No Nonsense Tips To Plan Your Vacation In Time And Avoid Travel Day Stress

Stress is often an unwelcome travel day visitor. 

It creeps in quietly compelling you to double check for your passport, jiggle the door handle one last time and repeatedly eye the clock as you drive towards the airport.

Then you’re waiting in line after line, going through invasive security patdowns, and hoping that the delay gods show your flight mercy. Stress can lead to bad moods, irritability, and all types of negative physical reactions.

In a  variety of situations, ranging from important to trivial, stress levels affect us in different ways. Some people use stress to propel them forward, while others wilt under the pressure.

While we often look at stress as a negative part of life. It doesn’t have to be.

No matter what your personality type or how you react to stressful situations, there is a simple method of ensuring that you’ll always come out on top of any stressful situation. The key is preparation.

The more time you spend preparing for a situation, the less stress you’ll feel – travel day included.

Travel Day Stress is Really a Thing

Lots of factors weigh-in to cause travel day stress: making sure you’ve packed the right travel essentials, remembering all the things you need to do before you leave, and last minute changes to your travel plans. There is almost always the conflicting thoughts that your trip will be perfect and that it won’t go as planned!

It’s a lot to deal with on what will be a long day.

Early mornings for any last minute to-dos, getting through traffic and check-in, cramming into the middle seat for 16 hours, and finally navigating a new land through culture shock, is the mandatory excitement of an unforgettable travel day.

Don’t worry. All the stress fades away as soon as you’re lying comfortable in your bed dreaming of the next day’s exploration.

But to keep your stress to a minimum, here are a few ways to prepare in advance.

Decide Your Dream Activities in Advance

Don’t wait until the last minute to decide what you want to do on your vacation. 

Chose hotels that are in central locations, close to public transportation, and have concierge services. If you’re staying in a hostel, they also offer services similar to a concierge.

Some of your activities will depend on the location that you’re visiting, so find the one-of-a-kind things in your destination and take advantage of them during your trip.

For example, if you are traveling to Italy, look up historical culture hotspots, if you are going to Holland, look up the best restaurants and bars, if you are going to indulge in a Norwegian Fjord cruise then look for the best historical interest sites and locations with the best views.

Don’t over plan. Leave open time to explore the city and take advantage of activities that you discover during your journey.

One of the best qualities a traveler can have is the ability to stay flexible. No matter how much you plan, chances are that something won’t go the way you thought it would.

Staying flexible means that you’ll be able to adjust as needed and keep stress to a minimum.

Know What Type of Clothing You Need to Pack

It’s also important to pack the right clothing for the destination you’re traveling to. Make sure that you’ve packed substantially, but not over the top. Check local customs so that your dress isn’t offensive and your clothes don’t ban you from popular tourist destinations.

In a perfect world, all bags would be waiting for you at the baggage carousel after landing. Unfortunately, our world throws us a few character-building experiences.

The most seasoned travelers have learned that packing a carry-on is the best way to travel. Your bags will be with you throughout the trip and you save a few bucks during travel. You’ll also save time because you avoid baggage lines and baggage claim.

Those who prefer the freedom that comes with checking your bag should pack a few outfits to take with them on the plane. If your bags take a different flight, you’ll have some clothes to hold you over until you’re reunited.

No matter what your personality type or how you react to stressful situations, there is a simple method of ensuring that you'll always come out on top of any stressful situation. The key is preparation. | No Nonsense Tips To Plan Your Vacation In Time And Avoid Stress via @aweinclusive

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Seek Out Hidden Gems Buried in Traveler Reviews

Before visiting any place, look up traveler reviews to find hidden gems that aren’t well-known and won’t be advertised in newspapers, magazines, and websites. Once you’re at your destination, explore your surroundings, read the paper, and talk to locals to find more incredible things to do on your trip.

These surprise locations, activities, and events are an ideal reason to leave free time in your travel itinerary. Sometimes the best fun you’ll have on vacation will be unplanned.

Stress is a part of life. It’s a natural mechanism that forces you to reconsider your steps to ensure the best outcome. When used properly, stress propels us to the best decisions.

Everyone likes to travel and break away from our routines. But this break from well-worn paths is exactly what causes a bit of anxiety. Advanced planning increases your comfort in deviating from what’s normal. You’ll have a general understanding of what comes next even when you’re living in the moment.

A fulfilled life is created from new and exciting experiences. Preparing to confidently handle anything thrown your way is key to pushing past stressful situations with ease.

A Super Simple Way to Come Up With 101 Things to Do While on Travel

When I first started traveling, it shocked me to hear other travelers say they’d grown tired of traveling.

With the abundance of wanderlust flowing through my veins, I couldn’t imagine getting tired of traveling.

Until I did.

And I can say without hesitation that the people who are tired of traveling are traveling the wrong way. After your 100th selfie with this famous statue or your 80th time eating from that sketchy food stall, the novelty that comes with visiting a new place begins to wane.

Travel becomes the same show in a different location and you wonder if you’ll ever get excited about traveling again.

The answer is yes. If you stop traveling the wrong way.

Having trouble figuring out fun things to do on your next trip? Here's an easy way to find incredible things to do while on travel. | A Super Simple Way to Come Up With 101 Things to Do While on Travel via @aweinclusive

The Best Way to Travel. Period

If you stop depending on top ten lists to plan your itinerary and if you stop packing 10 days worth of activities into a weekend, and if you create memorable, life-changing experiences with each trip, you’ll never get tired of traveling.

I often joke that from college applications to job interviews, we spend so much time trying to stand out. And as soon as a group accepts us, we do everything we can to fit in!

Travelers are no different.

We all stand in the same lines for the same attractions trying to snap the coolest, most unique selfie. As we move from place to place, trodding a well-beaten path across the world, one can’t help but wonder is there anything else to this travel thing?

Don’t get me wrong.

Some tourist attractions will take your breath away. Standing in Hercules Grotto was a life-changing experience that ignited my passion for travel. Other attractions are underwhelming. You’ll leave dissatisfied with the amount of time you spent in line and the cost of the ticket.

The best way to prevent this displeasure is to create a travel itinerary of things you’d love to do no matter where you are.

Your travel to-do list should closely resemble your at-home to-do list. It should include those worth-while activities that you’ve always wanted to do, but never made time for: like taking a cooking class, watching a meteor shower, or volunteering at a shelter.

Vacations offer the perfect break from your routine to try something new. Use that time to do the things you care about instead of the things that other people care about.

Having trouble figuring out fun things to do on your next trip? Don't depend on top ten lists. Here's an easy way to find incredible things to do while on travel. | A Super Simple Way to Come Up With 101 Things to Do While on Travel via @aweinclusive

Create a List of Things To Do While On Travel (Or At Home)

On average, you have a little over 28,000 days of life to enjoy. Sure the front and back years will be spent in diapers, but the middle part is waiting to be filled with a different type of excitement.

Many people run through their days caught on the hamster wheel. And the only breaks they take are for food, water, and sleep.

It’s the extraordinary hamster that waits until little Timmy leaves the room to jump off the wheel and gnaw the plastic bits from a corner to create a hole.

Break free from your hamster wheel.

Get a start at It’s where the other rogue hamsters go to create their lists of kickass goals.

To level-up your life, create a list of things to do and challenge yourself to complete the list within a specified time; the most popular is the 101 things in 1001 days.

It might seem daunting to come up with 101 amazing things to do. Check out my list for a few ideas. Then head over to Bucket List Beasts for the jaw-dropping things my friend Sonjia lives to accomplish.

You’ll find inspiration to create a life that legends are made of.

Figuring out how to accomplish these 101 goals adds excitement to your daily life and creates a perfect list of things to go after when you travel.

How To Use Your List

My 101 list is one of my favorite planning tools for an unplanned vacation day.

If my original plan falls through, I’ll check my list for something to do. And often I’m able to fulfill one of my goals with an impressive backdrop.

I had a picnic in Seville, watched the sunrise from a cruise ship leaving Grand Turk and left a 100% tip to an amazing waitress in New Orleans.  Halloween in Miami was a great way to cross off a goal to dress like a superhero, and who knows where I’ll accomplish my new Halloween costume aspiration: to dress up as a pharaoh.

The best thing about using this list when you travel is that you’re doing things you really want to do AND repeating the same goal in different countries produces totally different outcomes! For example, cooking classes or volunteer experiences will vary greatly depending on where you are.

Another great thing about using a goal list to create your travel agenda is that you avoid tourist lines and your experiences expand beyond “top ten” lists.

Knowing what you dream of doing before picking a destination makes it easy to create unforgettable and meaningful experiences. Your travels go beyond basic tourist activities and into a realm of living life to the fullest and chasing your dreams wherever they’ll lead you.

Even when you’re not thinking about them.

Some months, I didn’t check my lists. When I finally revisited the list, I realized that I’d completed a few items without actively trying to. That’s the thing about your mind.

It works overtime to help you accomplish your goals if you clearly state what they are. (I write more about that in my newbie travelers guide.)

So even if you aren’t sure how or where you’ll accomplish a goal, just putting it down on this list gives your mind the green light to start planning for you. Science doesn’t get much cooler than that!

Your mission, should you choose to accept: make a 101 list, keep it in a wallet or purse, and finish your goals within 1001 days.

Don’t forget to share all the cool, travel-related activities you’re accomplishing!

If you comment the link to your list, I’d love to follow your journey! We can keep each other motivated to be fricking awesome during the years we have left.

So, what’s first on your list?

Having trouble figuring out fun things to do on your next trip? Here's an easy way to find incredible things to do while on travel. | A Super Simple Way to Come Up With 101 Things to Do While on Travel via @aweinclusive

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