It may sound like a contradiction, but traveling can be stressful.
It sure isn't anyone's intent to get stressed out before a long-awaited holiday, but it does happen. The good news is that you can manage stress and anxiety, and the secret lies in the planning and organizing of your trip. Be prepared, and you can reduce stress significantly.
At Refreshed Traveler, we are the experts of knowing how to arrive well-rested and ready to enjoy your trip -whether it is for pleasure or business. So let us give you a few tips on how you can manage stress while traveling.
- Be realistic
Things can go wrong.
Much of the pleasure of planning a trip lies in daydreaming about it.
However, don't expect your destination or even the trip itself to be perfect. You should be prepared that things can go wrong– and it will! The only way through it is to keep enjoying the positive aspects.
Think about it this way – the flaws and minor accidents of your trip will make the best memories!
- Plan, plan, plan
No last-minute rushes.
Planning means that you’ll most probably be able to handle anything that comes up. Finding your ‘Zen’ in the details can help alleviate anxiety. Think about your itinerary, start packing early and create a checklist for your suitcase.
Ask yourself: what is the worst that can happen? If you then work through the scenario and plan for the stressors, it will be possible to eliminate most of them. For instance, you could forget your passport at home, but it is unlikely to happen if it was on a 'packing' checklist.
(Some more checklist ideas might include remembering to apply for your visas, get a petsitter, or refill your prescriptions.)
- Imagine the airport as a friendly place.
Don't worry, be happy.
Every seasoned traveler will tell you that an airport can be a stressful place. Don’t let the airport take your trip hostage!
Flights get delayed, and you can get lost on the way to the check-in desk. Instead of reacting to what happens, rather be proactive. Pack a book, listen to music, or see the extra time as a way to wrap up work emails. If you are prone to get lost, arrive earlier and give yourself enough time to ask for directions.
Having a calm mindset at the airport will go a long way to make your trip more pleasurable and reduce stress.
- Try to give everyone a voice.
'Visualize your holiday.'
Traveling with a lot of travel companions can be stressful. It would help to let everyone have a say in what their expectations are and what they would like to do.
Respect everyone’s needs. If the kids want to stay by the hotel pool instead of sightseeing, don’t be afraid to compromise and let them have the chance to do so. In the long run, everybody will be happier.
More tips for a stress-free holiday:
- Always pack your essential and valuable items (such as money, documents, and medications) in your carry-on.
- In a group, appoint a group leader who can help to make difficult travel decisions more straightforward.
- Split up at your destination! A group doesn’t haveto stay together for the whole trip.
- Think beforehand about how you can resolve conflict in a healthy way. Perhaps you and your travel companions can agree on a funny word to say if someone is feeling him- or herself getting irritated. Laughter is a great way to defuse a potential conflict situation.
- You can always change your plans. If a hotel is positively dreadful, it is possible to switch to somewhere better.
- Don’t let a forgotten item ruin your trip! Buy a replacement if it is that essential to you.
- Make memories! You won't remember the museum in a few years, but you will remember posing for a hilarious photo as a group. On the other hand, don’t experience your whole trip from behind a lens – pack away the technology from time to time and live in the moment.
Coming home from an exciting trip can be emotional.
Our last tip is for you to help lessen the stress of getting back into your routine.
Make sure that you have something enjoyable planned to get home to. Perhaps you can organize for your home to be squeaky clean or for someone to deliver dinner on your first night back. Some people like to plan something fun for the very near future so that there is something else to look forward to.
The Refreshed Traveler, of course, has excellent travel kits to make any trip more enjoyable! So be sure to look around our site to find that unique product that will make your life easier and reduce your stress when you travel next.