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Tips for Traveling During the Holidays

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By Christian Roemer

The holidays are a bit of a quadruple-edged sword. On the one hand, you usually get a decent chunk of time off work. On the other, you have to do a good bit of traveling. Then again, you get to see family and exchange gifts. But then you also have to do a good bit of traveling.


Basically, travellng is the worst part of the holiday season -- almost enough to dissuade most sane people from going anywhere in the first place. Unfortunately, it’s not quite enough to get people to actually stay home. It’s a necessary evil that grinds pretty much everyone down.


But it doesn’t have to be this way! Here are 10 tips to try and stay sane (and safe) while traveling this year.


  1. Relax - If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us, it’s that we should all relax a little bit. Traveling can be stressful, but turning into an insane person doesn’t help anyone. We’re all just trying to get where we’re going, so take a couple deep breaths if you feel your blood pressure rising.

  2. Leave early - With all the traffic on the roads, you should double the normal time it takes to get where you’re going. Think about when you would normally head out, then leave a few hours before that. You’ll need the extra time on the clock.

  3. Bring snacks - This tip dovetails with #1. Being hungry during your travels can make you more prone to getting upset. Don’t be hangry. Snack if you need to, but not on too many sweets. The sugar will cause you to crash and you’ll feel even worse.

  4. Expect flight delays - Just like folks hitting the road need to leave early, you need to arrive extra early to the airport too. Security lines will snake slowly. They’ll be long. Don’t leave at a time that’ll have you running to your flight, or worse, missing it altogether.

  5. Take the scenic route - There’s no better time to take the road less travelled than during the holidays. When the interstates coagulate into a slow-passing dribble, get on some back roads. You might see something cool and new!

  6. Avoid Interstate 75 - I know this only applies to a small portion of the people who may read this blog post, but heed my words. Don’t take I75, especially around Atlanta. You won’t have a good time.

  7. Zoom instead - This tip might be cheating, but the best way to travel during the holidays is to not travel at all. Instead, let technology bridge the gap between you and family by opening presents and chilling on a Zoom call. You’ll be able to sleep in!

  8. Make a playlist - What better way to get in the holiday spirit than by making a holiday playlist and jamming in the car or plane? Christmas music always brings a smile, so set yourself up for success by making yourself a nice holiday playlist.

  9. Make a packing list (and check it twice) - Nothing will throw a monkey wrench in all your travel plans like leaving something critically important at home. Maybe it’s the toddler’s Christmas gift. Maybe it’s your underwear. Either way, you don’t want to forget anything. Start writing your packing list a week before you embark on your adventure.

  10. Be kind to fellow travelers - Part 2 of relaxing is being kind to everyone else around you. The worker at the baggage check can’t make the line move faster. Security can only run the x-ray machines so quickly. Let people change lanes on the road if they have on their blinker. Don’t get into a fight with someone on the plane. The holidays are a time for cheer and happiness, so be kind to all your fellow travelers. Remember, you’re not stuck in traffic; you are the traffic. We’re all in this together.

Nobody likes traveling for the holidays. Planning ahead, being prepared, and staying empathetic to your fellow humans will make your migration much better. Remember, life is all about the journey, not the destination!

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