While the holidays bring feelings of cheer and joy to most people, business travelers know this time of year can also bring longer lines, crowded airports, and short tempers. Since business can’t always wait until after the holidays, sometimes avoiding travel just isn’t an option.
To help take the stress out of holiday travel, keep these tips in mind when booking.
Travel on quieter days
This isn’t always an option, but when you can avoid peak travel days, you absolutely should. Traveling on an actual holiday tends to be far less hectic than the days immediately before and after, and Monday mornings are especially crowded during this time of year. When you’re able to be flexible, take advantage and steer clear of these frustrating travel days.
Give yourself the gift of time
Remove some of the stress from your travel days by allowing yourself extra time for the unexpected. Morning meeting to attend? Travel the night before so you aren’t worried about arriving on time. Can’t avoid a layover? Make sure it’s not too short in case you’re delayed—especially if you’re traveling to, from, or through an area where snow is a possibility.
‘Tis the season for colds, the flu, and a variety of other ailments that can leave you feeling weary. There are steps you can take to avoid germs, such as taking vitamin C, stocking your bag with (travel size!) hand sanitizer, and staying hydrated. But did you also know that where you sit on the plane could have an impact? Aisle seats run a greater risk of exposure since they see far more traffic, so opt for a window seat whenever possible.
Keep connected and charged
You won’t want to miss any alerts from the airline or your travel management provider, so make sure you’re fully charged and consider bringing backup battery packs in case the coveted outlets near the gate are all spoken for. Lousy service at the airport? Look for free Wi-Fi (make sure it’s a verified airport network), use your hotspot or VPN, or purchase Wi-Fi from the airline before your flight.
Find ways to relax
No matter how much you plan, you can’t control the unexpected. When delays, cancellations, and inclement weather threaten your plans, make sure you’re equipped with ways to remain relaxed—even when faced with a stressful situation. Audiobooks, knitting, and meditation are all great ways to calm nerves. Some airports even offer designated space for yoga!
We hope these tips help you avoid stress as you travel during this hectic time of the year. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and calm holiday travel season!