Since restarting this blog in October, I've written a lot of content. But this week, for some reason, I've found a hard time in trying to put pen to paper and crank something out. I partially blame the Thanksgiving break, and the fun that was all the shopping that took place after the holiday weekend. Even my regular sources of inspiration have been of no assistance. Which is why I'm really hoping that my holiday travels will get me inspired once more.
Its very true that normal people dread holiday travel like going to the dentist, or spending more than two hours in their small hometown. I, however, am looking forward to getting out and seeing how other places celebrate the holiday season. And I don't know that I'm alone in this feeling, as the Wall Street Journal reports that air travel bookings are up more than 50% this year. Whatever you want to call it, more and more people are getting out this holiday season.
Can travel be a theraputic exercise? At least one study, published in 2001 by Dr. Jeffrey Kottler suggests that "...travel can provide [individuals] with the opportunities to practice what they are learning..., gain insight, and provide context for attempting different ways of behaving." Additionally, several hospitals and doctors recommend travel programs as a way to keep patients spirits high, which can aide in the treatment of and healing from disease.
So while my two excursions in the next two weekends will be anything but scientific, I plan on using them as a way to get my head back into the game once more for the year-end rush. This is despite the fact that normal convention says I should avoid traveling unless I must, as there is a higher chance of trip delay, cancellation, or even baggage loss. Not to mention the fact that the last time I attempted this, I had a really hard time readjusting to the time zone changes.
So how can I make sure my therapy trips don't turn into a travel loss of their own? Here's my game plan going into the next two weekends of traveling:
- Stay in one time zone (figuratively)
Lucky for me, this weekend's road trip to Canada will keep me in the Eastern Time Zone. Unlucky for me, my travel to San Francisco next weekend will put me on Pacific Time. While on the west coast, I plan on keeping myself on Eastern Time by waking up three hours earlier than I normally would, and going to bed three hours earlier. This way, I should have no problem readjusting once I get back from my travels. Also note that this is much easier to going east than it is going west.
- Weigh price against convenience
The last time I vacationed in the northeast, I ended up with a flat tire that cost me $300 to replace. This year, I'm using my status at a car rental company to rent a car for the road trip Why would I do this? I'm not a smoker, and if something goes wrong with the car (like said flat tire), I have a number to call for assistance. Plus, with the promotions, I get a free rental car day as a result!
- All I want for Christmas is...
This year, I've asked friends and family to skip the holiday gift exchange this year - I'd much rather take them to dinner and catch up instead. If they feel like they must give me something (Grandma), then I'm having no shame asking for select gift cards and cash. This covers my travel expenses this holiday season, and allows me to save up for my January trip - when I'm going to really need to get out of the cold.
I'll let you know how it goes as I make my trips this weekend and next. And, yes, I have my travel insurance for both of these mini-excursions this winter. Not that I anticipate I'll have a trip delay or baggage loss...but just in case I do, I'll be ready.
How do you escape the holiday blues while on the road? I'd love to hear your thoughts and try them these next two weekends - let me know in the comments below!