Now that November is upon us, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the holidays are just around the corner–and for many people that means lots of travel. Traveling Mom teamed up with TravelGuard® Insurance by AIG Travel to share our experiences with getting on the road during this busy time of year and to hear your tips for making holiday travels a success.
We’ve compiled a selection of party tweets from some of the Traveling Mom writers to explore in more detail the unique ways TMOMs get organized and make travel plans for the holiday season. Whether that means flying across the country to grandma’s house for a big family reunion or gathering everyone on a tropical island to ring in the New Year, we’ve got ideas to inspire you this season. Let’s take a look at some of the conversation that happened during our holiday travel #WhereNext? chat!
Question 1: What’s the best travel tip you’ve heard this season?
Karen Heffren, Desert Traveling Mom – Keep your travel agenda simple, don’t over schedule yourself.
The holiday season is especially busy with special events, traditions, and commitments. Add in the extended family with their own priorities, and traveling during the holidays can get complicated fast. An easy way to reduce stress is to keep your travel agenda simple. Commit to only one or two things each day and be flexible to keep holiday travel realistic and happy, not frantic and stressful.
Question 2: What are your Thanksgiving #travel plans? Anyone going somewhere unconventional?
Rebecca Darling, Texas Traveling Mom – We stopped traveling on Thanksgiving years ago.
Traveling over Thanksgiving was always stressful for our family. Driving or flying, you are dealing with larger than life crowds, so it takes twice as long to get where you are going. Visits with family are rushed as its a shorter holiday than Christmas. And we found that staying home was much more relaxing. We cook together, plan Christmas events, take our time decorating the house and really enjoy what we have to be thankful for.
Question 3: What’s left on your pre-holiday travel to do list? #WhereNext? #TMOM
Sue Rodman, Traveling Mom with Teens – I can’t believe it’s already the holidays. everything is still on my to-do list!
I’ve done zero holiday planning. We have a ski-trip planned to Breckenridge for Thanksgiving. I bought the tickets back in July, but haven’t done much else. I need to book transportation from the airport, get ski equipment, lessons scheduled etc. I also need to figure out what ski clothes fit the kids and what we need to borrow. For Christmas we stay in town, but on the 26th we usually go to my in-laws. And for New Year’s this year we are headed to Cape San Blas. That one’s not even on my radar other than we are going!
Anuja De Silva, Cosmopolitan Traveling Mom – Finding a house rental hopefully by the beach.
After a grueling winter in upstate New York last winter, spending time in the sun is the only way we can wrap our heads around another cold season. Ideally, we plan to rent a house and spend some quality one on one time with our three year old son and infant daughter. We haven’t nailed down the location yet, but hoping for either Puerto Rico, Mexico or the US Virgin Islands. A house within walking distance to the beach or a downtown area is ideal.
Question 4: Who are you traveling with this holiday season?
Kirsten Maxwell, Teaching Traveling Mom – Traveling with the whole gang this holiday season. The only ones left behind are the dog & house sitter.
This year we have decided to take a non-traditional approach to the holidays. Our family will be packing our bags, leaving the turkey, dressing, and pies behind, and head to Germany for Thanksgiving. My husband, three boys, and myself will fly into Frankfurt. From there we will explore Heidelberg, Strasbourg (France), Munich, Nüremberg, and Rothenburg ob Tauber. We will only catch the beginning of the Christmas Market season, but I think that will be enough for my husband. Our poor dog will be left behind in the competent hands of our house sitter, but I am sure she will be spoiled rotten, and will probably enjoy a nice holiday of her own.
Cindy Richards, Empty Nest Traveling Mom – Trying to get the whole fam together for a week in Mexico Jan. 3-8, after holiday craziness ends.
Question 5: Trip to grandma’s, winter on the beach…what’s your holiday #travel tradition?
Kim Orlando, Traveling Mom – Christmas tradition: spend the day in NYC eating street hot dogs, holiday windows, eating cacio e pepe @Eataly.
Every Christmas, the Orlando Family heads to NYC to see the holiday windows, buy tschtchke and eat. We always start off with a hot dog from a street vendor and move on to Nuts for Nuts (roasted candied nuts) from there. We walk from Grand Central, no matter how cold it is, and head to the enormous ToysRUS store in Times Square. When the kids were little, everyone got $20 to spend. A they got older, we skipped TRU and went straight to Lord & Taylor to view the holiday windows. From there we went either to Macy’s or Saks Fifth Avenue. We always take a picture in front of the tree at Rockefeller Center and try to get a glimpse of the ice skaters. One year we trekked up to Barney’s to their windows but that was not worth it according to the kids. Now that my kids are teens, we end our holiday night with cacio e pepe (cheese & pepper pasta) dinner at Eataly.
Julie Bigboy, Day Trips Traveling Mom – Staying close to home for the #holidays is tradition. We save other travel for rest of the year.
Most of my family lives with 20 mins of my house so we only have celebrated Holidays with local family. Part of that had to do with work schedule (for 18 years I worked for a catalog company and always needed to be right back to work the next day; I was laid off 2 months ago however). During the rest of the year we still tend to stay close to home in our travels (airfare for five is prohibitive!) and take frequent day trips. Since we live in San Diego there is already quite a lot for us to explore here. We enjoy an overnight at Disneyland several times a year or a road trip up the California coast for a few days.
Question 6: Whether you’re at home or on the road, how do you plan to #giveback this holiday season?
Mary Moore, Retro Traveling Mom – We do different things every year, but no matter what I want my kids to get involved – learn the act of giving.
Giving back has always been important for my family. I was taught from a young age by my mother to give back, even when we went through a rough patch in life and had nothing ourselves. I believe that giving to others helps keep us grounded in life and helps us realize that we are always blessed. I have since kept this tradition alive with my own children and have found that learning to give to others sometimes is a taught action, but one that becomes inherent when shown as a normal part of life. One way that I’ve taught my kids the joy of giving is by allowing them to decide who/what we make our “special” recipient each year. We definitely make it a point around the holidays to make a big deal out of giving, but I also teach them that giving to others is important all year round and now when we see someone struggling, my kids will be the first to notice and come to me with a plan to help. It has definitely made them more aware of the world around them and excited to know that they can make a difference and do something. They truly find joy in it.
Chris Bird, Standby Traveling Mom – We always participate in Operation Christmas Child. My daughter has fun shopping for gifts for other kids.
Every year we fill at least two Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to be delivered by Samaritan’s Purse to boys and girls in third world countries at Christmastime. Our daughter loves picking out a Barbie doll or action figure, clothing, candy, crafts and hygiene items, which may be the greatest gifts these kids receive all year. Her favorite part is writing a Christmas card to include so they know it is sent with love, from her.
Leslie Harvey, Frequent Flyer Traveling Mom – We always volunteer at our local food bank & adopt a child or family in need. The kids love both!
It’s so important to remind our children about the needs of others during the holiday season when they get so much. My 6 year old has really internalized the lessons of her volunteer and giving time. She loves being involved in selecting specific gifts for a child in need, and it’s nice for me to see her excited about toys that she’s not the one receiving. Every time we drive past the food bank in our small town where she has helped out, she talks about families who might need assistance and tries to find other ways to give year round. It’s a start!