Planning a Stress-Free Vacation During the Holidays

Today, I have a very special guest, Henry, of Fit Well Traveler who has offered to write a guest post about traveling during the holidays. Sometimes when you get caught up in the details of travel planning, it can be easy to forget the basics, which he has done a good job of covering in this article. Please give it a read and let him know what you think in the comments!

Photo via Pixabay

During the holiday season, many people plan to travel to various destinations to celebrate this special time of year, but holiday travel can be stressful if you don’t take time to plan your trip. Long lines at the airport, delayed flights and inclement weather are just a few things that strike fear into the hearts of holiday travelers everywhere. Here are some tips to consider when you want to take a stress-free vacation during the holidays-- whether you’re going solo, with family or your partner.

Book Tickets in Advance

Want to save stress during the holidays when you are going out of town? Book your plane tickets in advance. You’ll save money and won’t have to worry about trying to find a last-minute flight to your destination during peak flying season. You may also be able to get a direct flight instead of one with several connections.

Buy Event Tickets in Advance

Yes, you want to go that special holiday concert or that special winter exhibit at the museum. But if you wait till the eleventh hour, you and your partner may find yourselves standing out in the cold instead of enjoying the event. So why give yourself the extra stress. Make your winter holiday a memorable one by purchasing advance tickets to any activities or events you want to attend.

Plan Your Itinerary Before You Arrive at Your Destination

If you're the type of person who waits until the plane lands before you begin to plan your activities while on vacation, you’re asking for some serious stress. The hustle and bustle of the holidays can make it almost impossible to get into the attractions and events you want to go to if you don’t plan ahead. Instead, do your online research with your partner and plan all the fun things you want to do when you arrive at your vacation spot.

Packing Your Luggage

Do you really want to lug three or four huge suitcases through airport terminals? That will only lead to more anxiety. Instead, do your best to pack as light as possible. If possible, choose clothes that don’t wrinkle easily. Make sure you pack emergency medication for headaches, indigestion, and diarrhea too. You may even want to pack a small first aid kit in case you need it during your trip. But don’t go overboard.

Leave for the Airport

Do you want to lower your stress? Leave a few hours early so you can get to the airport on time and be prepared for any flight delays. If you live in a city that receives plenty of snow and ice, you may have to wait more than an hour for the airport staff to deice the plane.

Keeping Germs Away

If you want to enjoy your vacation without getting sick, one excellent tip is to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching handrails, security screening containers or any other objects that thousands of people touch at the airport. Once you’re on your flight, use a bleach wipe to sanitize your armrests and seat table. If possible, try not to touch the seat-back pocket. And if you have to use the airplane restroom, wash your hands more vigorously than usual. After all, when you’re on an airplane, you’re surrounded by potential sick people and a host of germs that can make you sick.

Driving to Your Destination

Maybe you and your partner are going to drive to your holiday vacation spot. If so, a week before you hit the road, take your car to the mechanic for maintenance service. You want your car in excellent condition so you don’t end up stranded in the middle of nowhere because of a flat tire or mechanical problem. If you plan to travel through states that have wintry weather, pack an emergency winter kit and keep it in your vehicle. The kit should include a snow shovel, ice scraper and salt or sand. Pack a warm blanket and bottles of water in case your card ends up trapped in the snow. You’ll be able to stay warm and well hydrated until help arrives.

Protecting Your Home

When you go on vacation, keep your house protected while you’re away. Ask a trusted family member or neighbor to drive by your home a few times a week to check on it. Purchase a security alarm service so that if anyone tries to break into your home, the security company can notify the local police. Suspend your mail service until you come back from vacation or give a trusted neighbor permission to collect your mail until you return. If you subscribe to the local newspaper, make sure you suspend service as well. Piles of newspapers and uncollected mail is a huge signal to would-be thieves that no one is at home.

Going on vacation during the holidays doesn’t have to be chaotic. With a bit of advance planning, you and your partner can enjoy a relaxing vacation and spend your time having fun instead of stressing over problems that could have been avoided.

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