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Home for the Holidays?

by Carrie Fediuk | November 2018

It’s that time of year. The holidays. Do you love them? Not so much?

Traveling during the holidays can be a double-edged sword. There is joy and anticipation of seeing family and friends but anxiety over crowds, flight delays, and finalizing plans. While there isn’t much you can do to eliminate the frustrations of holiday travel, our team has come up with a few suggestions to help alleviate some of the stress:

Plan Ahead

This is sometimes easier said than done. It’s a busy time of year, right? The time can get away from you. These days, if you plan to fly, you need to book ahead or you will pay top dollar for airfare and most likely be sitting in the middle seat in economy class — at the back of the plane. There are several search engines out there that can help identify flights across various airlines. It’s quick, easy, and convenient. Lately, my go-to site is Google Flights. Thinking more of taking a vacation? Kayak Explore is a good option. Enter your travel dates and how much you want to spend and the site populates destinations you can fly to within the parameters.

Book Accommodations

Do you know where you are going to stay? All the bedrooms taken at grandma’s place? No worries. That’s one area where we can help. Visit the Alumni Association’s partner page and check out Magellan Luxury Hotels. Magellan has luxury properties at a 40% discount. Give them a call and a concierge expert will personally assist in helping find the right accommodations.

Pack Your Patience

What can I say? It’s the holidays. Heavy traffic — both in the air and on the ground — is inevitable. Entertain yourself by downloading your favorite playlist, podcasts, or audiobooks. Pack a few healthy snacks if you want to avoid stopping at a restaurant. For the kids or grandkids, bring new trinkets or favorite toys. They can act as fun surprises or distractions when you need them most. If you mentally gear up and prepare, hopefully, the delays will be more tolerable.

Visit an Airline Lounge

Airline lounges aren’t just for frequent flyers. Sure, they’re geared toward frequent flyers, but you may be able to purchase a day pass. Some start around $50. American Express has a longstanding partnership with Delta Airlines. If you are a platinum cardholder, flash your card and get in for free. The amenities — showers, light snacks, a bar, comfortable seating — all might be worth the cost if you are delayed for a significant length of time.

These suggestions might not be 100% obtainable, but frame of mind is everything when you head out this holiday season.

What tips do you have that we could add to this list?

For more quick tips to relieve holiday stress, see this article from the Frankel Cardiovascular Center.