Between Thanksgiving and Christmas many families end up traveling for the holidays.

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Whether it's driving to your destination or flying, travel can of course be stressful.  Traffic can be a pain and that's even if the roads are not snow and ice covered.  Flying around the holidays usually means longer lines at airports and often cramped flights.  Add to all of that in a season people are supposed to be cheery, many are just plain rude and selfish.

Cost of traveling can also be a stressor and trips can add up fast.  If you are planning to travel, here are some tips to help make that experience a little less stressful this season.

Set a budget in advance when traveling for the holidays

Don't be like me and say "what's a budget?".  Seriously, set a spending limit around your planned trip outside of what it will cost for food, fuel, or airline tickets.  Think of the extras that add up when traveling.  Things like visiting certain seasonal attractions in the area you're traveling to often cost money, so maybe limit the ones you plan on seeing.  We all know those coffee shop stops add up as well and skipping a few of those on each trip can save some coin.  Also try to avoid the extra shopping you might be tempted to do while on your adventures by asking yourself if you really need it.  Make a budget and stick to it so you don't feel that money stress as much.

Avoid major tourist areas

Major tourist destinations usually means more people which can add to your stress.  At a minimum if visiting a popular attraction, look ahead online for times that are generally less busy.  This might save not only stress, but also time you could be spending with family.  Lodging can be more expensive in higher tourist areas too, so avoiding them can help you stay in your planned budget.

Book holiday trips in advance

Last minute booking can not only mean spending more money, but it can also mean higher costs with lodging.  Even if not higher cost, the quality of places you can stay at might be limited too, so don't wait on booking.

Remember it's vacation

You won't always be able to see or do everything on a trip, especially during the holidays.  Try to relax, take your time, and just go with the flow.  Stressing on seeing it all isn't how you want to feel on any trip.

What would you add to this list to help make travel during the holidays less stressful?

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