Living away from my family means one thing: I’m always traveling for the holidays. I think it’s pretty normal and something a lot of us suffer through together ha! The holidays always have such a bad stigma for traveling, and between delays, the crowds, and the weather, it can honestly be a nightmare. BUT! This year, I’m trying really really hard to go into in a more positive mindset. It’s just not productive to go into it thinking it’ll suck and of all the bad.
I’m actually staying in Dallas 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 though, I hope it comes in handy this week!
Whenever I make the mindset shift to being grateful, it does sooo much for me mentally. No matter the “annoying” situation I’m in, it can take me from being negative to positive. I recommend trying it for holiday travel!
When you feel yourself getting frustrated (helloooo secruity 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 suck. 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 and so on.
Give extra time
I’m the freaking 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 that adds up.
Instead of savoring an extra hour or sleeping in or being at home, leave early. Leave yourself 2-3x the normal time you do for getting to the airport or getting through security. Worst case, you have extra time at the gate or once you arrive at your destination. Such a stress relief right there!
Take advantage of the down time
I remember being on a flight a few years ago and reading a book 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 or whatever). Take advantage of this!
If you’re flying, download or buy a book you’re dying to read. 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 development. 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 others the benefit
I get it, people are annoying when you’re traveling. It’s harsh but just being honest! But one thing that I think helps is giving people the benefit of the doubt. 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 kind of 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. If I’m driving, I’ll wear a similar version of the same outfit.
Then go even further than clothing. Invest in a neck pillow for travel because they are SO worth it. 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 puts me in my own world and I feel much better.
Here are some of my travel essentials:
What’s something that always makes traveling better for you?
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