It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, for the most part. One thing about this time of year that can be a real stressor is all of the travel.
If you are like me and live away from your family base, this time of year means multiple trips home for Thanksgiving, Christmas and even birthdays (mine is December 23rd *wink wink*). Traveling during the holidays can make even the most seasoned traveler anxious and stressed. Here are some tips for getting through the holidays so your only concern is when you are going to wear that beautiful sweater Aunt Betty got you.
Know When To Buy
If you are planning to fly during the holidays you will want to monitor flight prices using an app such as Hopper and if you can, book early. Prices for Thanksgiving travel start to peak in mid-October and dip around Halloween and then greatly increase the 2 weeks pre-holiday. Similarly, for Christmas, a few weeks before prices will dip a bit but, then skyrocket the week before. Some little tips:
- Fly on Thanksgiving day vs. Wednesday to save around 12% on your ticket.
- Returning on Sunday will have the highest ticket price.
- With Christmas falling on a Wednesday, the best day to leave is on Christmas day.
- The most expensive flight option for Christmas is leaving the Saturday before and returning the Sunday after.
Plan Ahead and Accept What May Happen
Weather is a big factor when traveling during the holidays. It is completely uncontrollable and can affect many aspects of your experience such as traffic, overcrowded airports, flight delays and more.
If you are driving, check the weather frequently and plan to be flexible in your travel arrangements. I drive 6 hours home for the holidays. If I planned to leave on a Sunday but, that day now shows for snow in the forecast, I am going to look at leaving Saturday. Being flexible really helps to ensure you are able to make it to your destination safely and timely.
If you are flying, you cannot control if your flight is delayed or canceled. However, you can control how you react to the situation. Others are in the same boat as you and those working at the airport are just doing their jobs to make sure YOU are safe. Remember they are there trying to earn a living. This is their holiday season too. Be kind to others.
Have a Backup Plan
Should you find your self with a canceled flight or another travel delay, it is always best to have another plan in your back pocket. Your plan could include renting a car, changing your travel dates, etc. Be prepared.
Ship Your Gifts
If you are taking a form of public transportation to and from your holiday destination…ship your gifts. I cannot explain how much more convenient this is than lugging around your gift for little Tommy and Aunt Betty. I even go a step further where if I am ordering gifts online, I just have them shipped to my mom’s house and then I wrap them when I arrive.
Speaking of gifts. Have a solo travel woman in your life? Check out STW Shops and get 10% off during our Black Friday sales through Dec 2.
Keep Your Health In Check
The holidays are full of delicious meals and treats. Losing track of what you are eating can result in a good 5-10lb weight gain when all is said and done. Don’t let that be you. Enjoy all the goodies but, in moderation, remember to make sure to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise a day and drink plenty of water. You’ll thank me later when you can still fit in all your clothes come January.
If you are traveling between different climates make sure you really pay attention to the weather where your destination is. It may be completely different and you will want to make sure you have appropriate attire. Going from Orlando to Chicago? You may want a good winter coat.
My last quick tip is to Remember What The Holidays Are About
We can all get caught up in the stress of the holidays but, do not let that ruin their true meaning. Being with your loved ones, making memories and remembering those no longer with us. Cherish it. Enjoy it.