The holiday season can be stressful for many reasons. Between picking out the perfect gift for loved ones, baking for the family, and making travel arrangements, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of, but don’t forget the reason for the season of giving and joy. A little planning can help you stay on top of things as December starts. Here are 3 tips to help your holidays run smoothly this year.
- Make a list (and check it twice)
Santa isn’t the only one making a list this year. Creating and keeping track of the holidays with a list is your new best friend this season.
Start by making a list of presents – who you are buying for, what you think they would like, and how much money you are willing to spend on each person.
Next, make a list of supplies you need for entertaining, such as the food and drinks you want to serve, and how much is remaining in your budget for these items. Also check for deals or specials around the holiday season, especially for frozen items, or items with a long shelf life. Remember, the timing of shopping should be around the event.
If you need some extra motivation to stay on top of your list, share it with friends and family. They can help you stay accountable to get things done, or help you accomplish and check off things on your list.
- Online shop accordingly
It can be easy to lose track of how much you are spending when you are shopping online. However, there are lots of ways to save, like using online coupons and discount codes. With your list of gifts or supplies, do a search in the sale sections of retailers’ websites to see offers.
If you know of a particular item you are looking for, search for them in multiple places rather than just one retailer’s website, as you can often find them someplace else at a much cheaper rate. Also, don’t discount online auction websites where you can bid for items such as Christmas decorations, gifts, and more.
Lastly, take advantage of free shipping when you can. Something that is a little more expensive is worth it in the long run if there is a shipping offer.
- Plan travel arrangements in advance
Obviously, airplane tickets must be purchased in advance, but whether you are flying or driving, there are ways to save on holiday travel costs. Costs of travel include flight tickets, gas if driving, travel insurance, accommodations, and more. Shop around for deals to avoid last-minute bookings as the holidays get closer and prices increase.
Also, traveling with a family is a lot more stressful than traveling alone, and the kids may need some extra preparation. Bring along games for them to play, books for them to read, or other on-the-go activities to keep them entertained. Prepare snacks for the road or bring a healthy dish to share with friends and family. Check out our list of healthy holiday habits to prepare for your travel plans this season.
At the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, we know that your holiday schedule is busy. That’s why we have a variety of programs for you to choose from in between the holiday rush to relieve some of your stress in the gym or an exercise group. Reserve your spot today!