Stress Free Tips For The Clever Holiday Traveler

15 Stress-Free Tips for the Clever Holiday Traveler
By Allen Delper of

Traveling for the holidays doesn’t have to be a drag. Sure there are crowds, lines and hold-ups, but if you stay organized and understand you can’t control everything, you’ll have a fairly painless time packing up the kids, making your way to the airport and arriving at your destination in one piece. Remember to plan ahead when it comes to everything to leave room for error. After all, you don’t want to end up plowing your way through the airport like a scene from Home Alone.

Holiday Travel Trips for Packing

Packing is half the battle when it comes to reducing holiday stress. If you travel every holiday season, you’re probably a pro, but there’s always more to learn to maximize your space and minimize the madness.

1. Get an edit going in your head. Weeks before you travel, start to think about what you’ll be attending while on the trip. This will give you an idea of what type of clothes you need to pack and get your brain moving in that direction, leaving behind excess items that won’t be worn.  

2. Check the weather for the days you’ll be there. The weather seems to be all over the place no matter what part of the country you’re in. Temperatures change drastically daily, so call your friends or family for an idea of what the weather has been like and pack accordingly.

3. Buy small plastic bottles. These can be purchased at any superstore or drugstore in the travel section. Small plastic bottles allow you to transfer shampoo, soap, lotions and serums so you aren’t stuck taking the entire bottle on your trip.

4. Buy travel size toiletries. If you don’t travel often, it may be wiser to purchase small bottles of anything you’ll need on your trip. Remember that if you’re staying with family, they’ll have things like shampoo and soap, but if you’re skin is sensitive or you’re a label snob, it’s best to pack your own.

5. Pre-pack a few days before the trip. A few days before it’s time to travel, pre-pack. This means gathering the items to get a last glance, leaving you plenty of time to pick up things you might need from the store.

6. Go with a color palette. Men and women (and kids) should have a color palette for travel. This means garments will work with each other and can be used to create more outfits should you need it. Smart options include two neutrals and two or three colors.

7. Limit your shoes. Most of us only need two pairs of shoes on any given trip. One pair of casual shoes and one pair of dress shoes since you may be going to a fancy dinner. Do your best to wear one pair of shoes while traveling and pack the other.

8. Women should accessorize like mad. A statement necklace, patterned tights, a cuff bracelet…these are all small items that are easy to pack and have the power to completely change up an outfit.

9. Remember to roll your clothing. Rolling your clothing maximizes your space. Fold the garment longways and then roll, making sure to pull the item taut so it rolls up into a tube shape. Place rolled clothing next to each other starting with pants and skirts at the bottom and creating stacks.

10. Place socks and underwear in shoes. Roll underwear and socks (this takes up less space than balling them) and tuck them into the shoes that are going in your bag or suitcase.

11. Limit your undergarments. We understand it’s the holidays and every one wants to look their best, but don’t over pack when it comes to undergarments. If you go overboard, it will weigh you down and often you don’t end up wearing everything you take. Women should take one nude bra and one black bra and every person traveling should have a pair of underwear for each day.

12. Try to stick to one bag per person. If you’re flying, this means you won’t have to check luggage depending on the size, which will save you loads of stress.

13. You can also take one large suitcase. If you’re traveling with another adult and a child, you may be able to fit all of your items in one large suitcase. The bag will have to be checked, but frees you from carrying anything else through the airport.

14. Hang some items. Not everyone has a ritzy suitcase with a hanging area, but you can still avoid severe wrinkles by hanging dresses, dress shirts and jackets and then laying them flat on top of the rest of your clothes before zipping up the bag or suitcase.

15. Don’t fret too much. If you have to buy ponytail holders for your daughter or a toothbrush for your spouse because they forgot, it won’t be the end of the world.

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