Many people dread holiday travel – the traffic, the crowds, the expense, etc. Your holiday trip doesn’t have to be stressful – with the right preparation and tips, it might even be fun.
Travel on the Actual Day
Most people travel on the days before Thanksgiving and Christmas, which leads to traffic jams and astronomical flight rates. Experts recommend traveling on the actual day because travelers usually save on airline tickets and avoid heavy traffic that way. This also gives your family an excuse to fully celebrate Christmas on the 26th.
When you can, fly without changing planes. Flight changes often result in lost luggage, missed flights, cranky travelers, and other disasters. Indirect flights may be less expensive, but they often come with long layovers. Indirect flights also increase your chance of running into bad weather.
In some situations, staying home is best. If your job only gives you a few days off, you have a baby or toddlers, or the distance is significant, stay home for Christmas. Most family members will understand, or they may offer to come to you. Staying home may also take pressure off you to help cook a large meal or entertain a big crowd.
Streamline the Celebration
Whether you’re traveling or staying home, streamlining activities will decrease your stress. Ask family members which activities are must-dos and which they feel comfortable skipping. If the office Christmas party is optional, send your regrets. The more optional events you attend, the busier and more stressed you will feel.