Attaining (and maintaining) work-life balance for frequent travelers is easier said than done. But attaining work-life balance during the holidays balance becomes a bit of a magic trick. Nonetheless, there are ways to balance work, life and travel over the holidays without quadrupling your amount of gray hairs. Read on for five tips for balancing work and travel over the holidays this year.
Book All Holiday Travel Months in Advance
This should be your first task when planning for the holidays. Travel can be stressful as it is, but more so during the holidays amidst the threat of overbooked flights, crowded airports and increased chances of inclement weather. Not to mention that once you get within a few weeks of the holidays, flights become increasingly scarce, and the flights that are available, are often several times the average price. For peace of mind, you may want to book holiday travel months in advance, though recent data would suggest that booking several weeks in advance often yields the best savings. Nonetheless, don’t let November come without booking flights and accommodations for holiday travel.
Book a Vacation Immediately After the Holidays
For many people, the holidays translate into vacation time. Yet it comes at a price, and the risks of delayed and overbooked flights increase significantly. However, for many destinations, the couple of weeks immediately following the holidays yield some of the best travel deals all year. Not to mention that destination’s hotels and flights there will be seeing some of the smallest crowds during this time. I experienced this first-hand a couple years ago when I traveled to Mexico the second week of January. My entire week-long vacation cost less than $1,000, while it felt at times like I had the entire resort to myself.
Manage Your Work-Life Balance With Productivity Apps
This is a great tip to follow year-round, but especially during the holidays, when your schedule, to-do lists and itineraries are multiplied compared to the rest of the year. For your travel itineraries, this is where TripIt comes in handy, acting as a master planner for all of your travel itineraries, with other perks that include real-time updates, point trackers, and alternate flight integration. For more general productivity apps, I recommend apps like Evernote and Trello, which serve as one-stop apps for notes, tasks, to-do lists and schedules.
Extend Business Trips Into Leisure Trips
It’s no secret that vacation time (especially in America), can be hard to come by— particularly, around the holidays. It’s for this reason that I like extending business trips into leisure trips. All of a sudden that Silicon Valley business trip becomes a Northern California wine country vacation or that downtown Los Angeles biz trip turns into a Southern California beach bizcation.
Start New Year’s Resolutions Before the Holidays
That’s right, start those New Year’s resolutions at the end of the year, rather than beginning of the year. The holidays are often when unhealthy habits either start or are heightened. So instead of ending the year on a downside, end it on an upside and keep the momentum going through the new year. Consider starting every morning with a workout or yoga, or try learning a new skill. While bringing some healthy habits to your life, it can also produce a much needed routine that can be hard to come by around the holidays.
Spencer is a seasoned food, drink, and travel writer who has written for publications from Outside Magazine to Travel + Leisure and Los Angeles Times. When he’s not traveling, he’s perfecting his favorite cocktails in his home bar. He chronicles his adventures (and cocktails) on his travel site, Whiskey Tango Globetrot.