As much as I love doing it, traveling provides an endless supply of possible stressful moments. When you add in more people, weather problems, and the time sensitive nature of the holidays, stress goes up.While I’m writing this post focused on stress-free holiday travel, all of the following advice is good to keep in mind anytime you grab your bag and head for an airport. Here’s a lesson in holiday travel 101.
Pack Lighter and Smarter
Unless you’re traveling for an extended amount of time, there’s really no need to check baggage. By choosing appropriate carry-on luggage and packing smarter, you’ll never have to worry about an airline losing your luggage.
I use a backpack and a small roller on all my trips. If I ever have to rush across an airport to catch a flight I can do so by not being weighed down. Plus, the less stuff you bring, the less you have to dig through to find anything in particular. Also, don’t forget that if you forget something really important you can most likely buy it wherever you’re headed.
Check out these tips to help you pack light.
Good Headphones Are a Must
There’s no reason to be stressed once you get into your seat on the airplane.
Having a good pair of headphones that you can put on and block out the world around you is key. I prefer over the ear ones, so that it’s clear to everyone around me that I’m engaged in anything else but chatting with them. Plus, I find these help keep more noise out.
If you choose the noise-canceling type, be sure the battery is charged before you leave. I always keep a pair of simple in ear buds as a back up. Nothing’s worth than a long flight without headphones.
Comfort to Consume
Yes, you should keep a protein bar or another healthy snack in your bag at all times, but I’m talking about media to pass the time during a delay at the airport.
I try to keep one or two movies on my iPad that I could watch over and over at any time. Currently I have Sound City and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty always with me. Since they’re stored on my tablet, I can watch them anywhere and at anytime.
Keep Hydrated and Healthy
There’s nothing worse than having someone sit down next to you on a flight sniffling and sneezing. You’ll see and hear tons of ways to prevent getting sick while traveling, but there are two sure fire ones that’ll always help.
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. More and more airports are adding water bottle friendly drink fountains, so consider carrying an empty one with you at all times. Second, wash your hands often to keep from spreading germs to yourself and others.
Personally, I also try to drink more vitamin C when on the road and always turn the air vent on to blow directly in front of my face on planes. I don’t know if either truly helps, but they make me feel better.
Keep Things in Perspective
My dad always told me, “No matter how bad of a day you’re having someone else is having a worse one.” The fact that you’re traveling during the holidays is more than some people get to do.
During those moments before you’re going to yell at a gate agent or get upset at the screaming child in the seat next to you, stop and put everything into perspective. In the grand scheme of things, what will losing your cool do to help the situation? Is it worth it?
Lots of holiday travel stress is our own doing. Take a deep breath, think about the situation, and then determine the best way to react or proceed.
In the end, the key to it all is keeping a positive attitude. Focusing on your delayed flight, the inexperienced person in front of you in the TSA Pre line, or lack of parking at the airport won’t do anything except stress you out more. Realize that things are never going to go as planned and roll with whatever comes your way.
I wish you happy and stress-free holiday travel!