The Good and Bad of Traveling Over the Holidays

Whether traveling to see family or traveling just to see a new place, there is good and bad about being on the road during the holidays. We are definitely the type of people who love being surrounded by holiday decorations, cooking special meals, and spending time with people that are important to us, but we tend to travel more often than not during the holidays. Since Thanksgiving is not something celebrated outside of North America, it is a great time to travel, but we also tend to travel over the week between Christmas and New Years. It is fascinating to see how other cultures celebrate the holidays and it gives us a different perspective that can influence our own holiday traditions.

Christmastime in Strasbourg, France
Fountain and Christmas Decorations in Punta Cana
Decorations and Market in Prague, Czech Republic
Skating at the Market in Vienna, Austria

Lets get the bad out of the way first. Travel over the holidays is often expensive because so many other people are traveling during the same time. That also means that airports are busier, lines at the counters, security, and customs are all longer and slower. Another reason for the longer lines is that people travel during the holidays that don’t normally travel. They aren’t prepared and don’t know what they are supposed to do, which causes problems and delays. We have often told each other that we wish they would create separate lines for those people who travel all of the time and those that don’t travel at all. Restaurants fill up quickly, often need reservations, and sometimes have fixed menus as opposed to a la carte. Depending upon where you are, weather can also be an issue causing flight delays, icy roads, and just generally cold conditions. Traveling over the holidays takes extra planning and most importantly an extra dose of patience.

Christmas Tree in Brasov, Romania
Christmas Decorations in Las Vegas
Holiday Decorations in France
Holiday Decorations Around the Altar of St. Lorenz Church in Nuremberg

There are definitely a lot of good things about travel during the holidays as well. First of all, seeing all of the decorations in different places can be amazing. Many cities have special holiday markets, events, plays, concerts, and parades that can create very special memories. Depending upon where you decide to go, you can actually avoid crowds by traveling to places where other people do not typically go at that time of year. Seeing how other cultures celebrate the season and trying unique holiday foods is something truly special. Once you reach your destination, people seem to be genuinely friendly and happy to share their traditions. You can also find unique gifts for friends and family, especially things that are hand-crafted.

Christmas Tree in Frankfurt, Germany
The Second of Four Christmas Markets in Vienna
Restaurant Decorated for the Holidays
Building a Nativity Scene in Hanoi, Vietnam

Regardless of your reason for traveling over the holidays, it can be frustrating as well as rewarding. The biggest keys to being successful when traveling during the holidays is to plan ahead, make reservations where necessary, and most of all, give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Also, remember it is the holidays, smile and be nice to people, especially everyone who is there to help or serve you. If you are traveling over this coming holiday, we hope that you have a wonderful trip and there are many more good moments than bad.

5 Travel Destinations for Self-Care Seekers

Today we are featuring a guest post from Healthy Fit who offer workout routines and fitness advise that can be used in your everyday life or when you are traveling.

The meaning of self-care varies slightly depending on who you ask, but for those of us who love to travel, there’s no better way to reset the mind and body than by exploring somewhere new. When we stimulate our senses with new sights, sounds, and smells, we nurture ourselves emotionally, physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually — which in turn reduces stress and anxiety and makes us healthier and happier overall.

Below are five travel destinations for every type of self-care seeker. Whether you’re looking to relax on a sandy beach, hike a mountain, or observe wildlife, there are so many self-care destinations to nourish the mind, body, and soul.

Image via Unsplash

1. Paris

According to the Self-Care Capitals Report from, Paris is the ultimate travel destination for those of us looking to reset the mind, body, and spirit. The city offers more than 936 spas, 332 museums, and 267 parks! A few notable attractions include the L’Institut du Luxembourg, Studio Rituel, Jardin des Tuileries, and Louvre Museum.

What’s more, Parisians are experts at maintaining a healthy work-life balance. It’s against the law for employers to contact their employees over the weekend, and a 35-hour workweek policy was passed in 2000.

Image via Unsplash

2. London

For those of us who prioritize physical health and wellness while vacationing, London is the perfect self-care destination. With more than 103 gyms, fitness centers, and yoga studios located within London’s City Centre, we can spend time caring for our physical, mental, and emotional health between visiting attractions such as the Tower Bridge, British Museum, and Hyde Park. Plus, those of us who identify as plant-based or health-conscious eaters can visit one of the many vegan-friendly restaurants in England’s capital city.

Image via Unsplash

3. Ubud

If you’ve read or watched Eat, Pray, Love, you — like many others — may have already fallen in love with the town of Ubud in Bali, Indonesia. You can observe the monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary as you make your way toward the Pura Dalem Agung temple, take a stroll along the Campuhan Ridge Walk, or treat your body and mind to a relaxing Balinese massage. Between nature, spirituality, and holistic body treatments, can you think of a better self-care destination?

Image via Unsplash

4. Venice

For those of us who use art as a form of self-care, there’s no better travel destination than Venice, Italy. From the Palazzo Ducale and Museo Storico Navale to the Gallerie Dell’Accademia, there’s no shortage of galleries and museums in this northeast Italian city. Self-care seekers can also tour the city by kayak, climb aboard a peaceful gondola ride, or tap into their spiritual side at one of the more than 100 Venetian churches.

Image via Unsplash

5. Yellowstone National Park

Located in parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho (USA), Yellowstone National Park is the ultimate self-care destination for those experiencing digital burnout. Cell phone coverage is limited throughout the park, making it an ideal location for a digital detox. Travelers can also enjoy self-guided tours throughout the park, observe grizzly bears, bison, and moose in their natural habitats, and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, and camping.

In Conclusion

While everyone could use a bit more self-care in their daily lives, you don’t always have to travel to a new city, state, or country in order to care for your mind, body, and spirit. If traveling somewhere new isn’t in the cards, try camping in your backyard, planning a self-care staycation, or spending the day at a spa. The important thing is that you’re exposing yourself to new experiences while keeping your individual self-care needs in mind.