We get it, traveling can be stressful enough without millions of people trying to get home to see family during the holidays. While some travel headaches are out of your control, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate stress and make sure you’re able to fully enjoy the holidays (and that second piece of pumpkin pie).

Plan ahead and arrive early – so you have your flight booked, but that doesn’t mean you’re home free for the holidays. It’s crucial to leave extra time for every aspect of travel, including parking your car (reserve your spot today) and getting through long security lines. Make sure all your travel documents – think: driver’s license or passport and boarding pass – are easily accessible so you’re not holding up the line when you get to the TSA agent.

Pack accordingly – check the weather at your destination as you pack and be sure to include hats, scarves, gloves and coats, if necessary. If you have a longer layover, consider wearing gym shoes to the airport so you can walk a few laps to burn off your turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Don’t forget the easy snacks either, like granola bars and fruit snacks, as airport purchases can add up fast!

If you’re packing presents, don’t wrap them before they get checked or go through security as that can slow down the process and your beautiful wrap job could be torn apart.

Keep the patience – probably the most important thing to pack this holiday season is your patience. From long airport lines to stressful family gatherings, remember some things are out of your control. If you have downtime between planned events, use that time to regroup and focus on yourself for a little bit. 

If all else fails, always be kind. Sometimes a friendly smile or wave can make somebody’s stress melt away, especial during the holidays.

How do you avoid stress during holiday travel? Share with us and other Fast Park guests on our Facebook page