It’s no secret that traveling during the holidays can be a stressful experience. Ideally, the holiday should be a time of rest and relaxation. Instead, however, they tend to be one of the busiest times of the year, both at work and at home. It can be hard to find the balance between remembering everything you need, seeing everyone, and actually getting where you need to go. So here are a few ways you can use your calendar to set limits, reminders, and suggestions to reduce your holiday travel stress.
Plan your route
One of the best ways to use your calendar to reduce your travel stress is to plan your route ahead of time. Maybe you’re bouncing between different family members’ homes, taking a road trip, or flying abroad. It can be overwhelming to keep all the logistics in your head at once. Instead, once you’ve got dates and times set in stone, put them on you calendar. You can use it to map the route of your travel plans.
One of the advantages of this is that you don’t always have to keep everything in mind. If you forget where you need to be at a certain time, you can just check your calendar. It does all the heavy lifting for you, so you can enjoy wherever you are.
Create packing lists
There’s nothing like packing for a long trip only to find out you’ve forgotten something crucial along the way. You should have the luxury of knowing you’ve packed everything up by the time you’ve left the house. And your calendar will help you avoid all that stress and anxiety by making sure you’ve packed everything you need.
Many calendars have checklist features that let you add items to specific days. So you can create a day called “packing day” in your calendar. Make a list there titled “essentials” and add everything you absolutely need. Clothes and such are important, and you might want to make a separate list to make sure you bring enough. But here, focus on things like medicines, money, passport (if necessary) and other things that you just can’t live without.
Set precious reminders
Like your itinerary and your checklists, essential pre-departure appointments can add up. It’s easy to put off awkward, time-consuming appointments like doctor visits to the last minute. But if you really need to get something checked, it’s best to do it before you leave for an extended period of time. Set a reminder notification in your calendar. You can ensure your health as much as possible before letting loose and enjoying the time with your family. Nothing ruins the holiday spirit like a medical emergency during dinner.
Another great use of reminders is for long-term cooking plans. Holiday birds take a notoriously long time to thaw – up to several days at a time. The house chef can use his calendar to mark the exact moment he started defrosting the upcoming roast. And a reminder notification will ping them when it’s a good time to start cooking. Memories can also be used for shopping, cleaningor anything else you need to remember.
Coordinate people in different time zones
When you travel across different time zones, it can be difficult to keep track of when is when. For example, if you’re going east on the west coast to visit family, there’s a three-hour time difference. Communicating when you arrive can be confusing. And this confusion can cause real problems if you wait for someone to pick you up at a certain time. Using an online calendar gives the correct time in each time zone for each person looking at it.
Another benefit of coordinating several people using a calendar is that it also helps those who are unable to travel to join in on the holiday fun. Not every family member can travel from far away during the holidays, so they stay in their respective time zone. “Let’s do a family zoom at seven” could mean danger – “Your seven or my seven?” An online calendar alert system helps everyone ping when it’s the right time jump online for a phone call. It’s a great way to make sure no one is left hearing dial tones instead of upbeat music.
Protect your travel time
After a long journey, you are finally reunited with relatives from all over the world, ready to enjoy your vacation. Before you go to bed, open your phone and check your email – just in case – to find that you have 20 missed messages. There is a customer who is not happy with the service they received and they want to renegotiate their contract. And just when you were finally settling down.
Even if you let your colleagues know that you won’t be available on certain dates, it’s easy for them to forget. After all, how is everyone in the office supposed to keep track of everyone’s respective vacation plans? Well, with a coordinated online calendar you can do just that. You can use your calendar to share your sacred, untouchable vacation days with the rest of your team. Even if there’s something urgent, they need to contact someone else because you’re on Do Not Disturb.
School finally starts
Speaking of travel schedules, it’s important to make sure you don’t “overexert yourself or your kids.” It can be tempting to want to make the most of your children’s vacation days. After all, there’s only so much time they’ll be this young, and it’s understandable that you want to make the most of it. However, school will start again, possibly on different days or even months for children of different ages. Different schools, individual as well as public and private, also have different back-to-school days.
Again, an online calendar helps you keep track of your children’s respective holiday limits. It’s also great for helping your kids stay on top of their friends’ and peers’ schedules. That way, they can more easily plan hangouts during the holidays, without having to worry about whether it will work or not.
Depending on how big your family is, there may not be enough room for everyone to stay in one place. Several family members, especially those who come from far away, may have to seek shelter elsewhere. Restrictions imposed by hotels, homestays, rental cars, and other transportation can create additional mini-timelines within the time frame of a vacation. It can be difficult to coordinate through word of mouth with everyone’s different travel times.
Bring everyone on the same page by syncing your calendars on one group calendar. This way everyone can see everyone’s plans. The whole group will be able to better understand what limits they are working with. That way there is less chance that some people will feel left out or forgotten about certain plans. It’s something common at larger family gatherings and can add a sour feel to the holiday season if left unchecked.
Everything you want to remember
There are countless ways to use your calendar to take some stress out of your vacation travel plans. You can use them to set valuable reminders and checklists – and make important timelines visible to everyone who needs to see them. One of the hardest parts of the vacation, especially with large families, is coordinating logistics. Use your calendar to your advantage, so you can actually enjoy the holidays with (relative) ease.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV; Pexels; Thank you!
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Janice has been with businesskinda for 5 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider businesskinda team, Janice seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.