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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

10 Ways to Stop Stressing Out When You Travel

I know with a busy life, finding time to plan and travel might be really hard to do. I find that travel is necessary for me to unwind from work and life in general. It reboots me for life. April is Stress Awareness Month, so what better way to go into it than by a series of anti-stress travel posts? Yeah, I couldn’t think of one either!


    1.       Create a travel budget
You know that travel is not ever cheap – unless you just stay home – so when you have picked your destination, look at what some of the current prices are on things you will need to go there (airfare, hotel rates, activity tickets, meals) to approximate how much your trip will cost you. The further out you plan, the more time you have to find deals. This is the time to budget how much you can save each week/paycheck/month in order to make your goal. Other ways to save money for your trip.


2.        Start planning 6 months out (if possible)
The longer you have until your trip, the easier it is to spread out the planning and the more time you’ll have to save money and find discounts. Not sure where to start with finding things? Here are a few websites that can help you find must-dos at your destination.

3.        Delegate
You don’t have to plan your whole trip yourself. In fact, doing that can be very stressful. If you aren’t traveling alone, give your companions jobs to do or ask your family to make a list of things they would like to do, so you can make sure everyone has a good time.


4.        Make a packing list
Making a packing list can really help you from overpacking. You won’t end up packing the night before and just chucking everything in and taking three suitcases. Just remember, someone has to carry those and the more bags you take, the more you have to pay in baggage fees. A packing list can help you streamline your packing and only take what is necessary. Here are tips on how to perfect your packing list.

5.        Clean your house
When your house is clean before you leave for your vacation, you know you won’t be coming back to unnecessary work. Ever spent your whole trip thinking about the mess in your kitchen? Enough said.


6.        Just take a carry-on
It’s easier to travel when you don’t have too many things to keep track of, plus you don’t have to pay baggage fees or wait around at the carousel before you can get on with your vacation. Mix and match clothing, take only two pairs of shoes, decant your toiletries, plan to do laundry and bring multipurpose beauty products. Those are just some of the ways to pare down your necessities. Here is a way to pack minimal, but still maximize your travel wardrobe.

7.        Get to the airport early
Don’t stress out by rushing. Plan to get to the airport two hours early. You might run into bad traffic, long security lines or any number of other hurdles. You can also end up with better seats on the plane, making your flight less stressful, too.

8.       Do your research
Know the basics at your destination, like which language they speak, how to get to your hotel from the airport, laws and customs that would be nice to know so you don’t get in trouble. Things like that. It’s never smart to go in blindly, even if you plan to just “wing it” once you get there. You can avoid spending extra money this way and saving time, as well as feeling more comfortable as soon as you get there.


9.        Make reservations and buy tickets ahead of time
Not only can this help you to spread out paying for your travel, but if there are things at your destination that you definitely want to see or do, then buying tickets and making reservations can eliminate heartache and sadness. While you may like to fly by the seat of your pants when you travel, not having a plan for some stuff will cost you extra money, if you can even do it at the last-minute.

10.   Create an itinerary

Yes, I’m a crazy organized traveler who likes to have a daily schedule, because I don’t want to miss anything on my list. Though I have stuff on my list that are maybes that I can use to fill-in free time, if I have it. You don’t have to fill every free minute with activities, but if you have a lot of things you want to do, then you may need to make a schedule in order to fit things together (not everything is open on all days or all hours). You’ll find yourself not stressing out on your trip, since you already figured out how to do it before you left (and have tickets/reservations if possible).

What are some of your favorite ways to travel less stressfully?
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