15 Tips For Stress-Free Holiday Travel

15 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Travel

Traveling can be a stressful experience, but traveling during the holidays is likely to be much more overwhelming.

Airport travel may be one of the biggest causes of stress. Don't arrive late to the airport on the day your flight departs, make sure you check in to your flight online beforehand, and always fly by the TSA's rules.

*Related: 15 Everyday Habits That Increase Stress

It's important to pack wisely  — all of your essentials should be easily reachable; and do your best to minimize the amount of baggage you are lugging around to avoid having to carry and keep track of too much luggage.

The holidays should be a fun and special time, not a stressful one. Stay hydrated, dress comfortably, and make sure you are properly prepared. Here are a few tips for stress-free holiday travel.

Always Have a Road Safety Emergency Kit

Are you renting a car? Make sure you have a portable road safety emergency kit with you. It should contain items such as a small flashlight, Band-Aids, water bottles, a cell phone charger, jumper cables, and multi-purpose tools just in case anything goes wrong with the car.

Arrive Early

It is important to arrive early and give yourself enough time, especially during the holiday travel season. Although you'll be spending more time at the airport, you'll be able to avoid the unnecessary stresses of running around frantically and rushing to your gate.

Check In Online

Holiday travel means tons of people, longer lines, and longer wait times. Save yourself time at the airport by checking into your flight online the day before. You'll have the option to print your ticket or show your ticket directly from your smart phone.

Dress Comfortably

Dress yourself and your children comfortably. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable during your long flight. Throw a pair of jeans in your suitcase and put on something more comfortable. Even bring a cozy blanket on the plane for extra warmth and relaxation.

Fly by the TSA’s Rules

Save yourself stress at the TSA checkpoint by simply following the TSA's rules. Don't try to carry containers larger than 3.4 ounces, because they will be taken away. Aerosols, poisons, flammable items, and certain foods are also prohibited.

Get Travel Insurance

Anything can happen — save the stress, insure your own personal safety and the safety of your belongings by purchasing travel insurance. It will cover lost baggage, cancellations, medical emergencies, and more.

Go on a Cruise

The stress of planning every detail of your weeklong getaway can be overwhelming, which is why you should consider embarking on a cruise instead. Cruise ships have your itinerary planned out for you. All you have to do is pack, hop on your ship, and enjoy the activities, dining, and entertainment the ship has laid out for you.

Keep the Kids Happy

Dress them comfortably, carry around their essentials, and make sure they are well-fed. An unhappy child can cause tons of stress. Purchase the Sneck kids travel pillow by Bubble Bum for long rides on the road. The micro-bead filled pillow pods and cozy material will put your child to sleep in no time. Tip: Make traveling easier, safer, and more exciting with the best travel gear for kids.


Keep Your Receipts

This is especially important if you are on a budget. The majority of the time, everything you will want to do on vacation will cost money. Save stress in the long run and keep your receipts. This will help you keep track of your expenses and compare them with your credit card bill. Also, if you are traveling for business, it is wise to hold on to your receipts so that you can submit them for reimbursement.

Make a List

This should be one of the first things you do before traveling. Make a list of everything you need to bring with you on your trip, including a list of things for your kids, too. Consider your destination and how the weather will be. Pack everything on your list a couple of days before your date to leave; this will ensure that if you forgot to pack something, you will remember within those two days.


When you're feeling stressed, stop and take a moment to yourself. Meditation will help rejuvenate you and relieve any negativity that may be weighing you down. It will help improve your concentration and relive any anxiety you may be feeling. "During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being," the Mayo Clinic explains.

Pack Light

Although packing light may be a struggle, if you are trying to avoid unnecessary stress, it may be wise to do so. Try to travel with only a carry-on bag, this way you won't have to check your bags and deal with the possibility of lost luggage. Also, if you already checked in online, you will be able to bypass check in at the airport and make your way to security in no time.

Plan Ahead

Don't just wing it; plan ahead. Make sure that when you begin planning your trip you have an idea of where you are going to stay, the restaurants you will want to eat at, and the activities you will want to participate in. There is nothing more stressful than getting to your destination and fumbling around because you don't know what to do or where to go.

Stay Hydrated

It is important to stay properly hydrated, especially while traveling. Dehydration may cause confusion, irritability, and low blood pressure. Researchers from the University of Connecticut's Human Performance Laboratory found that even mild dehydration alters a person's mood, energy levels and mental function.

Take Exercise Breaks

Whether you are on the road or at the airport, exercise breaks are essential for stress relief. According to the ADAA, "studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate." It has also shown to help reduce fatigue and relieve symptoms of anxiety.