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December 10, 2013

Traveling Over the Holidays? Five Ways to Cope

Christmas Lights in Seoul, South Korea

It’s holiday season again. Time to get together with those you love and celebrate with gifts, Christmas cards, and fantastic movies and music. That is of course, if you are home with your family.

However, if you’re traveling or living abroad, the holiday season can be rough. It’s hard for even the most seasoned of adventurers to not get a little homesick during the holiday season. So, here are five tips to help you fight the loneliness and bring a bit of holiday joy to your travels.

Call Your Family and Friends

It’s amazing how close to home you can feel when you talk to your family and friends, especially when using a video service like Skype. If you’ve been fortunate enough to receive gifts while away, or if you’ve sent gifts home, opening the gifts online can really help you feel at home on Christmas day.

It’s even possible on some services to do video conference calls, so you can see everyone, even if they are in different locations.

Christmas Lights at Taipei 101 in Taiwan

Christmas Lights at Taipei 101 in Taiwan

Go Christmas Shopping

In an exciting foreign location? Why not pick up a few unique souvenirs and send them home for the holidays. After all, what’s more exciting that sharing a bit of your travels with your family and friends back home.

While it may sound expensive, from some locations, especially in Asia, you can do your Christmas shopping early and ship it very cheaply via ground shipping. You can even open the gifts you got them over Skype.

Watch a Christmas Movie

Even if you aren’t at home, you can still watch some of your favorite holiday movies online.

While it is hard to find legal sources to watch some of the more recent holiday favorites, it is possible to watch some of the older Christmas classics like “Miracle on 34th St.”, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, or the terrible “Star Wars Holiday Special”.

About.com has a great page that lists links to many different Christmas movies and TV specials that you can watch online for free.

Find Yourself Some Turkey and Stuffing

Christmas Tree in Seoul Plaza, South Korea

Christmas Tree in Seoul Plaza, South Korea

One of the best ways to keep yourself from feeling homesick during the holidays is to grab some friends or travel partners and head out to enjoy a holiday feast. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, most large cities around the world will have a few restaurants offering traditional meals.

If you are at a loss of where to look, try the restaurant at a large international hotel chain or the foreigner district of the city you are in.

However, if you are taking the slow boat in Loas or in some other place far from a large city, you might have to settle for something else on the big day.

Treat Yourself to Something Special

Even if you are traveling on a budget, it will still help your morale to treat yourself to something nice every once in a while, and what better time to do that than around the holidays.

This will not only give you something nice, but will give you something to look forward to other than seeing a new temple or visiting a new town.

So, I’m giving you permission, go out and do something nice for yourself: go to the spa, stay in a nice hotel, eat at a fancy restaurant. The holidays are a special time; treat them that way.
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2 Comments


  1. I think the best way to cope with traveling at the holidays—in addition to your suggestions—is to go in with a good attitude. Inevitably, there will be delays, rude people, and horrible traffic, and your stress level (let alone loneliness or homesickness).Prepare yourself mentally, maybe with a mantra that helps you focus, and physically, by eating healthy and exercising often. You know all the bad stuff will happen, and you are the one in control of how you act and how angry or upset you let yourself get. Have a contingency plan in case things go sideways. People watch if you’re in an airport or train station. And then just enjoy the journey!


  2. We have a friend who spent every Christmas with us for nearly 10 years move to Italy this year. It was her hardest Christmas…she Skyped us several times throughout the day, even when she was having her “celebration” with friend there. The power of technology is wonderful, even though she wasn’t here she kinda was. (It was hard for us not to have her here too.)



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