While the holiday season is meant to be a time of joy, love, and laughter, it often proves to be one of the most stressful times of year. This is largely because we find ourselves trying to figure out travel arrangements while millions of other people are doing the same thing.
Long lines at the airport, overwhelmed gate workers, crowded roadways, and any other number of factors usually lead to use experiencing a great deal of stress before we ever get to sit down for a meal with our friends and family members.Read More »
With those numbers in mind, there’s a pretty good possibility that you are one of the millions of people making travel plans for the holidays. That means that you’re probably dealing with the stress associated with traveling. Unfortunately, those stressors can result in diminished enjoyment during what should be one of the happiest times of the year.
If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed by the number of things that you have to do before you can even begin thinking about enjoying time with your loved ones, consider these six travel tips for the 2022 holiday season.
While Thanksgiving is upon us, there is still more than a month left until Christmas. You may not be able to take advantage of early booking benefits for Thanksgiving at this point, but since there is still so much time until Christmas, there are major benefits associated with booking your flights early.
Some people ascribe to a theory that says that you should take advantage of last-minute price cuts in plane tickets and rental cars. This is a major gamble that can save you some money but can also result in a lot of unnecessary stress. Remember, there are more than 155 million people traveling, and there is a finite number of rental cars and plane tickets available. While waiting until the last minute may save you a few dollars, there’s a much higher likelihood that you will find yourself on the outside looking in.
Instead of waiting for major price drops at the last minute, take advantage of lower prices that are offered early in the booking process. You may end up spending a few more dollars than you would if you waited until the last minute, but you won’t have to deal with the stress of wondering if there is enough inventory to meet your needs.
Fly on the Holidays
If you do make the decision to wait until the last minute, there are some perks associated with flying on the holiday. Airlines work 365 days a year, meaning that there are men and women in the airline industry who are working on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Most people want to be at their destination on these holidays, but if your friends and family members are willing to be a bit more flexible, there is certainly something to be said about waiting until the day after the holiday to actually celebrate.
Since most people want to be where they’re going on the holiday, lines are much shorter, and airports are less crowded if you choose to fly out on the holiday. You can also get a great deal on tickets by choosing this method.
One of the most important aspects of cutting down on the amount of stress that you experience during the holidays is found in being adaptable. There’s a good chance that things aren’t going to exactly the way that you want them to, and that’s OK. If you put yourself under more stress by assuming that every flight needs to leave right on time and that traffic needs to be manageable, you’re probably going to end up putting even more pressure on yourself.
There are many aspects of travel, especially during the holidays, that are completely out of your control. No amount of pacing around the airport waiting area is going to make your flight leave any sooner. Instead of stressing about these things, simply accept that you don’t get to control everything. Your friends and family members are excited for you to arrive, and they will be happy to see you even if you arrive a couple hours later than planned due to travel delays.
Nothing is more of a hassle than trying to navigate a crowded airport with excessive luggage. Unfortunately, when you’re trying to take gifts with you for a Christmas celebration on the other side of the country, there’s not much you can do about that. However, one practical step for cutting down on the amount of luggage that you have with you is found in shipping your gifts to their destination instead of trying to bring them with you.
Of course, you want to bring gifts to your Christmas celebration, but there is nothing wrong with your presents getting there before you. Send your gifts to someone who you can trust not to peek and ask them to pick up some wrapping supplies for you. When you get there, take some time, wrap your gifts, and put them under the tree. You still get the thrill of giving gifts to your loved ones, but you don’t have to deal with baggage checks, baggage claims, or any of the other headaches associated with bringing too much luggage with you.
Consider Making Some Stops
While our list has primarily focused on cutting down on flight-related stress during holiday travel, we also understand that some people make the decision to turn holiday travel into a road trip. If you’re one of the millions of people who drive to their destination during the holidays, don’t get so focused on the destination that you fail to enjoy the trip.
If it’s possible for you to take enough days off work, consider breaking your long road trip up into multiple days. Doing so will give you the opportunity to stop and see some of the landmarks that make our country so great.
It’s also a great idea to plan on making some stops if you’re traveling with small children. A long road trip is taxing for adults, and it’s much harder for small children to deal with being strapped in a car for extended periods of time. An angry child can make a road trip even more complicated, so taking some regular breaks along the way is a great idea.
Finally, you should look for opportunities to spread kindness when traveling during a hectic, often chaotic time of year. While you’re dealing with holiday stress, it’s important to remember that the people who work in the travel industry are facing the same level of stress, even if its of a different nature.
We’ve already established that there will be some people working on the holidays. Not only are they dealing with work-related stress, but they’re also away from their family members. When dealing with those people, even if you’re stressed, spread kindness. It’s amazing how much a change in your own attitude can have a positive impact on your ability to deal with holiday travel stress.
As we’ve established, there is no failproof way to eliminate the stress associated with traveling during the holidays. However, applying these six tips can help you cut down on your stress so you can better enjoy one of the most magical times of the year.
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