The holidays are one of the busiest travel times of the year and whether you are taking some time off for a little vacation or going home to see family there is probably a travel day in your future.
With those busy travel days come the stress of crowds, delays, and other unexpected stressors – lost luggage, forgotten gifts, family anxiety, pretty much anything. Today I’ve got my best tips for making your holiday travels as easy as possible. With a little planning, a few creature comforts, and the right attitude you’ll make it through even the roughest of travel days.
Holiday Travel Tips
Tips for Planning
Have online order gifts shipped to your destination so you don’t have to carry them with you. I tend to order most of my gifts online anyways, so I just have them shipped straight to wherever I’ll be spending the holidays. It saves space in the car if you’re driving, and it saves the headache of extra checked bags at the airport.
Book stuff early. Flights and accommodations can book up or seriously increase in price the closer to the end of the year you get. Your best bet is to book as early as possible.
Travel on actual holidays. Plane tickets are way cheaper on the actual holiday so if you don’t mind being in the air on Christmas Eve, it’s a great way to go. There is also less traffic on the roads on the actual holiday. When I lived in the Bay Area I would wake up early on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning and do the drive to San Diego and have totally clear highways the whole way.
Leave early. If you are going to the airport or hitting the road, plan for the inevitable delay and give yourself some buffer by leaving early. No one needs the stress of rushing and wondering if you’ll make it in time.
Pay attention to the weather. Weather can delay flights, shut down highways, and just generally cause havoc. But if you know about it you can prepare, either by taking a different route or just being mentally prepared that you might have to spend a little more time in the airport than planned.
Accept that there will be delays. There will inevitably some delays, or things might not work out perfectly, and if you can accept the situation, adjust, and make the best of it you will alleviate a ton of unneeded stress. There’s no point in stressing about things out of your control like weather so sit back, take a deep breath, and roll with it.
Tips for the Travel Day
Bring a water bottle. We all know that staying hydrated is good for us, so bring a water bottle, refill it when necessary, and be happy and hydrated
Have snacks on hand. Some of my favorite travel snacks are trail mix, protein bars, and dried fruit because they are super easy things that I can throw in my backpack. They work in the car or at the airport, are easy to eat, are not messy, and are moderately healthy but still satisfy my sweet or salty cravings.
Face wipes for everything. Having a few wipes on hand somehow makes everything better. Feeling gross? Wipe off your face and feel clean again. Spill something on yourself? Use the wipe to clean up. The ever-present, why is this sticky? Clean. It. Up. Face wipes are good for everything.
Get moving. A little airport or gas station yoga helps to keep the blood moving in your body after sitting down for hours in a car or plane. The stretching with work out any stiffness and kinks, and will just make you feel better.
Remember all you charging cords. This one probably seems like a no brainer, but seriously, pack all those cords and charging cubes, you don’t want to be caught with a 2% battery and 8 more hours in transit.
Comfy clothes are the best. I know back in the day people used to get super dressed up to travel, but that was also back when only the super-rich could afford to take a flight and those airplane seats were a whole lot bigger. There is no way I’m going to cram myself into a tiny economy seat in anything that is going to be uncomfortable or wrinkle. So I am all for comfy clothes on travel days, I’m not saying wear pajamas, but I think leggings and a cardigan are perfectly acceptable.
Vitamin and probiotics. Travel stresses your immune system, it disrupts your sleep schedule, and airport and gas station food can mess up your digestion. So bring some vitamins and probiotics to help give your body a boost when it needs it most.
Last but not least, be nice to people. It’s the holidays and things can be chaotic and stressful, but don’t take that out on the people around you or the service workers who are trying to help you out. The holidays are when you should be spreading cheer and good tidings. So if you can, make someone else’s day just a little brighter with a kind gesture and words of appreciation.
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