How to Have a Stress-Free Holiday

Whether you’re traveling home for the holidays or all your family is…

Whether you’re traveling home for the holidays or all your family is heading to your house, the holidays can be an interesting time. There’s nothing like dealing with your crazy Aunt Sally or nosy siblings for hours or even days at a time. To help you have a stress-free holiday, we offer these holiday survival tips.

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Do Your Research

If you’re planning to travel, make sure you know every aspect of your trip. Plan alternate routes to get where you need to be in case something goes wrong. Buy your plane tickets early and make sure you find the best flight path and time. Check your airline luggage restrictions and bring an extra suitcase for gifts. A little bit of research about your travel beforehand can save you a lot of pain later. Try these other travel tips.

Manage Your Visit

Let’s be honest, family can drive you insane—that’s why we love them so much. To make sure that you don’t end up in jail…take control of your visit from the very beginning. Let everyone know how long you’re staying and what you’re planning. Be upfront. It can totally be worth the money to stay in a hotel and rent your own car to make sure the holidays stay happy. If you’re hosting your family, set clear boundaries about the length of their visit, how they can help out, and what to expect at your home. Appropriate management is key to a stress-free holiday.

Practice Thankfulness

We know the holidays are tough and families are even tougher. One way to make it a lot better is to practice your appreciation for everything. They’re your family, and you love them, and there may be a surprising number of things you like about your family. Take time to remember how great your family can be if you want a stress-free holiday. Remember the times they’ve stuck up for you, helped you move, called you on a bad day, offered good advice, spent time with your kids. By focusing on all the great things you love, you’ll be better able to handle the frustrating times.

Adjust Your Expectations

Set realistic expectations for the holidays. Don’t plan to be angry or have a horrible time, but don’t plan for a perfect vacation either. Give yourself and your family a pep-talk about exactly what to expect. You don’t want to be pessimistic but prepare to have tough conversations or annoying fights in the kitchen. Once you’re prepared to handle everything that can be thrown at you, you won’t be so shocked.

Bring an Ally

Make sure you have the support of someone who you love and understands you unconditionally. If you don’t have a spouse or boyfriend to bring with you, bring a best friend who can make the holidays that much better. You’ll love having a friend and partner who you can turn to and say, “ I told you they were crazy!” Believe us, having a friend can ensure that even during the craziest times, you end up laughing and having a great time. A friend and partner can almost always guarantee a stress-free holiday.

The holidays should be a wonderful time, but we know that’s not always the case. Instead of hiding out in your home or heading to a deserted beach, prepare for the holidays and give yourself the best chance at a stress-free holiday. And take a look at this awesome Buzzfeed list for holiday survival.

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