Thanksgiving is almost here, and many of us will be traveling to spend the holiday with family and friends. It’s one of the biggest travel days in the U.S., and things can get pretty hectic. But it is important to take a step back from the chaos and to appreciate the opportunity to be with our loved ones in a place we only see once a year. As you embark on your Thanksgiving travels, here are some things you can do to make the most of your holiday visit.
Remember to De-stress
With crowded airports, traffic delays and family gatherings, it can be a real challenge to set aside time to unwind. But it is really important that you remember to slow down and de-stress from time to time.
If you are traveling, make sure to finish packing the night before and that you arrive at the airport or hit the road with plenty of time to spare. If you find yourself stressed when you are surrounded by airport crowds or caught in traffic, remember to tell yourself to slow down, and take some deep breaths until you feel calmer.
Bring along some soothing music, a good novel or an adult coloring book to help you relax on the plane. If you are spending time with relatives, take some time to get away from the confusion by taking a walk outside or finding a quiet space to breathe deeply for a few moments. Just a few minutes of quiet time can make a big difference in reducing your stress.
Rediscover a Familiar Place
For many of us, Thanksgiving means returning to a familiar place, such as a childhood home or a relative’s house. These are places that we might have taken for granted when we were younger. But now, after a long absence, we have a perfect opportunity to rediscover them.
There are so many ways to do this, like looking at family albums or heirlooms, or exploring your parents’ attic with your kids. You might also take an early afternoon walk through the neighborhood and visit special places where you used to spend time.
Make Time for Special Moments with Family
Thanksgiving can be a stressful time, and the chaos can make many people feel on edge or lead to arguments. To prevent this from happening, make sure to take a break from cooking and setting up to spend some time with your family.
Watching a favorite movie or football, playing a board game, and sitting around the living room with hot spiced cider sharing stories are just a few things you can do to step back from all the meal preparation and enjoy time together. Make sure to take a few pictures to capture the memories, but also put down your camera or Smartphone for a while to just relax with family and friends.
Search for Places of Interest
The Thanksgiving holiday is a perfect time to search for new places to explore. Even if you are returning to your hometown, it’s worth doing a Google search or consulting a travel app to find a new place to visit.
Though we might know a town or city very well, chances are there are sights and experiences that you have not yet seen or discovered. There might be a fall festival nearby, or a hidden park or nature trail that you haven’t come across before. Taking advantage of the last mild days of autumn and spending some time outdoors can be wonderful during and after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Whatever new place you choose to explore, take some time to appreciate having a new experience in the place you know so well.
Thanksgiving is notorious for crowded airports and highways, an abundance of rich foods, and lots of preparations that often leave people feeling stressed and rushed. But it also gives us an opportunity to come together with family and friends, to step back from our busy daily lives, and to rediscover a place that we rarely see anymore.
And we also have the chance to research nearby places of interest that we have not yet seen and to open ourselves to new experiences. Even a familiar place offers new locations for us to explore and experience, if we only take the time to look for them.