Traveling this Holiday Season Doesn't Need to be stressful. Here are a few useful tips!

Simple tips to maintain your physical health and mental sanity 

The winter holidays are upon us! You know what that means: cooking, cleaning, hosting, or TRAVELING. 

No matter what you’re celebrating or who you’re celebrating with, coordinating end-of-year travel plans has got to be one of the most stressful parts of a generally happy and cozy time. 

Keeping that in mind, here are some tips to maintain your physical health and mental sanity, so you can cross at least one thing off the list. 

Write a detailed schedule

Collecting all of your travel plans and details ahead of time will save you SO MUCH headache on your probably-already-hectic travel days. 

If you are flying: keep your full itinerary handy (either in print or easily accessible on your phone), communicate your arrival and departure times with whoever may need to know them, and account for delays within reason (long security lines, traffic on the drive to the airport, potential snow delays). Give yourself plenty of time to get to your gate on time!

If you are driving: work backwards from when you want to arrive. Check your route beforehand to make sure you’re taking the right path for you. From there, work back to when you need to leave, and add time for bathroom/gas breaks (a good rule of thumb is 30 extra minutes for every 1.5-2 hours driving, depending on how well-coordinated you and your travel partners are when it comes to bathroom breaks). 

Speaking of which, if you are traveling with family: make sure they are well aware of the plan! If the planning of the day falls to you, communicate the timeline you’ve decided on, so you don’t have to worry yourself about chasing someone around day-of. 

This will hopefully keep you from falling behind right at the start, which can be a stressful beginning to a holiday. 

Pack ahead of time!

How long are you staying, and what’s the general weather like there?

You’ll probably remember all your attire-essentials (full outfits, pajamas, plenty of underwear, socks, coats, hats, and gloves), but what toiletries and hygiene products do you need?

It can be tempting to cut down on your full routine when you’re traveling, but you really shouldn’t when you have a routine that works for you every other week of the year!

It’s nice to curate a ready-whenever toiletries bag, with miniature versions of all of your favorite products so you don’t have to pack and unpack endlessly. In the meantime, definitely bring all of your items you typically use: soaps, moisturizers, wipes, ointments, and everything in between. 

The last thing you want is to be worried about dry skin or under eye makeup smudges when you should be focusing on family and fun. 

Speaking of packing…

Take advantage of the post

Post office, that is. 

If you need to travel with packages or presents, things can get out of hand fast. And then suddenly, you’re there, and you realize you forgot Aunt Debby’s specialty socks. 

If you have things sitting in your entryway already, a few days before you head out, package everything up and bring them to your local UPS store to ship to your final destination. (Let the people who will be receiving the packages know not to open them yet!)

For things that haven’t gotten to you at this point, you can always order online and add the address for your final destination, cutting out the middleman (you) in this process. 

Delegate, delegate, delegate

Too often, the entire mental load of a holiday falls to women in families (mothers, wives, sisters, daughters), and that can turn the holidays into work instead of fun. 

In areas that you can, delegate some of the extra work that typically falls to you. Researching hotels? Making the third pie for dinner? Hanging decorations? 

The people in our lives are often more capable than even they know… when possible, ask for help and explain how you deserve it - and how you know they won’t let you down with this simple task!

Protect your “Me Time” 

Around this time last year, we talked about how important it is to protect your personal time. You need a place to unwind, mentally and physically, and that doesn’t change during holiday vacations; in fact, it might be more important than ever. 

What helps you feel relaxed and enjoying your holidays? Drop your tips in the comments!

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