HeathrowWe’re in the holiday home stretch and your Christmas vacation is just around the corner. This is supposed to be a joyous, happy time of year. But instead of looking forward to your mom’s amazing homemade shortbread cookies or that luxurious Jamaican Jacuzzi suite you saved up all year for, all you can think about is catching a serious case of airport stress. Airport stress is not seasonal, airports are busy all year round, but over the Christmas holiday break, things can get ugly, patience runs low, and blood pressure can go through the roof! Here are some ways to keep the holiday spirit alive and have some fun along the way!

  1. 1) Get Your Workout On!

Airport stress coupled with a fear of flying is a recipe for disaster. Some people pop pills to combat this (not recommended), but the best cure for travel anxiety is to move your body. Go for a nice long run, take a swim or head to the yoga studio before you face the airport chaos. Exercise calms the mind, gets the blood flowing, and makes you naturally fatigued (not groggy) so by the time you get to the airport, you’ll have worked off all that nervous energy.

2) Take the Day Off Before You Go

Because holiday days are so precious, we often end up working right up to the day before we go – some of us even work the day we leave (guilty as charged!) If you fly out early in the morning, don’t work late the night before, give yourself at least a half day off to get organized, tie up loose ends and take time to get excited about your trip. Sometimes splurging on a nice airport hotel so don’t  have to worry about rushing around or getting stuck in traffic can make the day go smoothly. And if taking the day off isn’t possible, get LOT’S of sleep and consider visiting an airport spa for a quick massage to loosen you up.

3) Check-in Online 

Almost all airlines allow you to check-in online 24 hours before your flight departs and if you haven’t started doing this, now is a great place to start. Checking in online allows you to choose your seats ahead of time, let’s you tell the airline how many bags you’re checking in, and in many cases, provides you with a boarding pass and baggage tags so you can bypass those crazy check-in line-ups!

  1. airport stress4) Lower Your Expectations – There will be Delays!

The world does not revolve around us, so let’s all stop pretending like it does! There are a million and one things that are out of our control when it comes to travel – Weather, traffic delays and broken planes are just a few. If you arrive at the airport prepared for delays, when they happen, you won’t be so devastated by them. Bring a bag full of entertainment (and work doesn’t count), take a deep breath, and keep positive. Spread a little holiday spirit amongst your fellow travellers, and leave the Grinch at home!

5) Bring Your Own Power

We usually harp on travellers to “unplug” when they’re traveling, but we get it – Airports are not for everyone! And we also get that there’s nothing more annoying than arriving at your gate to find all the charging stations occupied, with an dead phone or laptop in your hand. Do yourself a favour and spring for a portable charger so you won’t have to deal with wire snarl.

6) Eat Light 

A big part of keeping airport stress at bay, is keeping your health in check. Try not to be tempted by all those convenient burger joints and go for something lighter, less greasy, and easy on the fat. Unhealthy, high fat, or sugary foods can make your blood sugar level yo-yo, which in turn, cranks up the dial on stress. Opt for a salad, sandwich or hearty soup that’s packed with vitamins.

7) Dress the Part

It doesn’t matter how you angle it, going through security is chaotic, frustrating, and stressful. People are barking instructions at you left, right and centre; “Take this off, remove this, take that out of the bag…” It’s enough to drive someone mad! So do yourself a favor, and keep your dress code simple. If you know you’re going to have to remove things like jewelry, shoes and a belt, put your jewels in your purse, take off your belt before you get to security (or don’t wear one!) and don’t wear shoes that require a lot of fuss.

What do you like to do to keep airport stress away? 

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