By Henry Moore
The holidays should be a time of relaxation and happiness, but for many, it’s a time of stress and the pressure to find the right gifts, to travel, or to host the perfect family get-together. It can be difficult to find a way to ease your mind and push away anxiety during this hectic time, but if you’re going to be taking a vacation, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself and make the trip as smooth as possible.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways to do this. Whether you’ll be visiting family members out of state or taking a trip to the beach with your spouse and kids, there are things you can do to make it enjoyable rather than stressful. With a little planning and the right frame of mind, you’ll be able to have a fun and relaxing holiday vacation with your loved ones.
Here are some tips on how to get started.
Make some lists
Getting organized will ensure that you’re not scrambling at the last minute, worrying about whether you remembered to do everything. Make lists for each part of the planning process, from packing to what needs to be accomplished before you leave. This can be anything from having your mail held at the post office to setting up a care service for your pets. Be thorough and cross things off as you do them; this will not only keep you on track, it will give you a sense of accomplishment and peace of mind that you haven’t forgotten anything.
Prep your vehicle
If you’re traveling by car this holiday season, make sure your car is ready to hit the road. Some things you should check include the oil, tire pressure, brake pads, and battery. You’ll also want to top off your windshield wipers and brake fluids. It may also be the right time to review your car insurance coverage and see if you can find a similar policy for cheaper. When analyzing policies, look for long-established companies with high AM Best ratings.
Communicate with your family
Whether you’re taking a trip to be with loved ones or just getting away for a little while with your significant other, it’s important to communicate with the people around you concerning your plans. Keep everyone in the loop so there are no doubts as to where you’ll be, when you’ll get there and how long you will be gone.
Protect your home
It’s hard to relax and enjoy yourself if you’re worried the entire time about what’s going on at home, so do everything you can to make sure your belongings and property are well taken care of. This means talking to the neighbors to let them know you’ll be away, holding your mail at the post office so potential burglars don’t see a telltale stuffed mailbox or piled-up newspapers, setting up a security system or surveillance camera, and/or installing motion sensor lights around the perimeter of your home. The holidays, unfortunately, can be a busy time for thieves, and you’ll feel much better about leaving if you know your home is well guarded.
Choose the right destination for you
Depending on the type of vacation you want — one with family or a romantic getaway, for instance — you’ll want to choose the right destination for your needs. If your kids will be along, it may be important to you to find a spot with lots of fun activities nearby, while a trip for two might just need a hot tub and a scenic view.
Planning a trip is never simple; there are lots of things to think about, especially if you’re including family members and their needs. However, you can avoid becoming overwhelmed by planning early and staying organized.