Making plans, packing bags, boarding planes – everything about traveling is more difficult during the holidays. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to live in the North Dallas Corridor, so many of us are excitedly (or, more often, begrudgingly) going around the country to visit family this time of year. If that’s you, we have a few tips to keep you sane, whether you are going 30 minutes or 3,000 miles away.
Avoid Peak Travel Times
No matter if you are driving or flying, you will have a much less stressful trip if you avoid going during peak travel times. These include the day before Thanksgiving, the weekend before Christmas or New Year’s Eve, and the day after Christmas and New Year’s Day. So, plan on leaving early, extending your trip or going out during off-times like overnight for a less crowded experience. As a bonus, tickets are generally cheaper if you do this!
Prepare for Emergencies
Just like traveling any other time of the year, things can go wrong during holiday travel. Prepare for emergencies in advance so you aren’t phased if they happen. If you’re flying, store a copy of your boarding pass on your phone and print a copy, pack a change of clothes in your carry-on, and consider shipping any gifts you want to bring in advance. If you’re driving, have your car inspected before leaving and make sure you have a spare tire, blankets, a flare gun, a portable phone charger and some extra food stored in case of a breakdown.
Try to Relax
Getting together with family can be stressful – especially when you have to go across the country to visit them – so it’s important to try to relax as much as you can on your trip. If you’re driving, take breaks in scenic areas to make a mandatory trip feel more like a vacation, and if you’re flying, load up your favorite holiday movies or music to listen to and relax. We also recommend investing in a comfortable travel pillow, like the Sofia Cashmere set from Neiman Marcus, which includes a cozy-knit cashmere neck pillow, blanket and eye-mask in a cozy carrying case. For women, bring extra makeup in your carry on to put on after you get off your flight or get out of the car, and spray on the Tarte Ready Set Radiant Skin Mist from Beauty Brands, which will brighten, fortify and soothe your face for a fresh look.
No matter what happens on your trip, just remember that it’s all part of the fun. Worst case scenario, you’ll have something funny to tell your relatives about over Christmas dinner!