How to deal with Holiday Travel Stress

If you live in the US Thanksgiving is next weekend and it is the beginning of the holiday travel season. A lot of people are flying to be with family and friends. Or maybe you’re driving to your destination. Either way some sort of travel is happening for most of us. We’re hit with holidays one right after the other, Thanksgiving (USA), Christmas, New Years and then it’s over before we know it. Although it’s one of the most magical seasons it can be one of the most stressful as well, treating us to longer lines at airports and traffic galore. So how do we deal with all of this? We take a deep breath and surround ourselves with comforts.

Here are some tips to make your holiday travel a little less trying. 😉

  1. Pack Early! If you’re anything like me and have been traveling for a while you think that you can pack the night before and be fine. Do yourself a favor give yourselves at least a 5 day window. Pack your bag (and your family bags if you’re a part of a family unit) 5 days out. Pack everything that you think you’ll need. Then walk away. Come back two days later. Look through your stuff. Do you really need 5 shirts for a 2 day trip? Do you really need to pack 15 toys for your child or can you get by with 2? Really be critical and pare down what you’re bringing. The less “things” you have to deal with while traveling the better!
  2. Leave Early! I know you’re thinking, yeah right! I can’t leave a day early. I’m not saying a day early but give yourself more time. If you’ve planned to get to the airport for a domestic flight an hour before the flight leaves you’re cutting it too close and you should expect lines at TSA. Build in some extra time. Save yourself from stress by anticipating delays and things will not be as stressful.
  3. Expect there will be delays. You cannot control anyone other than yourself, therefore you cannot control anyone else’s actions and how that might affect you and your travel plans. So expect delays and lines and if there aren’t any you can smile because you’ll be early and have ample time to get to your destination.
  4. Have a back up plan. Because not everything may go as expected make sure you have a contingency plan. This will reduce your stress greatly and if issues arise you can rest easy that you are prepared. For example I have a very tight connection during my upcoming holiday travel. If I don’t make the train because of a flight delay or a connection delay, I have two backups. 1) Take the bus to my destination (a little bit longer a journey but will get me there) 2) Rent a car (more expensive but will have to do if necessary). Now I know that no matter what I’ll get where I need to go.
  5. Breath and remain calm. This isn’t just a mantra they tell you in an emergency, it really helps. Closing your mouth and breathing through your nose helps calm your central nervous system and tells your body everything is ok! So the next time you feel yourself teetering on the bring of bursting close your eyes and breath. Honestly everything will be ok.

Do you have tricks that you use to ease the stress of holiday travel? Share in the comment section! Until next time, life happens so travel now!

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