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3 Tips to Overcome Holiday Travel Anxiety

By Rachelle McCray

For many of us, traveling can be stressful. Add in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and stress turns into anxiety. But, don’t cancel your plans just yet. Here are three ways to help alleviate travel anxiety during a busy season.

1. Don’t Overplan

When it comes to both the holidays and travel, we tend to try and cram in as much activity as we can. This can ultimately lead to stress, anxiety, and potentially a ruined trip. Making the most of our vacation doesn’t necessarily mean we should jam pack our schedules. And, with the holidays it’s easy to overextend ourselves, our schedules, and our budgets. To help keep your sanity, and your family happy, prioritize your trip into must-do, want to do, and back up plans.

  • Plan “Must Do” Items First

By planning the must do activities first, you can ensure your obligation of attending your nephews band recital and visiting grandma are not rushed, which will make the time spent more enjoyable for you and your family.

  • Schedule the “Want to Do” items Second

Activities like catching your favorite flick with a high school bestie, should come next. You want to make sure this kind of fun is next in priority while planning.

  • Plan Back Up Plans Last

Things don’t always go exactly as we planned, so be sure to have a few ideas in mind as back up. Checking out the new burger joint on the corner or going ice skating downtown are perfect examples of a game plan that will help ensure there won’t be big gaps in your schedule, resulting in a fulfilling trip.

Prioritizing your trip will lead to a well rounded, memorable vacation. Plus, an added bonus of prioritizing events and time, is being able to pack only what is needed, which will cut down on baggage fees, trip prep time, and spending on unnecessary items.

2. Create Lists – And Use Them

It seems trivial and possibly obvious, but many of us forget to use this simple trick. Lists will help with pre-planning and help you prioritize before your trip. You can create just one list or make several.

  • Examples of lists that can come in handy prior to a holiday trip might be a packing checklist, so you don’t forget your socks or the cocktail dress you need for the Friday night party. Another checklist that may come in handy is for housekeeping items that need to be done prior to leaving, like setting bills to autopay, or turning off the stove and water around the house.
  • If making lists seems daunting or something you might misplace, try using any of the free apps available online. An app based checklist can ensure you have instant and constant access to your lists, as well as make it easy for you to add and delete any items, without searching for the notepad you constantly misplace. Knowing your items are handled before your big trip will take away additional worries on your mind.

3. Un-Stress Yourself

It seems like simple advice – but finding ways to un-stress can make a huge impact on your entire trip. Try adding your favorite music playlists and movies to your portable electronic device, buying a new book to get lost in, or scheduling some time for R and R at a local spa during your trip.

If you are heading to the airport, many now offer pet therapy programs, to help take the edge off. Places like Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, just implemented their Buddy Navigators Program, which offers passengers a way to ease their minds, by petting and interacting with furry four legged friends outfitted in adorable purple vests. The video below provides detail into this new program, which offers a perfect solution to start or end your trip on a stress free note.

With your preparation, priorities in planning your travel agenda, and finding ways to stay un-stressed, this holiday season can be one of your best yet. And, if you’d like to find more ways to live your best life in all aspects, be sure to tune in to Arizona Living: Your Life Your Style. Check your local listings for air times.