5 Holiday Travel Tips To Ease Your Stress this Season

*This post is sponsored by State Farm®.  All opinions + tips (and even stress of the holiday season) are 100% my own.

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One of the things I love most about this time of year is the amount of traveling we do!  Joey and I always do an anniversary trip in October, and if we have the extra time we most certainly squeeze in another trip.  On top of that we always travel to West Virginia for the holidays to visit our friends and family.  Usually from August to the end of the year we have at least one trip a month.  Don’t get me wrong, it can be exhausting to add travel into the hustle and bustle of everything else going on during the holidays, but I honestly love every crazy minute of rushing around, holiday shopping, packing, wrapping gifts, and getting to see friends and family.  With that being said, it’s so important for me to stay organized and plan things out ahead of time because it is a stressful and very busy time of year.

I have a few holiday travel tips that I live by to help reduce my stress and stay organized that I’m going to share with you.  Plus I’ll be going through some of my packing essentials and telling you about a new discovery that is absolutely sure to ease your mind while on a road trip this season!

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  1. 1. Master Packing List: I have a master packing list that I utilize every time I travel so I don’t forget something silly.  I have one master list for small, weekend trips typically via car and then I have a second master list for longer trips or ones that require a flight.  Travel Tip #1: Make your own master list.  It may take a little time, but it will be so worth it to just print it and check off your items before a trip.

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  1. 2. Appropriate Luggage: I’ve found that luggage is key to staying organized during your holiday travel.  Why?  It will make your life so much easier in the car when you are looking for something, getting through the airport security lines, or simply just unpacking.  I don’t like to waste time searching around for something I need or getting searched by TSA because I left something liquid in my bag that I can’t find (trust me, I’ve been there).  Travel Tip #2:  Purchase a few clear, reusable plastic zipper bags like the ones from Truffle to hold your liquids. This applies to both car rides and flights because not only will they prevent a spill from happening, but it’s easy to get them out of your carry on to throw in a bin!

Vera Bradley has a ton of really great travel pieces that I would highly suggest investing in.  Don’t worry, I know some people have expressed concern about not really liking the prints, but there are some super cute ones this winter.  Vera Bradley also has several solid colored pieces like the quilted black set I own.  I use the weekender bag for the weekend road trips and I pack a make-up bag inside of it, plus I use the jewelry organizer for my accessories as well as my bath items (soap, shampoo, body wash, etc.).  Now, this one is probably going to show my age, but I also have the pill box so I can organize my vitamins.  It’s the time of year when people get sick, so at a minimum take something for your immune system.  (I use Olly Gummies because a. they taste like a yummy fruit snack and b. most other vitamins upset my stomach.)

Travel Tip #3:  Invest in good luggage.  It’s worth it. I’ve used Vera Bradley for years and I have a bag from high school that is in mint condition after many times through the wash.  I also use Bric’s Luggage for flying.  I love the luggage and it has held up well so far, with the exception of a piece on the zipper.  It’s still completely workable, but sadly, the customer service has not been the best at fixing it so I hope that’s the only issue I’ll have with them.  Most higher-end brand luggage companies like Tumi, Samsonite (30% off sale!), and Bric’s offer warranties.

  1. holiday-travel-tips-vera-bradley-state-farm-roadside-assistance-5holiday-travel-tips-vera-bradley-state-farm-roadside-assistance-213. Travel Essentials: Since I know I am going to be traveling a decent amount, I stock up on my favorite travel essentials ahead of time.  Whether in a car or a plane I never leave the house without my Evian Facial Spray (perfect for a pick me up and to keep your skin hydrated), my favorite snacks, Iceland Eye Masks (my latest obsession), and a portable phone charger.  I also stock up on some of the smaller items like mini size toothpastes, mouth wash, etc.  Travel Tip #4:  Instead of purchasing mini size shampoo, buy the empty, refillable containers so you can fill them up with your own shampoo.  It’s one less thing you have to buy each time you travel and it’s good for the environment.

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  1. 4. Plan Ahead:  You’ll notice the theme with each of my suggestions for making your holiday travel less stressful (insert glass of wine) is planning ahead of time.  If you are anything like me, I don’t do “last minute” well.  IT STRESSES ME OUT!  I might be extreme with how far in advance I plan things, but I recommend starting a few weeks ahead.  Make sure you have all of your travel documents that you need, your dates lined out, and a game plan of what you plan to do and whom you plan to see. Get those gifts wrapped ahead of time so you can actually enjoy wrapping and partaking in some of your holiday traditions. (We always watch our favorite Christmas movies including A Charlie Brown Christmas while wrapping gifts.)  Travel Tip #4: Load the car the night before (flying or driving).  Chances are you either have an early flight or you want to get on the road early to beat traffic so have the car ready to go in order for you to enjoy your morning coffee and before starting toward your destination.

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When Wrigley jumps on the bed in the middle of photos ^^^

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  1. 5. Ease of Mind: With all of the stress involved with traveling, plus the holiday madness, one thing you don’t want to worry about is roadside assistance during your travels should something go wrong with your car.  Trust me, that is THE LAST thing I want to deal with during the hustle and bustle, and unfortunately, you have no control over things like that.  Honestly, and hopefully this doesn’t happen, but I just imagined us in the car with snow on the ground, and Wrigley (who hates car rides and gets car sick) and Bentley (who has little twinkle-toes) are all over the place while we are dealing with a flat tire (or who knows what)!  Luckily, State Farm® offers the Assist Patrol Program, which patrols the highway for accidents, debris, or stranded motorists to help keep everyone safe on the road in Pennsylvania. This service is actually complementary for all drivers on the road!  Yes, you read that correct, FREE.  It’s also offered in 15 other states as well, so head to Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission State Farm Safety Patrol to learn more about the program!

This post was sponsored by State Farm®.