1. A Sense of Humor. Let's face it, you're traveling during the busiest time of the year. There WILL be lines; there WILL be crowds, no matter what mode or class of travel you're taking, it won't feel glamorous. Wear your smile, and laugh, or make someone else laugh as frequently as possible.
2. Healthy snacks for the road. We all know by now that airline food is either non-existent or just plain offensive. Trains are slightly better. But don't leave it to chance; pack your own healthy food. It will make your trip more pleasant and relaxing, and you'll be the envy of your cabin mates. Pack a few candy canes or some such festive thing. Show your stewardess a smile as you present her with one...it may buy you a fresh baked cookie from first class.
3. Your Blackberry. Of course, I'd like to put this on the list of things to leave behind, but who are we kidding, you'd never listen to such blatantly irresponsible advice. So, I capitulate and encourage you to take it with you....I only ask that you set boundaries around its use. Maybe you take the blackberry, but leave the charger at home so that when it dies you're done. Or maybe you bring your blackberry, but only check messages first thing in the morning and otherwise keep it shut off during the day.
4. Two good books. The first might be a novel or piece of non-fiction to keep you interested as you travel or to secure some alone time during your trip. The second might be a book with a spiritual message. Maybe a daily meditation or a prayer book, whatever feeds your inner life. This is a particularly special time, the close of one year in most cultures and the beginning of another. It's a time to assess the twelve months you have just passed and to make some plans for the twelve months ahead. Besides spending time with friends and family during your travels, allow some quiet time alone.
5. Less. Yes, pack less. First of all, it's so nice not to have to check baggage, but secondly, you will probably exchange gifts during your travels, make sure you leave some room in your suitcase so that you can bring your loot home!
To Leave Behind:
1. Expectations. It's almost impossible to do, but I find life is so much easier when I don't burden myself with expectations...expectations of how Aunt Myrtle will treat you, expectations of how many old friends will show up to your party...expectations about how good the skiing will be... Having low expectations or better yet, no expectations, will greatly lessen the chance of being disappointed. I have always thought I'd like to be like more like those people on flights, who applaud when the plane lands. WOW, talk about having low expectations.
For more holiday season tips, click here for more from Huffington Post's Living!