Do you need to reduce travel stress?
Travel. What comes to your mind when you hear the word?
Beaches, faraway places, exploring? Relaxation, delicious food and adventure?
Or galloping through an airport to reach the next gate on time, sleepless hours on a fully booked plane, entertaining children on an oversea flight? Struggling with jet lag, endless waiting and a sense of disorientation?
Well, adventure for sure. Question is; does it have a positive or negative ring to it? Regardless if you are a frequent traveler or not, long distance voyager or short, travel can be rather stressful.
Preparation is the answer. Unless you are the type that seeks the adventure in the unfamiliar, preparation goes a long way in reducing stress and making traveling enjoyable. Below you’ll find some reminders to help you reduce stress when flying.
Tips to reduce travel stress
Do not pack last minute. Packing too early however makes you forget what you already put in the suitcase.
Make arrangements for transport from destination airport – pre book rental car, find out about bus/train/subway/rental cars.
Make a reservation for a hotel if needed. At least for the first night so you don’t need to worry about finding somewhere to sleep if running late/high season.
Set an extra alarm to avoid the restless sleep the night before an early flight. You are then less likely to worry about not waking up on time. If you travel with children be sure to have plenty of time for unexpected (or expected) mishaps and behaviors in the morning.
If possible, check in on-line – but not last minute before you are about to leave the house.
Check for possible flight delays. It is better to wait at home.
Keep in mind the rush hour traffic. Stuck in traffic is a real stress booster.
Arrive to the airport on time. Allow plenty of time for parking, bathroom visits, check in or just finding your way around in an unfamiliar airport. Perhaps a light meal before boarding is needed. Time enough to not rush things is key when you want to reduce travel stress.
Set your watch to destination time as soon as you are on the plane. Focusing on the new time zone (if any) helps in taking your mind off coping with jet lag.
Wear comfy clothes. If traveling with kids don’t forget to pack not only spare clothes for the little ones but also for the parents. You do not want to sit the entire flight through with a t-shirt that happened to be the target of an upset toddler stomach.
Be prepared for waiting; bring entertainment/work. Try to get some sleep on the flight if possible.
Eat lightly and drink water!
Be prepared – not for the unexpected but for the fact that unexpected things do happen sometimes. I know.
Travel with a positive attitude and be open!