Traveling this holiday season? Christmas travel can be very stressful but there are some things you can do to help reduce the stress.
Are you planning to travel around the holidays? Travel can be stressful at any time of the year but even more so during the holidays.
While we don’t travel on the actual holidays, we do like to take a trip during December. For several years, we’ve gone to Branson, Missouri. We missed last year but hope to go back this year or at least next. It’s a reasonable drive from us and my winter-loving husband likes to go north during our winter trip. It’s a beautiful place to visit around the holidays.
We always have a wonderful time but sometimes it does add a bit of stress to the holidays since we go the week before Christmas. There are ways to cut down on that stress though. This is something I’m really focused on this year.
How to Reduce Christmas Travel Stress
Don’t have things waiting for you at home.
If you are going to be traveling before Christmas but will be back for the actual holiday try to have everything already done. Have your gifts wrapped, have cookies in the freezer ready to bake, mail out cards, etc… It’s never fun to be thinking about all you need to do when you get home.
Using a Christmas planner can help you make sure you are on track. Keep lists of everything you need to do to make sure nothing is forgotten. Remembering something you still need to do when you get home while on your trip is no fun.
Consider simplifying your Christmas.
This will make it easier to prepare ahead of time. Talk to your family about which things are important to them and ditch the extras. You will likely find there are a lot of things you are doing each Christmas out of tradition that no one really cares about.
Check out my book A Stress-Free Christmas for even more ideas on simplifying your Christmas.
Plan everything about your trip.
Having a plan in place for what you are doing helps reduce stress. Many places are very busy around the holidays. Book hotels, buy tickets, and make reservations ahead of time when possible. Be sure it’s all written down, I like to keep the info in my Christmas planner.
Write a packing list ahead of time.
Take some time ahead of time to make a packing list to help make sure you don’t forget anything. You can be sure you won’t forget something but when things get busy it can happen. It’s better safe than sorry.
Buy supplies as early as possible.
After you make your list if you notice things you need to buy do so as early as you can. Last-minute errands always add stress to your day.
You can also use this to get any last-minute Christmas items so you won’t be rushing to get those when you get home.
Make sure one person is in charge of all of the tickets and documents you need.
And be sure they aren’t left on the table while you are eating pizza, you don’t want someone to spill milk all over them! That can lead to leaving a kid Home Alone. (Get it?! ha)
Make sure you have addresses you need on your phone or written down.
If you don’t have a smartphone or don’t like to use the GPS on it, have directions to the places you plan to go to. If you are using a smartphone having something saved on your phone with the addresses can be helpful.
Make arrangements for pet and home sitters as soon as you can.
You don’t want to have everything planned and then find out your pet sitter is busy. And remember, if you are boarding your pets they may need shots ahead of time. Also, be sure to fill out a pet sitter information sheet so you know your pet is taken care of.
If traveling with your pet make sure you have their supplies ready ahead of time.
If you aren’t driving you may need to take them to the vet to get them cleared for travel. Also, make sure you have a little extra food and any medications they may need in case something happens.
When driving be sure you have a winter emergency kit in your car.
Hopefully, you won’t have an emergency but they happen so it’s best to be ready for them. You can buy a winter emergency kit or make your own. Just be sure someone remembers to pack it.
Following these fairly simple steps can really help make your Christmas travel more enjoyable! Basically, you want to follow the Boy Scouts motto of “be prepared.”