5 Ways to Avoid Holiday Travel Stress


While holiday travel can be a nice break from reality, it’s a notoriously stressful part of the season many people face. Crowds, canceled flights, bad weather, and steep prices all can put a damper on holiday cheer. According to a new study, 71% of Americans felt stressed during the 2017 holiday season. Use the following five tips to help beat travel stress so you can enjoy your time off this holiday season.

Be Proactive

Whether it’s a class project or a task at work, getting work done before a trip is a great way to minimize holiday travel stress. Be proactive and create a schedule a few weeks before your travels. By doing this, you’ll have a better idea of your workload around the time of your absence. Not getting work done could mean spending your entire trip with a deadline hanging over your head.


Our phones are glued to our hands 24/7, whether it’s compulsively checking emails from professors and colleagues or checking our social media accounts. Studies show that turning off your phone can help reduce anxiety and depression, and improve attention and happiness. Turning off your phone during travel, even for a short period of time, allows you to live in the moment and be present with loved ones.

Be Prepared

Be a step ahead and thoroughly prepare for your trip as unforeseen events do happen. Make a checklist before your trip to ensure you won’t forget anything that can potentially throw it off schedule. Include all items, big or small, because leaving anything behind can be a real burden during your travels. It’s also important to have an emergency fund set aside, apart from the funds you’ve allocated for your trip. For example, according to the U.S. Passport Service Guide, replacing a stolen passport according to will cost you close to $200.

Avoid Peak Times

Statistics show that holiday travel volume has grown to 21.6 million, which is almost a 25% increase since 2005. By traveling during off-peak times, you can end up saving a lot of time and money in the long run. If driving, to beat the crowds it’s recommended that you leave early in the morning or after the morning commute as roads will be less congested. For an even better chance of beating the crowds, traveling on the day of the holiday is the way to go.

Take Your Time

By allowing yourself time to get back into the swing of things, you can help reduce the stress and anxiety as traveling can be incredibly draining. For example, taking an adequate amount off of work for packing, unpacking, catching up on sleep, or running last minute errands can help ease the transition.  

Despite the stress, the holidays are ultimately meant to be a joyous time with friends and family. While it’s impossible to predict what your travel plans may unfold, these tips can help you prevent and manage holiday travel stress.

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