Planning for a Stress Free Holiday Part Two: Preparing for Tranquil Travel
(Missed Part One, Read it here)
It’s been said that there’s no place like home for the holidays, but for some of us, when this season rolls around, home is the last place we want to be. But just because you’ve decided to skip town, doesn’t mean you’re exempt from the pre-vacay stresses of family and friends and all the holiday cheer you feel obliged to spread before you run off to sip eggnog under a palm tree somewhere.
With a little planning, a couple of phone calls, and an hour or so on your laptop, you can travel with a mind that’s free and clear, knowing that you’ve taken care of everything and everyone before you left. Here are a few pre-travel tips to make sure your trip is smooth and stress-free:
1. Hassle-free holiday cards. In this day of online e-cards, sending real, tangible holiday cards may seem like and outdated time-suck. But the fact is that opening an email does not deliver the same warmth or personal touch that you get from pulling a real card from the mailbox. Now, sending cards to all your loved ones is as easy as emailing! Automated services like Vistaprint or Red Stamp make it easy and affordable to upload your list and design your perfect card. You’ll find tons of options for personalization, and you won’t have to stuff a single envelope or lick one stamp. They’ll send your love to mailboxes across the country… even while you’re busy swinging in a hammock somewhere far, far away!
2. Give the people what they want! If you’re too busy packing to run around town shopping for presents, you don’t have to forego the gift-giving all together. Everyone knows that online shopping lets you skip the madness of the mall and still get everything off your gift list. I say you can take it even further, reduce your stress significantly, getting all of your holiday shopping done in under an hour, AND make the world a better place in the process. You can easily make donations to charities you know will hold personal significance to each person on your list. Or give one lump sum to suit your budget to a website such as Must Have Gifts or Heifer International. These organizations are working to end poverty and hunger and improve the lives of children and their families around the world. Not only will you be giving a meaningful – and “clutter free” – gift, you’ll be making the world a better place, while also saving time, shipping costs, and even the hassle of gift wrapping!
3. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. When you’re slammed with errands and details and holiday crazies, it’s often the adrenaline that keeps you pushing through. Then, so often it happens, when you finally have a chance to kick back and relax, you find your immune system has conked out, and you’re on holiday, too sick to get out of bed! To stay healthy, make sure that in the frenzied days leading up to your vacation, you don’t neglect your exercise routine, don’t replace your healthy meals with Christmas cookies and candy canes, and keep yourself hydrated… and not just with copious amounts of mulled wine! Also, don’t forget to schedule a haircut, manicure, and maybe even a massage for the week before you leave town. It’s hard not to feel good when you look your best, so pamper yourself a little before you leave town, and you’ll slip into vacation mode that much faster when you finally get there.
There’s no way to avoid stress completely when you’re travelling, but with a little planning and a positive attitude, you’ll be prepared to breeze through it and have a very happy holiday. Share your favorite tips in the comments below and help your fellow holiday travelers get organized and de-stress, too!