The holidays can be tough when you don’t have a lot of cash. They’re especially tough if your family and loved ones live far away from you and you can’t afford to travel.
Making the Holidays Special When You Can’t Afford to Travel
If your budget won’t allow you to fly or drive to be with your loved ones and they can’t come to you, there are some things that you can do to ease the sting of not being with them. No, the holidays won’t be the same, but you can still find some joy in them with these ideas.
Connect with friends. Chances are you have friends nearby who may be in the same situation as you. Host a potluck gathering to celebrate together. I have a friend who affectionately referred to her gathering of friends as a party for the “misfit toys.” Share a meal, watch a movie, play some games, and enjoy the company. A great way to connect with friends and family who are not nearby is to send one of the many Thanksgiving eCards by Hallmark that are available.
Use Skype or Facetime to see your loved ones. Technology is amazing, and while it’s not the same as being there, it can certainly help you feel connected. Arrange a time for your to Skype or Facetime with family. My husband’s cousin does this when the rest of the family is gathered for holidays and we all get a chance to chat with him. There’s something nice about being able to see the people you care about, even if you can’t be with them.
Write a heartfelt letter to your loved ones. Take a quiet moment and some pen and paper and write a heartfelt letter to your loved ones. Tell them why they are important to you. It will make you feel better, and it will really brighten their day when they receive their notes.
Make a special family recipe. Just because you’re not at a big family gathering, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of the food traditions. Bake a batch of your grandmother’s sugar cookies or whip up your mom’s special recipe for sweet potatoes. Savoring a familiar special treat will help you enjoy the holiday more.
Volunteer. One of the easiest ways to feel better when you’re blue is to reach out and help others. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, be a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, or deliver Meals on Wheels. Lend a hand to a good cause in your community or just help out a neighbor with a project, and you will find you don’t feel so alone.
Do something new. Find a new museum in your community to explore. Try a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. Go for a hike on a local trail. Push yourself to try something new and fun. You may discover a new favorite place or an interesting new hobby.
Start planning for the next holiday. So travel just didn’t work into your budget this year. That’s okay, but let’s start to plan for how we’ll make it happen for the next big holiday. Figure out how you can save a little bit of cash each week and make a plan to visit your loved ones. Having something to look forward to can really brighten your day.
These are just a few ways you can start making the holidays special when you can’t afford to travel.
What are some things you do when you can’t go to visit loved ones?