The holidays are a time of joy and excitement, with the sparkling lights and the warm glow of candles in the house. However, while it’s the season of giving, it also brings an endless amount of tasks. Whether wrapping gifts or preparing a special dish, the to-do list can get tiring fast. The holidays are a time of great excitement and anticipation, but it can also bring with it an overwhelming amount of stress. With that in mind, here are a variety of travel tips that will help you get through the holiday season without getting overwhelmed.

1. Book Your Travel Plans Now

Getting a jump on holiday travel planning can be done by booking your flights as early as possible. Forbes suggests booking a flight within 21 to 60 days of your arrival date to secure the best fares. If you need to travel last minute, you may still be able to find a seat 7 to 14 days in advance. The number of people traveling during the holiday season is expected to increase significantly due to the end of the pandemic. If you want to stay in a desirable location, book a room now. However, if you plan on saving it for later, you might end up paying more for a rental car or cab.

2. Flex Your Calendar (And Your Budget)

Many flights may already be full before Thanksgiving and after Christmas, which often leads to overbookings and delays. To beat the holiday rush, avoid popular travel dates. Instead, opt for later or earlier departure times and take advantage of early morning or red-eye flights. The New York Times reported that the price of flying during the holiday season has increased by 50% over the pandemic. If you’re planning on traveling this season, start setting price alerts for your favorite locations so that you can monitor the prices.

3. Pack Smart, Travel Light

You should consider packing light when it comes to traveling this season. Taking a small bag can help minimize the headaches you’ll experience at the airport. It can also help you navigate busy airports without getting overwhelmed. Before you start packing, lay out some of your favorite items on your bed and put them in your suitcase. Wear your heaviest clothes, such as a winter jacket or scarf, onto the plane, as this will allow you to free up more space in your bag.

4. Double Check Covid Restrictions

Even though the government shutdown is over, some businesses and organizations may still have Covid restrictions, such as requiring people to bring in a vaccination card. Studying up on the latest guidelines for public health is also important if you’re entering uncharted territory. The American Association of Retired Persons has a list that can help you find state-by-state immunization requirements.

5. Schedule Time for Yourself

It’s important to prioritize your own well-being when dealing with the combination of traveling and getting together with your family. If you need to de-stress, try taking a break from your busy schedule and going for a hot bath or having a glass of wine. Even though you’ll be away from home, there are plenty of ways to recharge and relax.