Everybody travels to relax and relieve stress, but there are times when vacations can actually induce stress. Travel stress is a real thing for many of us, and it can ruin the holiday no matter how beautiful the destination is. To avoid a negative travel experience, keep reading this article and find out what you can do, and how to avoid stress on vacation.
Figure Out how to Get There
Whether you travel by car, train or plane, planning ahead is mandatory. If you choose to drive, you should prepare directions to your destination in advance. Knowing all the routes and making sure you have a map or GPS are important aspects not only in case you hit traffic, but also to plan your stops.
It would be neat to stop at a nice restaurant or a café on the way, instead of eating junk food from gas stations when you get hungry. And if you travel by train, bus or plane, you should always buy the tickets in advance. Otherwise you’d risk paying a lot more or even not finding a ticket.
Try to Disconnect
The idea of taking a vacation is to disconnect from your daily activities completely. Some people can easily do this, while others can’t spend a day without reading their work emails.
Try to disconnect as much as possible, and if your job is so demanding that you always need to be aware of what’s happening, set parameters on how much time you’re going to spend using your device to connect with your work environment. Maybe 10 to 20 minutes a day to check in will be enough. And after you check your email, make sure you stay away from your device.
Learn How to Pack
The way you pack for a vacation depends on the destinations and, of course, on the season. In all cases, however, you should leave unnecessary items behind, and try to pack only comfortable and easily washable clothes. Now, if you go hiking, your backpack should be filled with a few items that dry fast, because you will be carrying everything around all the time.
And if you want to go on a city break, a hand suitcase will be enough. But when you plan a beach vacation, you can take a bigger suitcase, especially if you want to stay for a couple of weeks. To ease packing, make a list with all you think you need, and then try to remove the items that seem unnecessary.
For instance, you might need shampoo and shower gel when hiking, but if you stay in a luxurious hotel, those items are already available. So, there is no need to bring them from home.
Know What to Expect and Plan Ahead
No matter what your destination is, checking weather and traffic reports is important, as travel conditions can always change. But you should also be aware of how the weather is at your destination because this will influence the way you pack and will help you avoid disappointment. Three days of rain might ruin everything for you if you only expect sunny weather.
The more you know before your trip, the better. Do as much research about how to get around, recommended restaurants, things to do and see, as possible. You don’t want to miss eating at the best places or enjoying exclusive activities, do you? On the other hand, scheduling every moment of your vacation can be not only tiring but also stressful.
So, even if you make plans and lists, always leave room for the unpredictable. You might find a hip spot while wandering around. Check it out, don’t miss it just because you had something else on your list. Also, be prepared for unplanned events like cancelled excursions or delayed flights. These things can happen, and if your mind is set on a perfect schedule, they can provoke a lot of stress.
Ask for Help
If putting together an itinerary seems too difficult, or you lack the time needed for planning a great journey, you can always find a company that can do all the work for you. This is actually a great choice, not only on how to avoid stress on vacation, but also if you don’t have time for researching and planning everything.
All you need to do is tell them what you expect from your trip, the things you enjoy doing, if you travel alone, with friends, kids, or you plan a romantic escape. And they will take care of the rest.
These are some of the things you can do to make sure you’re not stressed out on vacation. If you take our advice, you will be able to enjoy your escape, without letting your daily work issues and small inconveniences that might come up affect your state of mind.
Written by Rebecca Brown
Rebecca is a translator by day, and a traveler mostly at night. She is an expert on living with jet lag – and packing in tiny suitcases. You can read more of her exploits at RoughDraft