The summer is well behind us, days are getting shorter and cooler, and you may have already see snow; this means only one thing: winter is coming. Along with the winter, come holidays, and with a lot of holidays, they involve at least a little travel. Some are short enough trips you can do it in a car, others you’ll have to fly. Here are some tips we’ve compiled to help you get the absolute most out of your holiday travel plans this year.
- Adding an Educational and Historical Element
Instead of making the sole purpose of your trip seeing relatives, try to plan some activities along the way or at your destination that are also fun and educational. One great way to do this is by searching Ancestry.com to see where your oldest relatives settled down and visiting those spots. A lot of old small farming towns are almost completely gone, so you might want to see them before it’s too late. You may even find some new relatives that you didn’t know about and be able to arrange a meetup. Check it out, it’s worked out well for a lot of us.
- Disconnecting from Technology
When you only have the occasional opportunity to travel every so often, don’t waste the entire time on your smartphones or tablets, messaging your friends back home; you will see them in a few days and can tell them all about your vacation in person.. Try to disconnect from life back home as much as possible. Make sure to be available by some means for emergencies or urgent needs, but stay off social medias and enjoy life in the moment.
- Budget Your Money Carefully
It can be really difficult, especially around the holidays, to afford everything you want to do. Come up with a reasonable and responsible amount you feel comfortable spending and try to work with that. You can find coupons and discounts on Groupon to save on just about anything, bundle flights, rental cars, and hotels for extra savings, consider non traditional accommodations like camping in warm climates/trailer parks or potentially a nice little Airbnb apartment or home share. There are tons of ways to save money in certain areas that will allow you to spend it elsewhere.
- Have Fun
Family vacations have a bad reputation because they can tend to be dull and often monotonous. Spice it up and have some fun. If you can plan a couple extra days before or after all the family activities to do something special like visit Six Flags, go to the beach, or hit the slopes for some skiing or downhill snow tubing, do it. That way it gives everyone a little more to look forward to than telling grandma how school/work is and listening to your drunk uncles fight over whose football team is better. If you’re on a budget, spin it as a present for the family and knock down two tiles with one marble.