The holiday season can bring about all kinds of stress whether it’s a difficult mixture of relatives around the dinner table, the never-ending Christmas present lists, or even just how long to cook the turkey for. It’s wonderful to get everybody together and enjoy a day of food, television and gift opening, so it shouldn’t be spoiled by unnecessary worries. One thing you absolutely shouldn’t have to stress about is your travel plans for the holiday season. This is how to do it all stress-free.
Prepare in Advance
As with most things, one of the best ways to remain calm is to make sure you’re well prepared. Getting your suitcase in order should be number one on the list. There are plenty of techniques for packing the perfect suitcase, but whether you’re a suitcase divider, a roller or a folder, the main thing is that everything that should be in there, is in there. The rest is almost irrelevant. Make your list and stick to it.
If you know you’ll be undertaking quite the road trip for the holidays, then make a list of the things you’ll need first. Snacks and drinks for everyone are essential, so popping them in the glove compartment the night before you leave, or bundling them into a bag to take on the train, is a failsafe way to save some time in the morning.
If you’re driving and have that habit of getting lost year upon year, then get onto Google Maps and print yourself a route; better still, get the destination pre-programmed into the satnav. Running late is one of the biggest stressors, so this really is essential. If you’re using public transport, be it train, plane or boat, then make sure your tickets are ready to go, you’ve double checked the departure time and everything is running as it should be.
The Evening Before
So many of us neglect the importance of looking after ourselves. If you know that you find travelling stressful then take the evening off before you embark on your adventure. Treat yourself to a relaxing bath, or maybe some essential oils. This is a brilliant way to relax your body and de-stress naturally. Allow time for a little mindfulness before bed, so that your brain can fully switch off and allow you to get a good night’s sleep. Waking up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated is one of the best headstarts that you can give yourself.
It’s the morning of your journey, you’ve done your preparations and now it’s time to put the plan into action. Arriving at the airport, train station or ferry docks on time is absolutely vital of course, but consider arriving a further half an hour early. Whether you’re jetting off to explore the Bahamas (you lucky thing), or catching the train to stay with the in-laws, you can’t put a price on preparedness when it comes to travel. This extra time makes the whole ordeal far less stressful, especially if there are a number of you travelling. Checking suitcases, printing tickets and those last minute toilet breaks all eat up valuable time. An extra thirty minutes could make the difference between being ‘that mom’ sprinting, suitcase and family in tow, to the back of the queue, or being that mom, sunglasses on, tickets at the ready, taking everything in her stride.
During Travel Time
If you know that some of your travel party are likely to be a little restless, then make sure you bring something to keep everyone amused. Card games, books, crosswords and even mobile phones are all simple, but really effective ways of keeping everyone entertained for the duration of the journey. Oh, and if you didn’t manage to get those 8 hours last night, then bring an eye mask and treat yourself to some nap time!
You’ve done it! Your travel plans have been successful and you’ve arrived at your destination. Perhaps that’s a beautiful holiday home, perhaps its the spare bedroom at your parents’ house. Wherever it is, take the time that very evening to unpack your bags. Although it might well be the last thing you feel like, you’ll sleep much sounder knowing that everything is in order and you can finally relax. Not to mention that it’s so nice waking up in the morning and not having to sift through a suitcase!