Spending time with loved ones is a highlight of the holidays, but getting to them can be stressful. We’ve compiled a set of tips to help you minimize stress during your holiday travels.
Choose dates wisely
The day before Thanksgiving and the two days before and after Christmas and New Year’s are the busiest travel days of the season.
For the best experience, fly on the actual day of the holidays, early in the morning or later in the evening. There are typically fewer crowds and delays during these times. Use Google Flights to find tickets and the mobile app Hopper for recommendations on the best times to purchase tickets.
Book your trip on time
Book travel as soon as possible so you can check this task off your list and move on to other to-dos. Prices remain steady until about four weeks before the flight, so book by then to avoid hefty costs.
Traveling light helps you breeze through check-in and security lines. If you’ve purchased gifts, ship them instead of traveling with them. This will keep them from breaking or weighing you down. You should also keep gifts unwrapped just in case security needs to inspect them.
Use the PackPoint app for tips on what to pack based on length of travel, weather at your destination and activities planned during your trip.
Plan for delays
To minimize stress, plan for – and expect – delays. Carry snacks, extra clothes, books and other entertainment just in case you are delayed, rerouted or stuck in the airport overnight (it happens!). When it comes to delays, the best thing you can do is maintain a positive attitude.
For travel alerts, visit this government Alerts and Warnings page.
Eat healthy, balanced meals
Pack homemade meals or snacks like nuts, trail mix, fruit, cheese and other easy-to-eat treats. Keep in mind that high-protein snacks keep you fuller, longer. Another option is to enjoy a nice meal at the terminal once you go through security. This is a great way to relax before boarding your flight.
Hit the road!
More and more people are choosing to drive to their holiday destinations. Driving gives you more flexibility and makes for great holiday memories – especially if traveling with friends or family. It’s also a good way to avoid the stress associated with air travel.
If you choose to drive, leave early to avoid the heaviest traffic. Make it fun with games or music and stop when you need to for a snack or a stretch. If you’re going on a long road trip, be sure to check your brakes, fluids, battery, and tires.
Stress from the holidays can be taxing to begin with. When you add travel into the mix, things get even more hectic. To keep your stress levels low you should plan ahead, go with the flow and remember to enjoy the experience no matter what unexpected hiccups come your way.