Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner which means many people will be traveling to see family for the holidays. As great as it is to reunite with loved ones, holiday travel can be a bit stressful. Bad weather, airline delays and overcrowded roads can all add anxiety at the holidays.
I know all about stress of holiday travel. Several years ago, my family was traveling from Alabama to Ohio when we ran into an ice storm in Kentucky. There was one accident after another until finally the interstate shut down and all traffic stopped. Rather than spend the night in the vehicle, we opted to cross the interstate and travel back track to the only hotel in the area. And it was filling up quickly. Luckily the hotel had a room for us and they allowed pets, which was important since we were traveling with our puppy. The added expense of the hotel and extra meals on the road meant our expenses increased- something my husband and I did not budgeted for.
The added cost and fear that we wouldn’t make it “home to Ohio” in time for our annual, much anticipated Christmas Eve party elevated our blood pressure just a bit but both my husband. I learned a valuable lesson and now practice three simple tips- especially when I’m traveling for holidays or special events.
Simple Tips to Relieve the Stress of Holiday Travel
1. When you’re traveling for the holidays, make sure you check the weather along the routes you’ll be traveling before you hit the road.
If you’re driving, you can do this by checking traffic conditions at the U.S. Department of Transportation. If you’re flying, keep an eye on delays by signing up for email or text notifications from the airline when you purchase your ticket. There are also smartphone and apps for your mobile device, such as TripCase, that will alert you to delays as well.
2) When traveling for the holidays, make sure you allow plenty of extra time.
Nothing stresses me out more than the thought of being late for something important. Remember that there are some things you can’t plan for, but it never hurts to have a bit extra time than not enough. Especially when it comes to visiting with family and friends that you may not see often.
3) Plan for the unexpected. Keep a credit card or gift card on hand for travel emergencies so if you need to stop for the night it won’t cause unnecessary stress.
It never fails. I always need to buy something when traveling. I’ve purchased saline solution for my contact lens and paid a rather hefty fine for a speeding ticket. It never hurts to travel with a bit more cash or “emergency only” credit card for those unexpected moments and expenses you may encounter on the road.
Have you ever experienced a stressful situation when you traveled for the holidays? What steps do you follow to help you stress less and enjoy the holidays more?