Travel can be stressful, but there are things that you can do to decrease the amount of stress you experience when traveling. Read through these 8 tips to learn about how to reduce travel stress.
1. Get Organized Ahead of Your Trip
Create a new “vacation” folder in your email inbox to store any information related to your upcoming trip, such as confirmation emails for hotel, flight, rental car, etc.
Prefer hard copies? Pack a folder or envelope containing your travel information and make sure to keep it in an easily accessible place. If you're flying, make sure to bring this in your carry-on bag rather than putting it in checked luggage.
2. Check ALL the Benefits for YOUR Credit Cards
The expense of travel can be stressful, so take advantage of any ways to decrease the financial stress associated with traveling. You may be able to save money if your credit card offers any travel benefits, such as free travel insurance, discounts on rental cars, or reimbursements for airline baggage check fees.
If you are going to be traveling outside of the United States, then you will want to check whether you have a credit card that specifies no foreign transaction fees. You don’t want to be surprised by an extra 3% of costs being added onto your credit card bill for any expenses charged while traveling abroad.
3. Expect for Something Unexpected to Happen
It is inevitable that not everything will go according to plan. This is generally true in life, and often becomes apparent when traveling. Accept the fact that your plans may have to change and try to be adaptable.
4. Leave Yourself Extra Time – Go Early!
There is nothing that can increase stress like rushing and worrying that you may miss your flight or train. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time in case you hit unexpected traffic or long security lines. If you do arrive with extra time, you can always explore shops or dining areas, or just stretch your legs by walking around before having to sit for an extended period in an airplane, train, or car.
5. Bring Something Enjoyable To Do
Plan ahead and bring what you’ll need to engage in enjoyable activities while traveling. This way, instead of viewing travel time as “a waste of time” or the “hassle before your trip” you can reframe it as “a chance to finally see that movie everyone has been talking about” or “some time to read the novel that has been sitting on my shelf since I bought it 4 months ago.”
6. Bring Extra Water and Snacks With You
Even if you aren’t hungry or thirsty at the start of your travels, make sure to bring extra water and snacks with you. This way, you will have it with you in case you want it later, when it may no longer easy to access. By protecting yourself against hunger, you are less likely to become irritable, which will lead to a more positive overall travel experience for you and anyone who happens to be traveling with you.
7. Bring a Few Other Items to Increase Comfort
If you have enough room, then consider bringing a soft travel blanket, neck pillow, noise cancelling headphones, or some other items to enhance your comfort while traveling.
8. Spend Extra Time Resulting from Delays Wisely
Delays will feel less like “wasted time” if you use this time productively. Ask yourself what you have been meaning to get around to doing, but haven’t yet made the time for. Some options may include cleaning out your email inbox, reconnecting with a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to recently by making a call or sending an email, or buying a newspaper or magazine in order to catch up on current events.