Seasonal Stress is Coming to Town: Tips to Smooth Those Holiday Travel Woes
Psst: Staying Home Doesn’t Make You Immune
Bring on the lights, eggnog and ugly sweaters because it’s officially holiday season. But while it may be the most wonderful time of the year, traveling during it can sometimes be anything but.
Between the search for flight or hotel deals, delayed or cancelled flights, cramped quarters at the in-laws’ house and last-minute shopping at crowded malls, the holidays are sure to bring a few headaches that can eclipse the joy and hoped-for relaxation of the season. Staying home can be a stressor too, thanks to houseguests who can make hosting feel like a part-time job.
Although we can’t remove all the pain points of the season (we haven’t found a cure for family squabbles yet), Hilton has compiled a list of 5 tips for smoothing the stressors. So take a look, take a deep breath, and take charge of your holiday season.
1) Treat Yourself to Proper Lodging
Do yourself a solid and ditch the subpar spare room, basement sofa bed, and never-ending chatter at your in-laws’ (or other relatives’) house. Then, be sure to follow these steps to optimize your hotel stay.
- Book direct
- Travelers should book directly with their hotel brand to ensure the best price and experience and take advantage of free guest-loyalty programs to get the most perks and value. Hilton has a Price Match Guarantee for the lowest rate, saving travelers the time and stress of having to shop around to ensure the best deal. And Hilton’s free-to-join Hilton Honors program offers perks guests say they value most, such as free WiFi, room upgrades, exclusive discounts and a variety of digitally-enabled amenities that let guests do things like choose their room before arrival and use their Smartphone as their room key –all powered through the Hilton Honors app. A plus: guests can earn Honors points to fund future stays.
- Do a quick search for hotel packages
- Check the hotel website for package deals that offer bundled experiences at value prices. Hilton offers a variety of holiday-related packages and deals to help you save money and have a festive holiday experience. At the St. Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, for example, there’s a Polar Express-themed package that includes your room and tickets to board the 45-minute Polar Express train to the “North Pole.” During the ride, enjoy on-board entertainment that includes singalongs to holiday carols and snacks like hot chocolate and cookies.
- Don’t overlook airport hotels.
- Perhaps they’re not your first choice for a holiday headquarters, but if you’re in a pinch, have an early return flight, or are looking for a deal consider an airport hotel. Hilton offers a variety of them with great rates and unique offerings, such as soundproof windows and Hilton Suite Dreams sleep sets with down-filled comforters and pillows at the Hilton Newark Airport near New York City. Some airport hotels, like Hilton Los Angeles Airport, even offer day rates ideal for travelers with extended layovers who are looking to refresh and recharge before or after the festivities.
2) Leave the cooking to someone (and someplace) else
You’re already hosting overnight guests, so instead of laboring over a hot stove to prep a big meal, give your kitchen (and yourself) a break and take the group to a home away from home: a hotel restaurant that’s accustomed to providing seamless hospitality. With 11 Michelin stars and 65 rooftop bars in its portfolio, Hilton knows how to serve up delectable meals and drinks in an elegant setting. Do yourself a favor this holiday and search for one near you.
3) Give a Gift that Keeps on Giving (to you)
- Instead of another fruit basket or gift card, splurge a bit and gift visiting family a stay at a nearby hotel instead of your house. After all, you want them to be comfortable and not cramped (that’s your story and you’re sticking to it!) You may even be able to use your Hilton Honors points to book their room.
4) Make a Great (albeit brief) Escape
- If you can’t manage to swing a hotel overnight for your trip, you can certainly make a (mad) dash to one for a bit to stretch out, relieve your host, and have some family fun. There’s a variety of festive décor and activities at Hilton hotels around the country sure to keep the kids busy and entertain the whole family, including Teddy Bear Teas, breakfasts with Santa, Reveillon dinners, train rides, holiday crafts and more –so be sure check nearby properties.
5) After Guests Check Out of Your Home, Check In to a Hotel
- After serving as hostess with the mostess to a small army of people, unwind from the holiday stress and treat yourself to a mini-staycation in another part of town. While you’re there, indulge yourself: drinks and dinner out only requires an elevator ride, you can order breakfast in bed and even enjoy a spa treatment. If you’re feeling really ambitious squeeze in a workout at the hotel gym or the Five Feet To Fitness gym in your room, depending on the locale, to get a kickstart on your New Year’s resolutions.
These tips are designed to give you the gift of time. Be sure to take the time to fully enjoy the experience of the holidays and mark the special occasion with a family photo or Instagrammable selfie that takes advantage of the beautiful holiday decor in your hotel’s lobby.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 15 world-class brands comprising more than 5,500 properties with nearly 895,000 rooms, in 109 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company, Hilton earned a spot on the 2018 world’s best workplaces list, and has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its nearly 100 year history. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program, Hilton Honors, nearly 82 million members who book directly with Hilton have access to instant benefits, including digital check-in with room selection, Digital Key, and Connected Room. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.