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The holiday season is here, and to make this a memorable and fun time, preparing for everything in advance is going to be very helpful. Whether you’re going out of town or hosting, we will help you get ready to make this the best holiday season yet!

Are You Travelling?

Travelling during the holiday season feels like a headache. So many people travel, and with the weather being unpredictable (depending on where you’re going or coming from) things don’t always work out as planned. Make your arrangements as soon as possible and make a detailed agenda. If you’re flying, arrive at the airport at least 4 hours before your scheduled flight. Airports have plenty of restaurants and other outlets of passing the time, and you will be certain to make it through security with time to spare. If it looks like your flight will be cancelled, make sure you have a plan B, such as a bus or at least something to do while you wait for the next available flight. If it looks like you will have to cancel your plans due to the weather, know what you are going to do in town so that you and your family can still have a great time.

When you are out of town, have an agenda of what you are going to do while you are there. It’s usually a bad idea to expect your host to be responsible for your entertainment the entire time, so plan some things you want to do and arrange for a rental car or some sort of transportation if possible. Of course, also be ready to help your host as needed, especially if there is a large amount of people attending.

Are You Hosting This Year?

Just like with travelling, being prepared in advance will be very helpful. Know what activities you and your group will do together, form your meal plan, and take care of all the shopping in advance. If you can, have your house cleaned by a cleaning service (ahem!) to take some responsibility off your plate. Be ready for last minute cancellations if your guests are snowed in, and don’t hesitate to ask your guests for help here and there as needed so you don’t overwhelm yourself.

It is also important to set boundaries with your guests. If you have a small child, make sure their schedule is kept to. Also, if the family pet is hesitant around new guests, it might be a good idea to set up his own special, comfortable area somewhere away from everyone, and give him time to adjust.

Set Your Budget

If you don’t already have your holiday budget set, this is a good time to get that out of the way. Plan every expense, so that you don’t find yourself short of what you need or in a large amount of debt. The average American spends over $700 on the holidays, so take your time looking for the best deals to try and keep as far below that as possible.

Have Fun!

Remember: planning, planning, planning! Be as prepared as possible, with plan B, C, etc. When you feel ready for anything, you feel less stressed. Enjoy yourself, and appreciate this wonderful time of year. Things will always go wrong here and there, but if you can keep a level head, and keep everything in perspective, you might find you are really having a great time!

What are your favorite tips for a fun and successful holiday season?