Surviving Holiday Travel

The holiday season is always a stressful time of year. We’ve got parties to attend, gifts to buy and meals to plan and prepare, just for starters. When you add travel to the mix, which can be a stressful undertaking in and of itself (especially with children), you can easily find yourself on the verge of a complete breakdown.

If your holiday season is going to involve hitting the road with the family, arm yourself with these tips to keep yourself sane, keep the stress at a minimum and ensure the whole family has a holiday season to remember.

Don’t take on too much …

This one bit of advice will save your holiday travels from turning into a complete disaster. Many of us feel the need to be superheroes, especially when it comes to the holidays. We want everything to be perfect and often feel responsible for making sure everyone has fun. In a perfect world we would have time to visit every family member, see every site and participate in every holiday event. But, wishful thinking aside, too much action will exhaust the whole family and lead to tension and frazzled nerves. Be realistic with what can comfortably be achieved in the time available.

Leave room for error …

Any traveler who says they’ve never ran into a problem on the road is lying. Delays and mistakes are par for the course. Give your schedule a little breathing room and you won’t have to pick up the pieces of a totally ruined Thanksgiving because your flight was delayed.

Take time to rest and relax …

The holidays are such a hectic time and being away from home can cause a great deal of stress. When you have a family to take care of, pressure multiplies, but making sure everyone has a great holiday can easily send your anxiety levels over the top. Resist the temptation to pack every possible activity into a busy schedule and no matter how many activities you plan, carve out time for everyone to decompress. Taking the family to a movie is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle for a few hours while keeping everyone entertained.

Bring along a little tradition …

When you’re on the road it’s hard to engage in those holiday traditions that tend to revolve around the home, like hanging stockings or leaving cookies for Santa. Make sure you bring at least one family tradition with you so, no matter how far from home, your family can still embrace those traditions that make the holidays special to them. A decorated Christmas tree in your hotel room is clearly not an option, but those stockings are easy to pack and can be hung virtually anywhere, proving home is where the heart is, even if only for a few nights.