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.
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.