MAKE HOLIDAY TRAVEL EASIER
I’m lucky in that my daughters (and my obsession Missy K) live in Colorado. But, I do have family on the West Coast too. So, there is NO escaping a bit of holiday travel during the year.
The holidays have always had such a bad rep for traveling, and between delays, the crowds, and the weather, it can be a HUGE nightmare. BUT! This year, I’m going to try really really hard to go into it with a more positive attitude. It’s just not productive to go into it thinking it’ll be just awful, right?!
I’m actually staying in Denver for Thanksgiving, but I’ll be traveling for Christmas – so I’m saving this list until then. If you’re traveling this week for Turkey Day, I hope this makes your travel-time a little easier!
It seems that whenever I shift to being grateful, my entire thought process changes. No matter how “annoying” the situation I’m in, it can takes me from negative to positive. I recommend trying it for holiday travel!
When you feel yourself getting frustrated (helloooo security line!), be grateful instead. When you’re heading to the airport or getting on the roads, be grateful instead of thinking about how much this will stink. Be grateful that you have the means to travel, that you have the health to travel, that you have a family to spend the holidays with….you get the idea.
I AM THE worst at this, but I’m really going to work on it for travel this holiday season – and honestly, moving forward, too. If you think about some of the main frustrations of holiday travel, it’s the extra wait time. Whether it’s traffic, lines, or whatever, there are just a lot of people traveling at this time – and it takes it’s toll on your patience.
Instead of staying tucked in for an extra hour of sleep or sitting at home sipping coffee, leave early. Leave yourself 2-3x the normal time frame you need to get to the airport or security lines. Worst case, you have extra time at the gate or once you arrive at your destination (we tend to stroll to the Red Carpet Room and have a toast to our trip…..it takes a teeny bit of the stress out of getting through security). If you don’t have this option, there are lots of super cute wine bars and restaurants to sneak into prior to your flight. Order celebratory bubbles to make it special!
Appreciate Your Down Time
I remember being on a flight a few years ago and reading a book (remember when we had to actually carry full-sized books through the airport? Now, you can take 1000 books along on your iPad or Kindle) and feeling SO relaxed. It was like something in my mind switched and I realized how truly magical travel can be. You’re disconnected from the world, aren’t in control, and are able to relax (well, once you’re on the plane). Take advantage of this!
If you’re flying, download or buy a book you’re dying to read (tradition demands I purchase ALL of the People, US gossip magazines for my trips…..and, the rule is….I cannot open it until we take off). Or pre-download a movie you’ve been wanting to see. If you’re driving, download a couple podcasts. The content can be pure entertainment or a time for self improvement. Just do a little body/mind scan a few days before you leave and think about what you need. Maybe it’s being entertained and taking your mind off things, or maybe it’s refocusing on improving yourself. I guarantee you’ll arrive at your destination feeling good!
Give Them A Break
Trust me, I get it, people are VERY annoying when you’re traveling. It’s harsh but honest! But one thing that I think helps is giving people the benefit of the doubt (this is super challenging for me). If you run into a rude person at the customer service desk, remember that they’ve been dealing with angry people for probably days. If someone runs into you, maybe their car broke down and they’re rushing to make their flight. If someone cuts you off driving, maybe they had a sad morning and left a little late. Give crying kids’ parents a break, as it cannot be easy to travel with kids!
This goes along with the grateful mindset, and it might sound kinda cheesy, but it’s an important lesson I’ve learned. Especially when dealing with a LOT of interaction while traveling! I always find it makes the trip more enjoyable and I’m just in a better mood ya know?
It takes extra prep, but I cannot tell y’all how much happier of a traveler I am when I’m comfortable. For clothing, that’s usually leggings and a tunic and then a big cozy scarf that I can snuggle up with on the plane. Also, always socks and some sort of shoe (usually boots for holiday travel) to keep warm and to go through security (and, if you have TSA or CLEAR – you do not have to get them off).
Then go even further than clothing. Invest in a neck pillow for travel because they are SO worth it (be careful to veer away from Unicorn heads or other huge, child-like version). Think about an eye mask if you like to sleep, and noise-cancelling headphones in case there are babies or loud people by you. Bring your own water bottle so that you can fill it up for free. Pack a little thing of snacks so you know you have something, and then think of beauty products like hand cream or face wipes – whatever you want to do. All of this helps me check into my seat and relax.
Have I missed some tricky thing that works for you when traveling? How often do you travel for holidays?