There’s no denying that holiday travel can be majorly stressful.
It’s important to take care of your mental well-being during this chaotic time of year – something that can actually help you enjoyment Holidays – So we’ve compiled a list of easy tips to make holiday travel less stressful.
1. Embrace the chaos
First things first: Before you head out the door, accept the fact that your trip over the river and through the woods might be less than pretty.
“Go there with that mindset willpower Live with stress, and accept it as normal,” says Amy Daramus, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist at Urban Balance. “That way you won’t be as upset when it happens.”
2. Pack wisely
An easy way to avoid travel nightmares is to anticipate potential snags — like lost luggage, car problems and holiday traffic jams — and pack for them.
Make sure you have extra clothes in your carry-on, a spare tire in your trunk, and a snack or two in your bag to keep you from getting hangry if you’re late on the way.
3. Budget for the unexpected
You may not be feeling flush with cash after all your holiday shopping, but try to set some money aside for holiday travel emergencies.
Once, I was traveling in Europe and my plane was delayed by several hours.
When we finally landed, everything was closed — which meant I couldn’t get my rental car until the next morning.
I managed to book a last minute room at a nearby hotel.
If I hadn’t left some wiggle room in my travel budget for this sort of thing, I would have been more stressed.
4. Bring a power bank
There is nothing worse than being in a sticky situation with a dead cell phone.
Don’t be stuck without an outlet — invest in a portable, rechargeable power bank (like this one) so you can charge your tech wherever you are.
Or buy a carry-on bag with a built-in charger so you don’t have to fight one Work outlet at your airport gate.
Away Luggage carries suitcases that come with a portable charger built into the bag that can charge your phone four times!
5. Don’t neglect self-care
When you’re on the road, it can be easy to overlook the basics of self-care — like eating healthy, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep.
“Everything looks worse when you’re hungry and dehydrated,” says Daramus.
It can be tempting to overindulge in your mom’s home cooking or stay out all night to meet friends — but try to balance sleep and play so you don’t completely crash.
6. Find healthy distractions
If “home for the holidays” is code for “major family drama,” find healthy ways to distract yourself — like watching a favorite holiday movie or curling up with that book you’ve been meaning to read.
If all else fails, Daramus recommends focusing your attention on pleasant sensory stimuli: “Really enjoy the taste of cocoa or the beauty of some good decor,” she says.
This will make it easier to tune out your opinionated uncle.
7. Quit earlier than usual
Traveling on holidays often means navigating through rain, snow, sleet or ice.
And with many other People traveling for vacation, you may also run into heavy traffic on the roads or long lines at the airport.
You don’t want to miss a flight because you didn’t anticipate a delay en route, so do yourself a big favor and leave early.
Worst case, you end up breezed through airport security and have an extra hour or two to grab a coffee or download a few podcasts during your flight.
8. Relax your “screen time” rule
Got kids? While there are certainly great reasons to limit their screen time, give yourself a guilt-free pass to relax those rules when you’re traveling.
If you’re going on a long flight or road trip, bring a fully charged tablet so they can watch movies or play games.
Why make holiday travel even more stressful with a cranky, impatient little one? day Vampire Handle this one!
9. Set your boundaries
Holiday travel isn’t just stressful—it can also be expensive. (Thanks, price hike!)
If your travel plans stretch your budget to the max, it’s okay to skip holiday brunch or opt out of the office Secret Santa if you don’t have the funds.
“The holidays are a time for giving, but only up to a point,” says Daramus. “Know when you’re giving too much and feel neglected or taken advantage of, and step away for a while.”