Living next door to the John Wayne Airport means one less hassle when it comes to traveling! But any true Californian knows the craziness that the airport becomes when the holiday season is in full swing. Flights that are full from nose to tail, rushing from one gate to another, luggage full of presents and everyone working hard to get home for the holidays. With all things considered, even though our neighborly location to the airport helps us out a bit, we’ve got a few tips to help make your holiday travels a breeze.


Prepare mentally: Book a massage

Air travel and public transportation, in general, can be mentally draining. Whether it be a road trip, car rentals, or a 4-hour flight, you want to be in the right headspace when you are trip planning and preparing! And for most of us, that starts with a little self-care and mental preparation for heading out of town for a bit. Your routine will change, you might be heading to a place you are unfamiliar with, and the stress of the holidays (presents, family, etc.) can make it even more intense! So a really great way to relax and unwind before you head out is with a massage! Lucky for you, Irvine and Orange County has plenty of hidden gems and spas that can set you right. Some of our favorites include the Body Center Day Spa, Massage Heights, and for a nice, serene Thai massage, Chaba. And in the likely event that you’re too busy preparing for your trip that you don’t have time to get a massage before heading to the airport, you could get a pre-flight spa treatment at the Xpress Spa at John Wayne!

Prepare physically: Pack light

Catching a flight, driving a car long distances, and all of the activities that come with traveling for the holidays are physically demanding! Lifting luggage, speed walking from one gate at the airport to another, sitting for long periods of time, it can be a lot; and they aren’t usually luxury experiences. So here’s some advice when preparing physically for holiday traveling: pack light, purchase luggage with wheels and, if you have a lot of gifts, pack them unwrapped in a separate luggage! Then, once you get to your destination, wrap them there so your wrapping job doesn’t get ruined en route. You can find lightweight, wheeled luggage at Rooten’s Luggage Center, TUMI, and everyone’s favorite, Marshalls! Marshall’s also has festive holiday wrapping paper, so while you’re there for luggage you can save yourself some time and grab a roll of wrapping paper or gift bags! Plus, everyone loves a good excuse to buy some new luggage and holiday supplies.


Prepare emotionally: Eat, sleep, repeat

In order to be merry, bright and full of holiday cheer by the time you make it to your destination, you’ll need to prepare emotionally for everything ahead of you! The joy of seeing your friends and family that maybe you haven’t seen for a while, or even the sadness of being away from home for the holidays, are healthy emotional stressors! And really, all we can advise for your journey ahead is getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy and nutritious food, and staying relaxed (hence, the massage!) According to an article by Smarter Travel, 7 foods you should eat before flying include low sodium items, oranges, herbal teas, yogurt, water with lemon, almonds, and smoothies. You can find most of these tasty, pre-travel foods at the Irvine Ralphs, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and really any local grocer!


We hope this holiday travel guide helps you prepare for the hustle and bustle of the season! What are your favorite travel tips? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram, and keep following the blog here for more helpful tips and tricks for travel, and life in Irvine!