10 Tips for More Relaxing Holiday Travel

If you’ll be traveling over the holidays, chances are you’re already starting to sweat over the details. Whether you’re going across town to grandma’s house or across the country here are ten tips to make your holiday season more relaxing.


Ship all Your Gifts Ahead

If you’re flying, you’ll be facing restrictions on what you can bring as well as having to pay fees to check baggage. Skip the hassle and ship everything ahead. Many online retailers offer free shipping so it won’t cost you anything extra. Once you arrive, wrap everything.

Give Yourself Breathing Room

You’ve heard horror stories of people trapped at the airport or in the train station due to weather delays? Don’t become a statistic! Try to book travel with some padding around the dates and times. Giving yourself this window will help buffer any delays and give you time to recuperate after travels.

Fly on the actual holiday

If you have some flexibility with your travel dates, look to travel on the exact holiday. You can save a lot of money and will have much smaller crowds.

Go Easy on Alcohol

This means when you’re traveling and at your destination. Alcohol can dehydrate and potentially make you feel unwell. There’s nothing worse than a long car ride or flight with a pounding headache.

Book Early

Holiday travel is arguable the most expensive time of year. Flights, accommodations, parking, everything costs more. The earlier you are able to make reservations the more choice you’ll have at the best price.

Check Alternate Travel Options

Is there another airport nearby that you could fly to for a lower price or is the train more affordable than flying? Instead of booking a hotel why not see if there is an apartment rental or house swap available. There are more options now than ever. Look into all of them.

Nonstop Flights

It may seem a better deal to book a multi-segment flight, and often times these tickets are priced lower. But, a nonstop flight won’t leave you worrying about connection times or delays. Paying a bit more for peace of mind may be worth it, especially if you have a short vacation time.

Leave extra time

Give ample time to arrive at the train station or airport. If you’re driving know that the roads will be extra busy during the holiday season. By planning this time into your travel schedule you’re likely to be less stressed with delays.

Pack Snacks

Don’t depend on sub-par convenience store food, fast food, or overpriced airport dining to get you through your travels. Instead prepare foods at home that will travel well. Not only will you save money but you’ll know that you are eating better.

Plan Accommodations Smartly

Maybe a week at grandma’s over the holiday season with your siblings and their children sounds like a good idea in the planning stages. You’ll save money and everyone can have fun together but there’s something to be said for having your own space. Keep in mind how you and your family travel best and what your needs are and plan accordingly.


Do you have any tips to add?


  1. Thanks for sharing these great tips. Any travel can be stressful, but holiday travel is just about the worst.

  2. These are great tips for holiday travel. I always pack snacks no matter where I go and taking extra time is always helpful in my case.

  3. I’m actually so glad we aren’t traveling this holiday. But these are some great tips. I don’t think I’d be getting much relaxing done if we went anywhere this year- hopefully next!

  4. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says

    Shipping the gifts ahead is brilliant. We went to San Diego last year and brought my nephew’s birthday gift with us because it fell while we were there & it was so bulky that we totally regretted not sending it beforehand.

  5. I’m so big on packing snacks! really good tips, sad we won’t be traveling this Christmas!

  6. I dont travel often but i know one thing for sure. Drinking and driving as a passanger is no better especially if you get motion sickeness easily. Lesson learned.

  7. We are shipping a lot of our stuff. It is SO much easier. The non stop flights are the best in the long run for sure. I rafter just get there and not worry about lay overs.

  8. I am all about the easy on the booze. As much as I feel like I could totally relax with some wine… I know too much is no good!

  9. Yes, book early. We’ve already got all of our travel plans taken care of.

  10. The more I prep, the easier the trips tend to be. I always get stressed when I don’t plan properly.

  11. I’ve never thought to travel ON the actual holiday. Definitely sounds smart to me since everyone usually flies a day or two before

  12. Shipping your gifts ahead when you are traveling during the holidays is a fantastic idea. These are great tips for a relaxing holiday.

  13. Snacks and extra time are huge for me! There is nothing worse than be stressed, rushed, and hungry!

  14. Thanks for all your great tips, each one was better than the next. My fave advice on your list is to ship packages ahead of your trip since it’s such a hassle to bring them along, especially if you are flying and trying to get by with just a carry on.

  15. Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert says

    Holiday travel can be an extremely stressful experience if you’re not prepared! Always make sure to plan ahead!

  16. Maggie Branch says

    These are some great tips! I agree with flying non stop. You may pay a bit more but you know you’ll get to your destination as long as the conditions are good where you fly out of and where you land. I live in the Midwest and fly back east to see family so we always fly direct in case say Chicago gets a bad snow storm, with direct we can avoid it.

  17. It would never have occurred to me to travel on the holiday itself. That is a brilliant suggestion.

  18. This is great, so helpful. We love to travel during the holidays! Bookmarking this!

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