The Procrastinator’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays
This year, as always, I've put figuring out holiday logistics on the back burner. As the emails pile up at work, I tell myself that I have more than enough time to sort out Christmas shopping, travel plans and party dresses. Yet as the weeks between now and the new year inch ever closer, I find myself (unsurprisingly) panicking a few days before Christmas, scrambling to simultaneously please everyone's wish list and book last minute NYE plans. To save myself from the headache this year, I jotted down a quick holiday survival guide for fellow procrastinators.
Know your shipping deadlines.
Below are USPS and UPS shipping dates for Christmas day deliveries below. I recommend memorizing these by heart, scribbling them on the back of your hand and setting obnoxious alarms on your celly.
For anyone ordering dresses from RentTheRunway.com, the NYE due date is included too. I've had my eye on this divine Open Ceremony number, so here's crossing my fingers that I don't wait until the last minute. Again.
PS: the dates below are for domestic shipments, so double check if you're international.
Save the tedious tasks for TaskRabbit and PostMates
Confession: I'm terrible at wrapping gifts. I end up with tape in my hair and a pile of clumsily packaged presents after a 3-hour gift-wrapping binge. TaskRabbit and PostMates are lifesavers when it comes to getting the more time-consuming duties out of the way. Both TaskRabbit, which lets you outsource errands -- and PostMates -- which delivers goods from any restaurant or store in less than an hour -- have downloadable apps.
This year, I had Tim from PostMates deliver my wrapping paper, while Holly from TaskRabbit neatly wrapped the presents. Like I said, absolute lifesavers.
If you're flying for the holidays...
Of course, getting your presents to the mailing office on time is only half of it. Chances are you'll need to buy a last minute flight home for the holidays, but before you succumb to the devastating prices of the airline gods, keep these three things in mind:
Avoid popular days and times to fly
Naturally, the most expensive flights are the most convenient. Flights that depart on the weekends and at a comfortable time in the afternoon will carry the biggest price tag. If you want to save some cash, look for flights departing early in the morning or very late at night. Since we're already well into December, your best bet for a reasonably priced ticket home is to fly out during the week on a Monday or the day of Christmas, returning home the next morning.
Expand your options to "nearby airports"
Picking an alternative airport nearby may offer cheaper flights. Definitely make sure that there are reliable forms of ground transportation to get you to your destination, however. You don't want to land in the middle of nowhere and pay a ridiculous taxi fare.
Do Your Homework
Rather than blindly grab at the first flight home, spend an hour comparing prices on different sites. Bid for tickets on platforms like Priceline, check out aggregators and keep the above two tips in mind while shopping.
If you have any tips to help ambitionistas survive the last few days of the holidays, do let us know in the comments.