The holidays are supposed to be a magical time of the year. These are times to spend with close family and friends, to eat delicious food, pack on a few pounds, and enjoy the holiday spirit.
However, despite the joy and cheer that the holidays are supposed to bring, holidays are actually the most stressful times of the year for many people.
In fact, around 88 percent of people report being stressed or depressed during the holiday season. And though much of this can be attributed to the changing of seasonal patterns, the fact remains that the holidays themselves simply stress people out.
During the holidays we also see a heightened amount of travel on the roadways as well. And this can cause even more undue stress.
Here, we’ll detail a few simple ways to keep your holiday travel time stress-free. This way, you can arrive at your destination with a little more peace of mind.
Your Vehicle Checklist
The last thing you’ll want to experience during the holidays is a breakdown on the side of the road. As such, it’s best to ensure that your car is in good working order before you attempt any travel.
The following checklist will provide you with a basic overview:
- Change oil and filter
- Check tire pressure
- Inflate spare
- Check wipers for durability
- Check all turn signals and headlights
- Check brakes
- Top off all fluids
It’s also good to note that because the main holiday season occurs during the colder months of the year, it’s a good idea to winterize your vehicle as well.
Additionally, you should also take this prep time to review your auto insurance policy and browse insurance quotes if needed. If you don’t have a towing package or some form of roadside assistance, you may find yourself stranded without services. And this can be stressful!
Relaxing on the Road
While it might be difficult and rather unsafe to relax while you’re driving, there are ways to have a more relaxing driving experience. And this can be accomplished by using a few available tools.
Before your trip, build a playlist of your favorite soothing tunes, or compile a Christmas music playlist. This will help set the mood and create a more relaxing environment while you drive to your destination.
You may also consider taking roads less traveled to your destination. Often during the holidays, the Interstates are bustling with motorists trying to get to their destinations as fast as possible. But if you don’t mind leaving a day early or going at a slower pace, taking the lesser-traveled roadways can make for a much more scenic and relaxing experience.
Additionally, frequently stopping along the way can offer you time to stretch. And this can ease any undue road stress that you might be feeling as you travel.
Have a Backup Plan
Cancellations are the worst when you’re traveling on the roadways during the holidays. And during this time of year, hotels and resorts are notorious for overbooking.
If you want to help mitigate any stress or frustration, having an alternate plan (or two) in place just in case your lodging arrangements get canceled is ideal.
For example, if you’ll be visiting family, perhaps you might ask if they have room to allow you to stay for a night if your lodging plans fall through. Or, research hotels and lodges nearby your intended destination and see which ones have the most availability.
Additionally, it’s not uncommon for some holiday travelers to book more than one room as a contingency plan. And this can be a failsafe if you’re traveling to a heavily populated area.
Holiday stress is no fun. Whether this is financially related, or if it’s due to the weather, nobody wants to deal with stress at any time during the year. But if you follow the tips outlined here, you’re sure to be able to enjoy a much less stressful holiday travel experience.