Christmas is one of the busiest travel times of year. Whether you’re travelling to get away from the cold weather for the joyous occasion of Christmas, or your travelling to be home with family, travelling can be stressful and lonely. I’ve been there.
This year marks the first year since graduating University that I am not travelling for Christmas. I’ve been away every year for work and it’s something I always felt sorry for myself over; looking back I regret the energy wasted on feeling like that rather than spending time embracing the holiday season around me, wherever I was. Although I’m busier than ever right now, and life is as hectic as it could be, I’m appreciating every single moment at home and with family and friends. I get to spend the Christmas holidays with both my family and Corey’s this year, whereas in years past I’ve only had time for one or the other before setting off on more travels. I’m more thankful than every that that part of my life is behind me.
I think I’ve travelled on every day within the week of Christmas, and truthfully there isn’t one day that is better than the other. Travellers are anxious to get home, weather conditions are often messing with plans, and people have too much excess baggage to deal with as they lug around their gifts. All of it adds up to complete madness. I used to get caught up in the madness; stress and sweat, cry if my flight was delayed. But I’ve learned a few things.
Being away by yourself at Christmas is extremely lonely. But being a party of one on travel days really does make everything that much easier. Step number one: don’t check baggage. Remember how I said everyone has excess gift baggage? Yeah, it’s a nightmare. Number two: don’t give yourself a timeline. I know the flight says you’re supposed to land at ____, but if you don’t have any expectations, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve spent nights on airport floors, added connections, airline transfers; don’t worry, you’ll be getting home. Noise Cancelling Headphones, the greatest invention for a lonely traveller. Put them on, and don’t take them off.
Even if you’re not flying this Christmas, but are buckling in for a bit of a road trip, take note. Roads are busy, icy, drivers are a little more reckless this season. Take your time, relax, and treat the journey as a part of the holiday season rather than your holidays beginning upon arrival. It’s all part of the tradition. And be sure to bring hats and mitts….a stalled car on the side of the road can get a little chilly, so just in case.
Be safe out there my friends, and travel smart this holiday season. I hope that everyone makes it to their destination safe and sound, but remember: Christmas is just one day of the year. As long as your with the right people, the day doesn’t matter.