You know that feeling the morning before a trip? You get butterflies, excited you’ll sleep in another country that very evening, and you get up easier than ever. Nothing is difficult, packing the remainder of your things, calling the taxi, carrying your suitcases down eight flights of stairs. But, then you get to the airport and see that your flight is delayed. Worry takes over you, and you remember that, together with extraordinary experiences, traveling can bring about a great deal of stress. Still, you can easily limit it, if not completely avoid it with these 5 ways to prevent travel stress; just by following several simple tips.
5 Ways to Prevent Travel Stress
1. Expect the Unexpected
When planning even the simplest trip, make a list and pack in advance. If you are flying, get to the airport well before your flight and plan for delays. Having a backup plan will prevent panic attacks at the airport. As soon as you find out your flight has been delayed (or, God forbid, canceled), call the airline. That way, you’ll avoid waiting in lines and get the information first. The airline can help you find other flights to your destination quickly.
It would also be wise to have a list of available hotels near the airport in case there is a storm and no one can fly. Ask questions, and check things off your list to make sure you are covering every scenario.
When you get to your destination, the first thing you have to do is find your way to the accommodation. To avoid getting lost (even if you don’t have the most developed spatial skills, like yours truly), get help from your smartphone. You have access to maps and translator apps. With them, you can ask taxi drivers to take the fastest way to the airport and locate your hotel with ease.
Unfortunately, we don’t become immune to diseases or accidents when we travel. Even though we always hope for the best and think “It won’t happen to me”, it would be wiser to be a bit more real and use travel insurance. It may save your vacation, or get you home if you have an illness. This brings us to our next point.
2. Stay Healthy
Even though travel insurance is a must, it is even better to try and prevent getting sick. To do so, eat healthy at home, spend time in nature, exercise, relax. Continue doing so even when you’re away.
On our trips, we want to make use of all the time for sightseeing and investigating, so we tend to eat fast food. Don’t fall into that trap – use TripAdvisor and Yelp to find restaurants that serve healthy food. And, remember that it doesn’t have to be slow – you can find healthy alternatives even in fast food restaurants: as long as it has a lot of vegetables with sauce and bread kept to a minimum.
Also, if you are staying in a home rental, it is possible to have the fridge stocked by ordering catered meal plans. Don’t be upset you’re wasting time on cooking, it will definitely pay off. The better you take care of your physical and mental health, the less stress you will feel on a vacation.
3. Plan Expenditures
Traveling isn’t a frugal hobby, but thinking ahead can save you money. When you book hotel and airline tickets in advance, they are cheaper. The same goes for train tickets and car rental packages.
Another way of saving (and avoiding crowds) is traveling in the off-season. The weather might not be as agreeable, but the prices will certainly be better. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the area like a native, not a regular tourist.
When you get to your destination, wisely plan every possible expense, from hotel rooms to T-shirt purchases. Whether you are on a ski slope or a riverboat cruise, without a budget, your travel can easily turn into a financial nightmare.
4. Stop Worrying About the Things You Left at Home
In addition to learning about new cultures, experiencing new things, we usually travel to get away from our everyday lives. Yet, if we’re not careful, they find a way to creep into our minds even when we’re sipping cocktails on an exotic beach:
Did I lock my house? Did I close all the windows? What if someone breaks in? Is the fire alarm turned on?!
To avoid these thoughts, set up a safety system for your home. With the newest gadgets connected to smartphones and Security Company alerts, you can relax. Have surveillance cameras installed professionally or pick a less complicated unit up at the local building supply.
Also, homes with shrubbery are on the average broken into less. Keep that in mind during your next landscaping project: plant some trees or bushes. Another way to turn burglars away is to ask a trusted friend to stop by every day or two. They can pick up the mail, turn on the lights, open and close the shutters so it will seem like you’re there.
5. Do What Romans Do
Finally, you should always inform yourself about the culture of the place you’re traveling to. This is the best way to avoid unnecessary mistakes, as well as offending people. Open your travel guide and learn the etiquette, polite expressions, and general information about food and dress. Try acting more like a traveler, not an impolite tourist. If you should find yourself in a culturally charged situation, just relax and be polite.
Keep Calm and Travel on
The best way to prevent travel stress is to plan ahead and focus. Keep your cool in any event and be prepared, economically, and socially. This way, you get to completely immerse yourself in new experiences and leave all your worries behind.