'Tis the Season: Top Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

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(BPT) - The holiday season is quickly approaching and many people are making their lists and checking them twice as they plan for holiday shopping, family celebrations and travel. Last year, we learned to be flexible and altered the ways we shopped, gathered and entertained. As we continue to adapt, our gift giving and celebrations remain impacted — from supply chain disruptions and delivery delays around the country, to health considerations for gatherings, to the age-old question of what to get for everyone on your list.

If you haven’t finalized your holiday plans yet, you can still find discounts for traveling, entertaining, shopping and delivery options. If you’re an AARP member, you have access to a range of discounts and deals on products and services to take advantage of this holiday season.

“Smart shoppers are making their purchases early to stay ahead of potential delays and shortages,” said shopping expert Trae Bodge. “It’s also wise to take advantage of the best deals and discounts, including benefits available to AARP members, which can offer additional savings on holiday gifts and shipping fees.”

Here are some helpful tips to help make your holiday season stress-free and enjoyable.

Shop Early. The ongoing stress on supply chains and delivery disruptions around the country could make holiday shopping more difficult for consumers who wait until the last minute. Alleviate your fears about out-of-stock items and lengthy shipping estimates by finalizing your shopping lists now and purchasing gifts for friends and family early. AARP members can create unique, customized gifts for loved ones including custom home décor, clothing items and more, with Personalization Mall. Members can save 15% on personalized gifts for any occasion. Personalization is free, and items ship within one to two days.

Travel Safely. This year we’ll see an increase in holiday travel, and experts recommend booking early as prices will steadily rise as the holiday season approaches. Some Americans will continue to choose road trips this year as their preferred mode of transportation. To make sure your trip goes smoothly, fill your tank at Exxon and Mobil stations and enroll in Allstate Roadside for that extra layer of protection for your trip. When AARP members link their Exxon Mobil Rewards+TM account to an AARP membership, they earn extra points on purchases like fuel, car washes and convenience store items, and two times the points on fuel on special member days. Members can also save up to 20% on annual membership fees for Allstate Roadside assistance plans, including Roadside Assist and Roadside Elite. Upon enrollment, benefits include 24/7 towing, jump-starts, tire changes, lockout assistance, fuel delivery and more.

If you need a larger vehicle to accommodate additional family members, or don’t want to put miles on your car, consider rental options from Avis or Budget. AARP members can save up to 30% off base rates, plus get an upgrade on compact through full-size car class bookings (based on availability), add an additional driver at no cost and more.

Sleep Soundly. Deciding where to stay during holiday travel was top of mind when the pandemic hit in 2020. This year, whether you want your own space, or your holiday host prefers that, check out the AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia to find the perfect spot to rest after a long day of holiday festivities. Members can save on hotel stays and get an extra 10% off at Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Choice Hotels when booking online or by phone through the Travel Center.

Share Memories. The holidays are a great time to gather your loved ones and share cherished family stories and memories. By gifting an Ancestry® subscription, your family can trace the rich details of your personal history. The easy-to-use online platform can help families learn more about their ancestors, including where they were born, what they looked like when they were younger and when they married. AARP members can save 30% on the first year of an All Access or a World Explorer subscription and receive access to records and online tools to search, save and share their family history. If you’re new to Ancestry, you’ll receive the discount on the first year of your subscription and if you already have an account, you’ll receive the discount when you renew your subscription for another year.

This year’s holiday season is fast approaching, but with some planning, preparation and discounts, it can be an enjoyable and relaxing one filled with family fun and treasured memories. Check out aarp.org/holiday to view more benefits available to AARP members. Happy Holidays!

AARP member benefits are provided by third parties, not by AARP or its affiliates. Providers pay a royalty fee to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. Some provider offers are subject to change and may have restrictions. Please contact the provider directly for details.