The holiday season is fast approaching, and for college students—especially out-of-staters—the planning and preparations have already begun. Along with these preparations comes a whole lot of stress; booking a flight home, dealing with delays and overcrowded airports, and all while putting on a happy face for the family once you get home—it seems overbearing!
I have learned a lot throughout the last few years of traveling home to New York from Kentucky for the holidays. I think being organized, yet realizing your plans won’t be perfect, is very important to remember. Nothing ever works out exactly the way you want them to, but being able to prepare for the good, the bad and the ugly of traveling is crucial.
1. BE PATIENT
When preparing for your trip home, it is important not to rush and be agitated with delays and speedbumps you may face. Over-preparation can be helpful. Remember that if you are flying, there is a high chance of longer layovers, delays, cancellations and more people crowding up the airport.
2. PACK TRAVEL DISTRACTIONS
In order to keep yourself occupied during these airport mishaps, pack items to distract you from the chaos. I always make sure to pack a good book, my laptop to possibly get ahead on schoolwork, and headphones to listen to my favorite songs or podcasts to drown out the noise.
3. DON’T BE A SCROOGE
It’s the holidays! Don’t have a negative attitude while traveling. If you go into the day with a bad outlook, you will have a bad day. Try to find the positives of your time traveling. Think about seeing your family, home-cooked meals, warm fireplaces and family game nights.
4. BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR
Be a good neighbor to those traveling around you! I always have better travel experiences when I find good people to talk to. Whether you are sitting next to them on a plane, meet them in line for food or coffee or even happen to be sharing a charging port, maybe start up a nice conversation and learn about them. Where are they headed and why?
5. BE GRATEFUL
Appreciate the fact that you have the opportunity to fly home, you get to see your family, you have family and you have a domestic home to go to. There are many students that might not be able to afford to go home, are international students and are in a whole different country from their family and so many other circumstances that people face around these times.
It is very important to take a step back and look at what you have and be grateful! The holidays can be a stressful time, especially for travel, but it is time you get to be with your loved ones and celebrate with them. With these few tips, I strongly believe you will have a great traveling experience and start off the holiday season on a happy note!