holiday travel

We are already feeling overwhelmed with buying gifts and finding time to see all the family and friends. Add in travel stresses and you often just give up. Although, it is easier to FaceTime then to actually spend time in their face, being around family during the holidays makes them more enjoy. So, to help ease the travel stress, I wanted to bring you my shortlist of ways to drop the anxiety down a few levels and give you more time to shop (for my gift).

Flying

This area is so stressful for so many of you—I could write multiple posts on it he topic. But a few things can really simplify it:

  • Always plan flight times with a backup flight behind it. If there are delays or you miss a connection, you at least have the chance to get on the next one.  I know sometimes you want to work all day then dash out for the last flight. That’s when everything that can happen does.
  • Avoid connections anywhere with known bad winter weather. This may mean adding a longer flight or longer layover somewhere. I would rather fly through southern connections than places like Chicago in winter.
  • Use the airline applications on your phone. With mobile boarding passes, quick flight change notifications to getting on standby for the next flight faster than anyone else are life savers. 

Driving

This is the most common way to travel and actually causes the most stress. We do it every day, but when it comes to holiday time, it is like half the roadways are filled with new drivers. For driving during this time of year, be sure to:

  • Fill up your car the day before. I mean fill it with everything from gas, air in the tires, gifts, travel snacks and the luggage.
  • Map out more than one route to your destination. Know where you can take an exit to jump to side roads or other highways. An extra twenty miles may save you hours.
  • Load the GPS app called Waze.  I live on this app in every country I visit. It shows real time traffic, accidents, stalled cars, police, and road hazards. Not to mention multiple routes to your destination with miles and estimated times.
  • Plan your stop points. Everyone wants to just drive until you want to stop. Quick scheduled stops allows you time to refresh and gives everyone definite times in their head and body clock. 

Taking other mass transit (bus and train) follows the majority of the same tips as flying. Leave room for later departures. Connect or travel where weather usually does not affect roads and have contingent places to get off and change modes of transportation.

I will throw one random tip out there. Never be afraid to suggest meeting spots in the middle of everyone. Make it a vacation for all. While it is nice to be at a family member home, someone always has to travel the furthest. One lucky victim will have the worst experience. And many arrived tired and stressed. 

Nothing can give you more peace of mind than just taking a deep breath and saying I’m headed to where I want to be. I will get there.

 

 

Planning and Budgeting for the Holiday Season

 

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