Heading home? Holiday travel tips
Many of us are still recovering from a gluttonous, glorious Thanksgiving weekend, while others are reflecting on what the holiday means for the country’s Native American community. It was a weekend of introspection, a weekend to ask yourself, “What am I thankful for?”
If nothing else, I’m grateful to have the career that I’ve built and the family and friends who love and support me no matter what. Fall and winter are two of my favorite seasons because I get to spend time the people I love most and eat the best home cooked meals. That means this Michigan native has to travel home for the holidays every year.
With that said, it’s easy for freelance work to interrupt holiday time. Here’s some advice on how to mentally check out of work mode during the holiday season.
Book your travel early: Not only does this save money, but it also gives you a deadline for wrapping up your freelance work. Setting the date gives you something to look forward to and helps you plan out how and when to complete your gigs. You’ll also assess when you need to call your sources, because they’ll likely be traveling home, too.
Communicate with clients about deadlines and off-days: Once your travel is booked, check in with clients and let them know when you’ll be traveling and unavailable. That way they’ll know when you’ll be off-line.
Finish as much work as you can before takeoff: Call your sources and schedule those interviews before they head home for the holidays. You’ll have more time to transcribe and draft your story. If you can’t finish it all before break, let your editor know and ask for an extension. Your editor is likely to be heading home too. It’s best to have your deadline conversation after you’ve booked your holiday travel. That way your deadline is realistic.
Savor time (and food) with your loved ones: Turn off your phone and electronic devices for a little while. Talk to your family members and friends that you haven’t seen for a while. Take pictures. These days, people are here today and gone tomorrow. Make sure you soak up the time you have with them. Don’t miss out on time with them by staying on your phone and computer the entire time.
As I mentioned in a previous post about taking time off, one of the upsides of taking time off is returning to work recharged. I often come back with fresh ideas that could have only come from taking the time to smell the roses—or in my case, play with my dog, Max.
What are your holiday travel tips? Leave a comment or send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.