Can’t make it home for the holidays? No worries.
While trucking companies are known for trying their best to get their drivers home for the holidays—especially Christmas—sometimes this simply isn’t possible. However, there are several ways to bring some of the cozy and familiar sentiments of the holiday season to the road. In this piece, we’re going to look at a few tips to keep you or the truck driver in your life full of holiday cheer while trucking away from home.
While the main focus of this piece will be making it home for Christmas, we recognize that there are other holidays. For instance, the author of this piece had a very pleasant Hanukkah. 😎
Tip 1. Try to Make it Home ("Well, Obviously")
The first tip goes without saying—try to make it home for the holidays. While this is certainly easier said than done, there are often steps you can take as a truck driver to increase your chances of spending the holidays in the warm company of friends and family instead of the cab of your rig.
- Ask what you can do to make it possible to be home for the holidays.
We’re all quick to ask off for the holidays but asking what you can do to make it possible may increase your chances. Ask your supervisors what it would take for you to be home for the holidays. This may mean additional miles, extra shifts, or other favors. It’s best to ask this as soon as possible.
- Plan on what it would take.
If you’re an owner-operator, the only person you’d need to ask for holidays with your family is yourself. The answer to this question will likely require some logistical maneuvering—including creative problem-solving. Still, if you make this a priority and plan ahead enough, your likelihood of staying off of the road for the holidays is much better.
Tip 2. Find Holiday Tunes You Like
Sometimes, all you need to do to find some holiday cheer is turn the radio dial. And while some of you may love all of the Christmas standards on the airwaves, music streaming platforms now have more niche holiday music playlists for pickier listeners. So, if you’re sick and tired of the usual Frosty the Snowman and Jingle Bells, less common holiday tunes may be just the ticket. Simply search for your favorite artist or genre with “Christmas” or “Holiday” to find some never-before-heard holiday magic for your eardrums.
If you want simultaneous holiday cheer as well as the sensation of attending a beach party, the “REGGAE CHRISTMAS PARTY” playlist on YouTube Music or the “Reggae Christmas” playlist on Spotify are great ways to inject some holiday warmth into your cab.
Yes, Reggae Christmas music isn’t for everyone, but you’re only limited by your imagination!
Tip 3. 🎶Deeeeck Your Cab With De-cor-ations (Fa-La-La-Laa…)🎶
Is that tune stuck in your head now? Good.
The cab of your truck is what you see day after day. Why not place some decorations in it that will inspire a bit of holiday cheer? Whether this is a Christmas ornament to hang on your mirror, a snow globe securely fastened to the dash, some Christmas stockings to hang in the rear headliner, or some softly twinkling string lights, even the most subtle decorations can boost the holiday mood considerably.
You can’t go wrong with some winter string lights in the sleeper cabin of your truck. These snowflake battery-powered string lights are sure to make the screen of your favorite Christmas movie less harsh on those cold, dark evenings when parked.
Tip 4. Pack a Taste of Home or Seek Out Familiar Favorites
Few things bring the mind back to thoughts of holiday cheer like a stomach full of your favorite holiday dishes. If you know you’re going to be on the road on Christmas, ask the beloved chefs in your life if they wouldn’t mind whipping up some of your favorite holiday treats for your Christmas journey. Not only will this taste of home fill your belly with joy but these foods make great answers to the dreaded, “what do you want for Christmas?” question. Skip the socks this year and go for the treats!
Even if you’re not able to secure homecooked delights, you owe it to yourself to seek out the next best thing from what the road has to offer. Put aside a little bit of extra money or ask for such funds from loved ones to ensure that your Christmas lunch or dinner won’t have to be microwaved in a sleeve. Nobody deserves a Hot Pocket Christmas.
Tip 5. Warm the Soul With a Familiar Spiritual Setting
If the reason for the season to you has a spiritual component, nurture that side by seeking out familiar religious services on Christmas eve, Christmas morning, or both. Even if you haven’t darkened the door of a house of worship in decades, doing so in a place whose services are familiar to you is good for the soul. You’re sure to return to your truck with warm contentment.
Recommendations: If you know where you will be during the holidays, do a little research of what houses of worship exist in those areas. Feel free to call the leadership, explain your situation, and ask questions. Don’t be surprised if someone invites you over for a homecooked meal. If they don’t there’s always the following option...
Tip 6. Organize a Holiday Gathering Away from Home
If you’re having to stay on the road during the holidays, you’re not alone—even though the experience can feel lonely. To share this experience with fellow travelers, plan a home-away-from-home gathering of fellow truck drivers. This can either take place at someone’s home or an open eating establishment. There’s something about sharing a meal with friendly people that can make the road seem that less isolated.
Tip 7. Connect With Those Back Home Via Technology
There’s no substitution for time spent with family and friends during the holidays. However, a digital face-to-face conversation may be the next best thing. For the best chance of speaking to all of the family and friends you want to, it pays to plan ahead. The holidays can be hectic, so schedule times to talk with certain individuals in advance. Doing so will ensure both you and the other person can give the conversation adequate attention.
Some great video conferencing services include:
A useful tip for easily scheduling video chat sessions:
If you use Google Calendar, using it to schedule conversations in blocks can be helpful. Not only can you share/invite others to these events, but you can also include the specific pre-generated links and credentials for each video conference—allowing easy management and access. If you plan on using Google Meet, creating a Google Meet space only takes a few clicks from the calendar info panel.
We hope that these tips help you have a more meaningful holiday season.
Happy Holidays from your friends at My Little Salesman.