Maxie must have bugged my apartment last week. The night before my flight I was a wreck. I hate traveling. I really do. Everything about it stresses me out. (Even thinking about my flight home tomorrow is enough to bring me to tears.) Garrett was half-laughing at me because I get like these before every flight without fail. Maxie’s back with her calming energy tackling the stress around holiday travel.
A Few Ways to Travel with Way Less Stress
Guest post by Maxie McCoy
There’s pretty much nothing worse than being super excited to head home for the holidays only to get totally underwater and panicked by all the stress of traveling. Nobody wants to be that grouchy traveler that shoulders you in the TSA line or cuts you off on the highway. However, if you let this crazy season get to you… the lines, people, packing, delays, and documents involved in traveling can easily start your holiday off on the wrong foot (or end it on the wrong note).
If you traveled for Thanksgiving, you probably saw how ba-na-nas it was everywhere. With the holiday season officially upon us (omg yes!), there will be way more trips in the future weeks. So, whenever you travel, you have a choice to let that affect you or laugh at all the crazy people around you.
I’ve traveled a couple hundred thousand miles in the recent years and have learned quite a thing or two about totally crazy travel. There’ve been trips where I’ve been so stressed out I could barely snap out of it once I got there, and trips where some pretty major things went wrong and I was cool as a cucumber. It all comes down to just a couple of things to keep the stress away when you’re headed out of town for the holidays:
There’s nothing worse than being weighed down by too much crap. The physical weight always translates to an emotional one. If every time you have to zip your backpack up, you’re sweating and breaking your finger, it’s no fun. Paying extra fees for a heavy suitcase is no fun. The lighter you can pack the better, you’ll feel. I promise you don’t need that 10th pair of shoes.
Double Check (out loud)
Phone, ID, Keys, Wallet… check. Go through and check them all twice once you get into the car to head to the airport or before getting on the road. See each thing in your bag and say it out loud. You’ll never have to worry about ending up at security passport-less or be an hour into your drive without your wallet.
Triple the Time
Everyone knows holiday travel takes way more time and has much longer lines and traffic. Remember it and prepare for it. There’s nothing more stressful than cutting it close. While I’m normally a fan of showing up to my gate right as they begin boarding, holiday travel is a different beast. You never know what to expect in the skies or on the streets. Give more time than you think you need.
Accept What Shows Up
I’ll never forget one of my dear friends giving me this piece of advice before I showed up in one of the world’s most notably intense cities. I kept repeating it as all kinds of weird and crazy things happened that I’d never experienced. It’s a good reminder when things are happening that you cannot change, like road detours or a really rude gate agent. Accept it and move on. Adding your energy to things you can’t change just adds to all of the stress.
Prepare for it All to Go Wrong
Murphy’s law is a good one to invoke during the holidays. Most times, it won’t all go wrong but being mentally prepared never hurts. What will you do if your layover is delayed? Do you have alternate plans if a random snow storm comes through? Do you have insurance on your phone if you lose it or it gets stolen? Thinking about backup plans just in case things go wrong will make you feel more prepared if they actually do.
Remember Your Built in Stress Reliever
So many times we’re rushing around, and we forget just to breathe. I’ve written it before, and I’ll write it again, five deep breaths can take the stress right out of a situation… and there’s plenty of those situations that happen during holiday travel.
I know, I know, it sounds a little bit elementary. But hungry people can be angry people #hangry. If you take a few extra minutes to prepare bags of your favorite snacks, you’ll be less worried about buzzing around finding something you can or want to eat. It’ll also help you fuel with the right stuff if you have dietary restrictions or allergies. Always pack the snacks.
For many of us during the holidays, there’s no getting around the travel craze. However, hopefully, these few tips will help you stay calm when all the people around you feel like they’re losing their travelin’ minds.