Travel Tips – Reducing Stress and Enjoying Yourself When Traveling

“He who would travel happily must travel light.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
French writer (1900 – 1944)

What does this quote mean to you? In my opinion, there would be several meanings, let me give you some suggestions and see if you agree.

* MAKE A SPREADSHEET or use graph paper listing the items you plan to take for your trip. After you pack each item, check it off knowing nothing will be forgotten. This creates a sense of control knowing you have everything you need. You will feel less stressed as well. Keeping a master list works as a template for future trips making a few adjustments with each trip. When you travel, keep this list with you to make sure you re-pack your belonging so nothing is left behind. The list comes in handy for lost luggage.

* PACK with the idea of mixing and matching outfits. Using the same clothes, with a few variations, and having a toiletries bag all ready to go at a moments notice, makes it easier to remember the important things. There are lots of ways to use your master list.

* REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN. Airline travel can be fun, however, if you want your trip to be more stress free, you must prepare. One of the tips I have used for years is to count backwards; start by knowing the time of the flight, account for travel time to the airport, anticipating possible traffic issues, add extra time to get through security, now you have your starting time to leave for the airport. Arriving at the airport without enough time creates stress that can be avoided if you arrive early.

* ADD MORE TIME if you are checking in a bag for a flight. Remember not everyone does a carry-on bag, so prepare to wait in line, or do Sky Cap. If it is a popular flight, even 45 minutes before departure time may not be enough time to check baggage in. Checking in at least 90 minutes before your scheduled flight, is probably the best advice to follow or you will find yourself very anxious and stressed wondering if you will make your flight.

* CHECK BAGGAGE FEES with the airline beforehand, this eliminates surprises when you check in your overweight bag. Carry-on luggage is restricted to two bags that will fit under your seat or in the overhead bins. In doing my research I found that most airlines charge $15 for one checked bag and $40 or more for two bags. The size of your bag is also restricted to no more than 62 to 115 inches and weight is generally restricted to fifty pounds. The fee for overweight or oversize baggage can be as much or more than $125 per bag. Fees for International baggage can vary depending on your final destination.

* KEEP A TRAVEL JOURNAL. This can be one of the most exciting things. Writing down what you did, and where you went, will help to keep the memories and experiences alive, it will also help relieve stress. In your journal, describe the sights and places you visited, the people you met, describe the feelings you felt about that place. Get small keepsakes from each experience, a napkin from a restaurant, a receipt from a souvenir shop, keep the bus or subway ticket. This will keep the magic of your travels alive.