Holiday Survival Guide
- Plan ahead. This applies to booking flights, planning driving routes, and arranging for pick-ups at your destination. It also applies to packing and planning on how you’ll spend your time at your holiday destination. It is nice to take a relaxed play-it-by-ear approach to travel, however during the holiday season, the more you plan ahead, the more relaxed your travel will be.
- Kids. Your kids are not immune to the stresses and impacts of holiday travel. Routine is important to kids and holiday travel is a huge disruption to the day-to-day. Prepare your kids for the travel, let them choose their favorite toy (or two), and make sure your kids have multiple opportunities to burn off their endless energy.
- Have some space. Don’t stay with family. Yes, that’s right – stay at a B & B, hotel, or Airbnb instead of cramming yourself and family into one spare room or into a slightly damp basement. You need to sleep comfortably and have the space to relax and unwind – this is often not possible when you stay with family.
- Speak up. Remember, you’re with family and friends – don’t feel shy to speak up and let your loved ones know about your food intolerances or foods you simply can’t eat. Explain why you can’t eat nuts, corn, or wheat – however, when you do this don’t imply that your host make something special for you.
- Bring food. It’s the holiday season and the general feeling is – the more food the better. Plan ahead and bring a favorite dish or two that you know you’ll be able to eat and know that others will enjoy. This way it’s not obvious when you’re eating only vegetables or are skipping the chocolate yule log.
- Don’t make a fuss. You might come across a host who doesn’t believe in food intolerances (yes, this happens). If this happens to you, just roll with it. Be prepared for a limited meal and remind yourself that you’ve got lots of food waiting for you at home or wherever you’re staying (another reason not to stay with family or friends during the holidays).
- Stay calm. Now, we’re not advocating meditation at the holiday supper table, rather we want you to focus on happy, calming thoughts. When you’ve had to explain your gluten intolerance for the sixth time to the same person, it can be a bit frustrating. Take a deep breathe, explain your situation, smile, and snack on some carrots and hummus.