How to Make the Most of Holiday Travel
As the holidays approach and the calendar speeds towards the new year, we tend to travel more than ever. The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics estimates that the number of long-distance trips will spike by 54 percent in the days surrounding Thanksgiving, while another 23 percent increase is projected for the last few days of the year.
That’s a lot of miles driven, ridden and flown, and with so much in motion, it’s not uncommon to feel a bit overwhelmed. Here are some ways to make the most of holiday travel, ensuring that — no matter how far you go or how long you stay — you’ll feel refreshed and ready to embrace the season.
Get Your Zzz’s on the Go
Good sleep is the most precious commodity you can give yourself, and while it may seem elusive when you’re trying to rest on a plane, in a hotel or on your in-laws’ pull-out couch, there’s likely an app to help.
Some apps can relax you with meditative exercises or lull you to sleep with white noise, while others know how to wake you in the morning during your lightest stage of sleep, keeping you from feeling drowsy during the day. Download one that meets your needs, and you can greet each day of your trip rested and ready. If you’re having trouble unwinding after a busy day of holiday shopping or work meetings, you can also try these 7 tips for a better night’s sleep such as stretching and making a to-do list for the next day before you get in bed.
Power to the Palate
No matter where you’re traveling or who you’re with, now is the perfect time to get a jump-start on those health-conscious new year’s resolutions — without forgoing the season’s guilty pleasures. Enjoy the holiday treats you want, but supplement those indulgences with food and drink that will also provide a helpful energy boost.
Green tea is roundly known as a natural stimulant with a host of health benefits, fresh fruit is chock full of antioxidants to support your immune system, and protein-packed super-grains like quinoa and amaranth offer the same savory qualities of your favorite comfort foods with an added punch to keep you going. So, pop an apple in your carry-on, order a green tea latte to fuel a busy day of work, or try a new high-protein dish to bring to a holiday gathering.
There’s No Time Like “Me” Time
No matter where the year’s end takes you — making the rounds to see family and friends, spending time with kids on a staycation at home, or squeezing in that final business trip before New Year’s Eve — it’s important to make time for yourself in order to really enjoy the moments spent with others.
Long flight ahead? Once you land, splurge on an airport chair massage to melt away your tension and watch how much easier it is to savor your experiences for the rest of the week. Whether you’re surrounded by loved ones or working through the weekends to meet a calendar year deadline, try stealing away for a 15-minute walk each day with headphones in, playing your favorite music or a brand new audio book. Those brief moments of calm can restore your reserves and keep you centered even as social and work commitments swirl around you.
Gifts that Keep Giving
You will enjoy the holidays and start of the new year much more if you take time to fortify your immune system, back up your energy reserves and find a sense of calm. So be sure to take care of the one person you might have forgotten to include on your holiday gift list: yourself.