Tips to reduce stress while traveling
Being home for the holidays is what makes it such a special time of the year. But getting to your destination can be stressful, especially with crowded airports, unpredictable weather, and flight delays. To make your vacation plans go as smoothly as possible, here are eight tips for stress-free travel this holiday season:
1. Book your flights early
Set your travel plans as soon as possible to get the best deals — the earlier, the better. You should also pick non-stop flights whenever possible to avoid being stuck in an airport if you miss a connecting flight. Moreover, avoid traveling on the season's busiest days, including the day before Thanksgiving and two days after Christmas. Fly on the actual holidays (if you can) to experience fewer crowds.
2. Be prepared
If you are taking a long-haul flight, be sure to download plenty of entertainment to your laptop, tablet, and smartphone. Also, pack earphones, backup batteries, and chargers and keep them handy.
3. Leave enough time
To beat delays, leave the house an hour earlier than you usually would to beat traffic. This will ensure a hassle-free time getting to the airport, and you'll also have enough time to grab food at the airport for your journey.
4. Travel light
Try to ship gifts and non-essentials ahead of time, even if you check in bags. This will cut down on how much you have to lug around with you. Consider ordering gifts online and having them sent directly to the recipients' home addresses. If you have to carry gifts in your luggage, keep them unwrapped for TSA agents to inspect.
5. Prepare for delays
Flight delays are very common during the holiday season. That's why you should mentally prepare yourself for the worst. Just in case you're stuck overnight, pack snacks, socks, underwear, extra clothes, and toiletries in your carry-on.
6. Stock up on snacks
Before heading to the airport, stock up on nutritious snacks for the flight. Good options include protein bars, trail mix, dried fruit, cheese, hardboiled eggs, and carrots. This will ensure that your blood sugar never drops. Also, carry a reusable water bottle you can fill once you go through security.
7. Make a list
Don't rely on your memory when it comes to packing. Make a detailed list of everything you need to do and pack before you leave. Keep the list by the front door so you can double-check as you head out.
8. Stay safe
With Covid-19, the flu, and other respiratory viruses circulating during the winter months, it's crucial that you take extra precautions to stay safe while traveling, even if you've gotten the flu shot and Covid booster recently. This means packing masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes in your carry-on for easy access. You should also continue to wear a mask in the airport and on the plane to reduce your risk of getting sick. Be sure to wash and sanitize your hands often to stop the spread of germs.
Traveling stress-free all comes down to a bit of planning
When it comes to traveling stress-free this holiday season, be sure to plan everything far in advance. Snag the best airline deals months before winter, create detailed packing and to-do lists, and prepare for the unexpected. These small things will help you enjoy the holidays more and get to your destination without worry.
- "10 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Travel," Mental Floss, November 16, 2018.
- "11 Tips for Reducing Holiday Travel Stress," Psychology Today, October 27, 2016.