No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.  ~Lin Yutang

Remember the lyrics to "Jingle Bells?" Folks were laughing all the way during their holiday travels. Today, getting to grandma's house might be a little more difficult, but there are still ways you can make it much less stressful.

Try these holiday travel tips to make your trip more pleasant.

1. Give yourself plenty of extra time to travel. Staying calm is easier when you give yourself plenty of lead time. When you think you have extra time to get to the airport or other destination, leave even earlier.

2. Expect to run into snags. That extra time will come in handy and may prevent you from missing a flight. Keep an extra change of clothes and toiletries with you in case some luggage gets lost.

3. Ship your gifts directly to the recipients. Never wrap gifts until you get to your destination if flying. Your gifts will be unwrapped by your TSA agent, not your grandmother.

4. Travel during off-peak hours. Early mornings, late nights, and the middle of the week may be less crowded. Shorter lines are a great way to reduce stress and travel fatigue.

5. Start out well rested. Avoid the tendency to push yourself before your trip. You can manage everything much better after a full night's rest. Try to get full night’s sleep before your trip. If you are taking the red eye flight, sneak in an afternoon nap. Being well rested leaves you a little more resilient for any stress along the way.

6. Pack healthy snacks. Avoid fast food at the airport. A protein bar or a bag of homemade trail mix will give you more nutrition and energy.

7. Limit caffeine and alcohol. Watch the amount of martinis or lattes when traveling, Flying is dehydrating, so alcohol and caffeine aggravate the effects. They can also make it more difficult to relax. Drink more water instead.

8. Bring your favorite music or books. Always load up your favorite portable device with music or the latest book release. Add any relaxation recordings to quickly chill if you get stressed along the way. This is a great way to relieve stress naturally as well as pass the time

Holiday travel can be tough, but you can make it easier on yourself. Plan ahead and use simple meditations to lift your mood and enjoy more peace of mind.
 

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