of your travels for a perfectly fresh gift that can be easily packed.
- Don’t Overcommit Yourself
If your family lives on opposite sides of the country, don’t stress yourself out by trying to get to each crew. You’ll end up spending more time on a plane or in a train than quality time with your family. Plan trips at least a few days apart, and talk to your spouse about whether or not you need to stick to visiting one side of the family this holiday—that means spending the next with the other side of your family.
- Pack Snacks
You’ve probably heard of the term hangry already, but if you haven’t, I’ll let you in on this little secret. Combine the words hungry and angry—voila, you’ve got hangry. If you’re anything like me, hunger makes your mood dip and your stress levels rise. Make sure you plan ahead with snacks during your travels to ensure you don’t yell at your hubby or kids, and do the same for them. Traveling can be exhausting, and you and your family need all the sustenance and fortitude you can find. Cut up fruits and veggies, make some easy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and pack some pre-popped popcorn. This will also save you a ton of cash you might have spent on ridiculously priced airport food.
- Let Stress Roll Off Your Back
It’s easier said than done, I know, but try your hardest to let stresses roll off your back during your travels. Pop a tire? Call AAA and chat with your family about their favorite parts of the year while you wait. Did your luggage get lost? Think of the hilarious story you’ll have in a year, or even in a day around the family table. Make sure you don’t become a slave to your traditions. If you miss a tradition this year, just make new ones. Stressing about forgotten items, missed opportunities to see your favorite Christmas movie, or other Christmas constants will definitely take away from your enjoyment, and keep you distracted from the otherwise festive mood.
- Think About Travel Insurance
The holidays unfortunately fall around the same time as inclement weather, meaning flight cancellations are more of a possibility. Don’t lose money on top of lost time. Travel insurance can protect lost baggage, missed flights, cancelled flights, and around the clock travel assistance, along with a plethora of other things. The peace of mind may be well worth the cost of insurance alone, so consider it as you begin to book flights.
If you’re gearing up for your travels this holiday season, make sure you take the appropriate measures to reduce your stress and keep your family as safe as possible throughout your journeys. It’s never too early to start planning your flights, and you can do a variety of things in the upcoming weeks to guarantee your Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas travels are smoother than they’ve ever been.