Does travel during the holidays stress you out like no other? The holidays can definitely either be a time of happiness, warmth, and good memories – or they can be a time of stress, anger, and pulling your hair out at the roots. One of the major stressors during the holidays is travel. Will I make it on time for my flight? Will I get snowed in? What if I am stuck at the airport for days due to a delayed flight? How much did those airline tickets cost again? If you want to see your family for the winter holidays, then traveling is a necessity. Luckily, we have seven stress-relieving holiday travel tips for 2016 to share with you. We hope they do you some good this season.
1. Get the App
We live in a world of tablets, smartphones, and yes, apps. There’s an app for nearly everything (even this app for finding someone nearby to cuddle with). Every major airline has a smartphone app that you can download and use to check the status of your flight, show your boarding pass, check your miles, and more. You can also use apps like Skyscanner or FlightStats to look for cheaper tickets and to check the status of your (or a family member’s) flight regardless of what airline they chose.
Major Airline Apps:
2. Have a Plan
It’s important that you think ahead when it comes to holiday travel. You might have bought the tickets and arranged for transportation to the airport, but you also need to consider increased holiday traffic, what hour you’ll be arriving at your destination, what public transportation options are available, the check in time of your destination hotel, whether or not your phone is charged enough to make an emergency call, and so much more. Think smart – plan ahead, and make sure you’re prepared for any of the stresses that holiday travel throws at you.
3. Pack Smart
Make sure to pack only what you definitely need. Traveling during the holidays means lots of presents – and lots of money-spending. You can save money by forgoing checking bags, and instead opting for a small backpack as your personal item, and a duffel bag as your carry-on. You can even fit two weeks’ worth of clothes in a single small duffel. Just roll your clothes to save space and prevent wrinkles, and make a few other space-saving adjustments to your usual packing routine. Regarding those big bags of bulky presents, try mailing as many of them as possible to your destination address.
4. Bring Snacks
We don’t know about you, but we’re very aware of this thing called being “hangry” (hungry + angry = hangry). Avoid the holiday rage by packing yourself some delicious snacks for the flight. This will save you money at the airport, too!
5. Avoid High Traffic Days
It’s well-known among frequent travelers that Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel days of the year – you’d be wisest to avoid flying that day. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the only busy travel day. Many people are traveling to and from home during Christmas, and the airport can get quite congested during this time of year. This is especially true if you live in a college town where students often travel home for winter break. We also recommend trying to catch either an early morning or late evening flight if you’re worried about airport traffic and your flight being on-time.
6. Leave Your Car at Home
Driving your own car to the airport means just one more thing to worry about. First, you have to find the parking lot. Then you have to find a place to park. Then you need to pay for parking up front or grab a parking pass. Then either take a shuttle or walk by foot to the airport. This can easily add an additional 45 minutes to your trip, which can be the difference between being on-time and missing your flight entirely. Instead, opt to take a cab to the airport, or have a friend/family member drop you off. This way you can also skip the parking fees and won’t have to stress about your car getting damaged or broken into.
7. Practice Yoga
We posted a blog not too long ago about how yoga can be a remedy for jet lag, but it’s also a great way to alleviate stress during holiday travel. If you’re freaking out at the airport, try finding a spot to sit on the ground and focusing on taking deep breaths in and out. If you’re prone to travel anxiety, you should also meditate or perform a few yoga stretches and breathing exercises the night and morning before your trip. We love yoga because it doesn’t require any additional tools or accessories – just a quiet space, your mind, and your body.
What Are Your Favorite Stress-Relieving Holiday Travel Tips?
Do you have a favorite pre-holiday travel ritual that helps you to eliminate stress? God knows we’d like to hear it, and so would our readers. Do everyone a favor and leave a comment below sharing your favorite way to beat the stress this winter.