9 Holiday Travel Tips to Keep You (Maybe) Sane

If you must go somewhere, don't go nuts.

1. Hydrate

This should go without saying, but drink water. Drink lots of it. Pack a water bottle, or a simple foldable water bag, to refill during your travels so you stay hydrated. You’ll prevent and cure hangovers by keeping H20 running through your body. Simply, you’ll just feel better and be better to hang with, so force yourself to drink up. This seems like a no brainer, but when you drift out of your daily routine, you might be surprised at how quickly you start drinking whiskey and how quickly you forget about aqua. 

Image via Attila Shiha/Flickr

2. Get TSA Pre Approved

If you’ve hoarded an extra $85 you don't urgently need, you should sign up through TSA Pre Check. You can do it online. The process does require an interview and lots of fingerprints, but you will never be forced to wait in the airport security line again. Ever again. It’s a bit of a pain to spend the time to secure approval, sure, but my goodness, breezing past the TSA is the best thing about going to the airport. Be sure to give the bird to the commoners in the long lines.

3. Don’t Get Hammered

Do not, I repeat, do not blow your load before the big day. In theory, being hungover on Thanksgiving sounds like you might have a hearty appetite, but as past years have shown, it’s no fun. Try to control yourself when you are smoking roaches in parking lots and taking shots at hometown bars, because the next day will be full of long, boring conversations, helping around the house, and probably screaming kids. Do your best to keep a light buzz the night before, instead of blacking out on Mom’s front lawn. 

Image via Sean Pritchard/Flickr

4. Watch Bad TV

'Tis the season for binge watching television. Commit to a mindless television show, really, something you would never actually consider watching, and try to get hooked. It will give you the perfect opportunity to have a pointless, yet topical conversation for your entire trip. It will also give you an excuse to binge watch TV on your computer in a private corner of every house you visit. Buy noise-cancelling headphones. Explain how important the show is to you, and no one will touch you. Also a good reason to get out of hours of bro-ing down about football. 

5. Get a New Hobby

Another reason to excuse yourself from stressful family situations: A brilliant new hobby that makes the whole family proud. Learn to knit, needlepoint, or craft something that you spin into some awesome new career path. Like, Mom, I can’t help with the turkey because I’m really busy sewing these clothes for kids living in poverty. The whole family will be proud and allow you to hone in on your craft while they do the heavy lifting. Just come prepared to talk about a new hobby in depth so you’ll have a reason to dip out whenever possible. Sorry, Aunt Shirley, I’ve got to run to research this water company I’m starting with a friend, but it was good catching up!

6. Holler at Your Weed Contacts

Before you make the exhausting trip home, holler at your high school weed dealer before you hit him up the day before Thanksgiving, when he’s slammed. A simple Facebook whatsup could be helpful, and he'll know it's a simple and friendly warning that you'll be texting soon. He is after all, a drug dealer, and won't be mad that the last time you saw him was at his cousin's wedding four years ago. Or, do some research and make sure you have your cannabis card ready to go in the state you’re returning to, or find your cousin who's already got her card. Arrange a pre approved ride to said weed shop so you aren't calling old friends who clearly don't want to hear from you. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons

7. Stay Active

Natural instinct is to sit on your ass and enjoy plates of disgusting food. Sure, playing football during a deep freeze doesn’t sound fun, but motivate yourself to participate. Chase your sister's kids around the house. Do pushups in your old bedroom. Yoga in the basement. Jesus, at least do some deep stretching, or wear workout clothes around the house. Moving around will curb hangovers, stress, and show your parents that you aren't actually a total shithole who has no motivation to take care of yourself anymore. At least lie and say you've been taking Zumba classes back at home. 

8. Charge Up and Plug In

First, buy a portable phone charger because they are worth it. Basically, you can stay charged on the go, and you don’t have to worry about maxing out your battery playing Candy Crush in the backseat of Grandma’s car. And, don’t be a dope: Download all the airline/train/travel apps before you go. Have your proper credit card info stored in your Uber app. Keep your boarding pass on your phone. Do this before you travel and be prepared, not the day you’re leaving. Also, do a sweep of the best health apps, because you may need to meditate when your flight is cancelled, or when Uncle Tom shits his pants at the table again. 

9. Earplugs

A sound investment for those who actually want to sleep. Doesn’t matter where you end up for the holidays, your body and sleep pattern will probably be out of whack. Invest in good earplugs because you will have the most sound sleep ever. Try them on the plane, your weird friend’s sofa, or your old bedroom that is still cluttered with your plastic horse collection. They work. And if you really want to get fancy, because sleep is quite cruical to handling a weekend of family drama, get an eye mask. Earplugs and eye mask scream, please don't fucking bother me because I’m serious about sleeping. 

Image via Kristina D.C. Hoeppner