There’s nothing quite like the Holidays — seeing family, eating comforting food, spending quality time with loved ones. Yet, as magical as this time of the year can be, it can also be incredibly stressful, especially if you're traveling.
Whether you're visiting family, taking a trip with your significant other, or exploring some corner of the world by yourself, there are plenty of ways to keep your Holiday travels stress-free. From price comparisons, to saving cash with transportation, to making sure your home is secure, here are some useful tips:
There are so many hacks when it comes to comparing prices online, but it doesn't have to be complicated. Use incognito or private mode to compare different websites — especially ones that compare multiple venues for you. Don't rely on any one single website as you can find the same flight with different prices listed on different sites. Save money, save stress.
No matter where you're headed, taxis and rideshare services are an expense that could be better spent elsewhere. Look at the public transportation options available to you; almost every city/county has a website you can use to plan how to use public transportation in advance. Buses, trains, subways, or other rapid transits, are excellent options that can allow you to, not only to see more of where you're visiting, but also help you save some money too. Consider investing in a bus or subway pass, and use the extra money for things to make your travels more memorable, like dining out or mementos.
Follow the Early Bird
By early, we mean everything involving the airport. Book as early as you can, so you can get the best possible deal. Pack early, so you aren't rushed at the last minute trying to decide if you need that swimsuit or second pair of flats. Leave early, so you know that you won't be panicking, wondering if you will make it to your gate on time.
If you're going to spend your holiday out backpacking, road tripping, or sightseeing, at the very least, have your first destination planned. There's nothing that can ruin a vacation holiday more than arriving jet-lagged and exhausted, and then trying to book a place to stay using the airport's (sometimes unreliable) WiFi.
Get Help From a Local
Planning a trip can take a lot of time and effort. Before you spend hours online trying to figure out what to eat, see and do, consider requesting a personalized travel itinerary. Companies like Locals Compass can connect you with a Local from your destination who can take care of the planning for you.
Secure Your Home
It’s an awful feeling being an airplane ride away from home and worrying whether your home is secure. Start with a checklist you can look at to feel reassured that your doors, windows and garage are locked, that your oven is off, and that your mail has been put on hold. Put your lights on a timer to keep your home looking lived-in. Make sure your lawn is taken care of and looks maintained, even if that means paying your neighbor to mow it. If you're going on a longer holiday vacation, consider investing in a security system, one that allows you to check on your home remotely.
Lastly, don’t advertise when you’re away. We're all guilty of it at some point. Checking in on Facebook, posting pictures on Instagram, tweeting about the amazing dinner we just had in a city that is nowhere near the one we live in. While it's fun to share with our loved ones, it's a big sign to burglars that you're not home. Waiting to post about your trip until you get home is just one more way you can secure your home.
These simple tips can go a long way to make your holiday vacation smooth and stress-free. Whether it's hiring someone to check up on your home, having a timer for your lights, or making sure you know exactly what bus route you need to get to your hotel, you'll be set. Go, armed with these tips, and enjoy the Holidays — you've earned it.
About the author: Henry is the co-creator of FitWellTraveler. The site blends two of his favorite subjects, travel and health, to provide readers with information about how to get the most out of both.