It’s a New Year, and if you didn’t see on social media, I was “lucky” enough to venture through the airport on some of the busiest travel days this holiday season.
The holiday time of year is wonderful, with snowy scenes, cozy christmas trees and lots of time with friends and family. But the journey to get to friends and family can be….trying (to put it gently).
Whether or not it’s the holiday season, it can be hard to stay calm in busy airports or when sitting in traffic. Nobody gets through travel experiences without occasionally getting anxious or frustrated, but, to help you keep your wits about you most of the time, here are my top tips for keeping cool when traveling:
1. Be Early.
When in doubt, always be early, especially on busy travel days. Being stressed about arriving on time or missing a flight will not make you your kindest self, and you will not deal well with curveballs like delays or gate changes.
Do yourself a favor and arrive nice and early to the airport. I normally give myself about an hour before boarding my plane to deal with security and grab a bottle of water, but if I know it’s going to be busy, I bump it up to at least an hour and a half. (I have TSA precheck, so if you don’t, you might even want to go longer.) It’s easy enough to kill time once you’re past security, and wouldn’t you rather have time on that side instead of stressing in the security line? That’s what I thought.
This year, I’m keeping myself on schedule with this stunning wood watch from JORD. I’m so in love with this gold & wood color combo that I’ll probably be checking the time a lot more than normal. I know everyone uses their phone to check the time, but how much classier is this option?
I love that it goes really well with some of of my favorite Kate Spade bangles, including my favorite one for traveling, because the varying stripes look like international flags.
2. Go Through the Process in Your Head to Prepare.
Take a second and envision what the process of getting through the airport, or through your road trip, smoothly looks like. Now think of worst case scenarios.
Envisioning both the good and bad will help you to prepare to create the first situation, and prepare for the second in case the situations pop up.
For instance, I always make sure that anything I need to take out in airport security (laptop, bag of liquids) is right at the top of my bag so it’s easy to pull out. I even practice unzipping my suitcase, pulling out my liquids bag, and putting it back in at home, before I go to the airport, just to make sure I can get to it okay. I put it in the very top of my bag, right next to the zipper, so it’s easy to grab.
If you’re driving, this process might entail thinking of what snacks you’ll want on the road trip, what items you absolutely can’t forget, or even planning your gas station stops on the way.
If the worst-case scenario in your head includes your phone dying, you’ll be extra careful to pack a charger. If you worry about getting snow dumped on your car, you’ll be sure you have a good ice scraper and pair of gloves. If it’s a crazy-long security line that keeps you up at night, sign up for TSA precheck.
You’ll be able to prepare for the worst situation, in order to know that it’s not a problem.
While it sounds a bit in-depth, you can run through the situations in your head in a couple of minutes and plan for them right away. It’s a worthwhile 5 minutes, especially if you know the roads and airports are going to be extra busy. Planning for best and worst scenarios will make you so much more relaxed on the day of.
3. Assume Everyone is Doing Their Best.
Have you ever said thank you to a TSA employee who pulled you aside for an extra screening? Probably not. But what if you remind yourself that they’re just doing their jobs and trying to keep you safe?
Reframing the way you’re looking at a situation can help a lot with the stress of traveling.
After all, the gate agent wants you off the ground just as much as you want to be off the ground. The Starbucks employee wants to get you on your way with your coffee.
Assuming the best about people will make you kinder and more patient.
Plus, if someone is really stressing you out that much, you probably didn’t listen to recommendation number 1. I can’t emphasize enough how much keeping an eye on the time will help you to avoid stress around traveling. If you’re really worried about killing time, pay to get into one of the airport lounges and enjoy a cocktail and a snack while you wait. That always helps the time pass quickly.
I know I’ll be keeping an eye on my JORD wood watch all year long. It’s such a unique watch, and, since you can have it engraved, it would also be a perfect valentines gift for that special someone in your life.
If you want to enter to win your $100 for own watch (and get a coupon code just for entering!) click here right now. Contest runs through 1/15.
If you’re wondering, the watch is high quality, and the wood is even more stunning in person. It goes great with all of my jewelry because I wear a lot of gold, and every outfit that I’ve paired it with so far looks great. It’s eye catching, but neutral enough that it works with everything. Check out the different colors they have for the watch faces and see which one would go best with your own wardrobe.
How do you keep calm in stressful travel situations? Let me know in the comments!
This post is sponsored by JORD Wood Watches. Thank you for supporting the brands that help to keep Sparkle in her Suitcase running.