Ahhh the holidays…the time for cooking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping – need I say more? The thought of traveling during the holidays may seem like added stress, however, it could be just what alleviates stress rather than piling it on. Here are the top five reasons to travel for the holidays:
Focus on Family Time
So often during the holidays the focus is on the calendar - where to be and when - not to mention what to bring, cook or wear. Scheduling a family vacation over the holidays can be a gift for everyone. That way, while enjoying the destination, you are also creating lasting family memories to reminisce on for years to come. Plus, if it is a trip with extended family that you don’t often see throughout the year, it can be the catalyst to bring everyone together. Not a big family? Travel with good friends – ugly holiday sweaters optional.
What’s the first thing you think of when the holidays come around? Survey says…cleaning. Even when I am not hosting anything for the holidays, I inevitably end up cleaning more due to dragging out decorations, putting up a tree, baking, and all the other holiday induced craziness. Going on vacation means having your hotel room or cruise cabin freshened up daily, plus clean towels on demand. “Knock, knock. It’s housekeeping!”
Master Chef without the Mess
Every holiday I hear at least one relative, if not my mom, say “All this cooking for 20 minutes of eating. Sheesh!”. Imagine not having to cook a thing for the holidays while enjoying a new destination…sounds like heaven to me. I love to cook, but it’s the cleanup that gets me every time. Having delicious food prepared with no expectation of cleanup is my personal top reason to travel for the holidays. It is also easier to accommodate special diets and fussy eaters, of which I have both in my family, because everyone can order what they want, or hit up a certain section of the buffet.
Experiences vs. Material Gifts
I don’t know about you but skipping the lines at the mall and sleeping in while everyone is trying to score those deals on Black Friday sounds good to me. Instead of buying (and wrapping gifts), give the gift of travel instead, and your family will have memories that last a lifetime. Now, this concept may be a bit harder to sell to kids, but once they are sliding down that waterslide and splashing in that pool, they’ll understand why this experience is just as good as getting another make-your-own-slime kit that gets tossed under the tree. Who knows, this vacation may even introduce them to a new hobby or passion. I know a family who decided to vacation in a tropical locale during Christmas one year, and their son took surfing lessons. At the time he was about 7 years old and now, at 20, he still surfs every chance he gets, and he attributes that love for surfing to that specific vacation.
Relaxation for Everyone
As the person who plans everything, shops, wraps, and bakes for the holidays, I often feel like I need a vacation after the holidays are over. Not to say that traveling doesn’t have its fair share of stress involved, but it’s just not the same kind of stress that the holidays at home can bring. On vacation, everyone has an equal opportunity to relax (even moms). Who wouldn’t agree that relaxing by a pool with a sparkling drink, sightseeing in a new city, or learning about diverse cultures sounds like such an enjoyable way to usher in the holidays?
Traveling during the holidays may not be for everyone, but if you needed a little nudge to convince your family and friends that it’s worth it, share these five reasons with them! You might just make some incredible memories that will be there long after the novelty of the hottest gifts fade and, who knows, a family tradition may be born.
By Karen O’Brien
Worried about the stress of holiday travel? Check out our 10 Travel Essentials to keep you organized .