Happy new year! I hope 2020 and the new decade is going to be full of joy, laughs, fun, love, but also a good amount of relax and rest! Life can be stressful – you don’t need me to remind you of that – and so, to alleviate the pressures you feel, you might choose to travel occasionally to give yourself a much needed mental break. I sure do, a lot of the times!
By getting away from it all, we are able to reconnect with our thoughts, take part in activities that are fun and distracting, and find peace through the beauty of the nature around you.
Well, that’s the theory anyway. Be you a frequent or an infrequent traveller, you will probably know that travel can actually be quite stressful, both in the planning stages and when you’re finally in the destination you have chosen. I feel that the older I get, the more of an anxious traveller I become.
Still, there are ways to alleviate the stress you might feel, so consider my tips below.
#1: Make a packing checklist
Packing in itself can be quite stressful, especially when you’re trying to get everything ready at the last minute. And when you’re away, your stress levels will quickly rise when you discover you have forgotten to pack something that is vital for your trip. For these reasons, it is important to create a packing checklist. This will act as a useful tool when you’re preparing for your trip and will ensure that you don’t forget to include those items that are essential. Follow the previous link for a useful example.
#2: Purchase travel insurance
Yes, I know it’s another expense, especially when you’re trying to maximise your travel budget, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? What if you eat something that doesn’t agree with you and you have to spend a night in a hospital bed? What if you get robbed of your valuables while you’re away? Travel insurance will protect you against the unexpected and will ensure that you aren’t out of pocket when you’re travelling. So, to alleviate any potential financial stresses, this is one expense that you should consider when you’re planning to get away for a while.
#3: Research the country you are going to
Travelling to a new country can be exciting, but if you don’t know much about the place you are visiting, you might be opening yourself up to all kinds of stresses. What if you make a cultural faux pas? What if you can’t speak the lingo? What if you fall prey to a particular disease? Any of these stresses could happen if you don’t commit to research. So, be sure to put the work in beforehand. By finding out about the country, you will have the opportunity to brush up on cultural laws to ensure you don’t make any mistakes. You will have time to arm yourself with a few phrases to help you communicate effectively with the locals. And you will have knowledge of what vaccinations you need before leaving, and have the time to arrange such things as malaria medication before going away.
#4: Download a few apps
Before leaving, be sure to download those apps that will make your life easier. Kayak, for example, will point you to the best deals on flights, rental cars, and hotels. Citymapper will ensure you never got lost when exploring somewhere new. And Google Translate will ensure you are never lost for words when you have to navigate languages that are unfamiliar to you. These are just a few of the travel apps that will prove very useful to you when you’re away, so delete anything that is taking up too much space on your phone to make room for those apps that will make your life a lot easier.
#5: Be kind to others
If you’re late for a flight, a smile and a friendly face might work wonders for you when you’re trying to convince the airport staff to let you onto the plane. A pleasant demeanour might give hotel staff the impetus to quickly sort out any issues that you are having with your room. And the kindness you show to your travelling companions will do much to alleviate any frictions that threaten to happen between you. Travelling can be stressful, but in all kinds of ways, a kindly attitude will serve you better than an impatient or grumpy demeanour.
#6: Don’t rush from A to B
When travelling, there will be much that you want to see and do. However, if you then find yourself rushing from one place to the next, you will only add to your stress levels, especially when you start to feel the effects of exhaustion. So, my advice is this: Take your time! Don’t cram too much into your itinerary, and move at a slower pace. You will then have more time to enjoy the various experiences you opt for when away, and you won’t burn yourself out in the process.
#7: Carry a survival kit around with you
Carry around those items that are going to make your life less stressful when you’re travelling. It could be a first-aid kit that will do much to save you from stress and harm if you accidentally injure yourself. It could be a book to read that will alleviate the stress of a delayed flight or a rainy day. And it could be a spare pair of clothes should you get soaked when travelling from A to B, or should the temperatures suddenly change when you’re out and about. It’s always good to be prepared, so think about these and any other items that will make your day that bit easier when you’re out on your travels.
#8: Stay healthy
You already know that a healthy lifestyle can do much to lower your stress levels, so think on this when travelling. So, rather than indulge in too many foods that aren’t good for you, choose those diners and food trucks that offer you healthy things to eat. And rather than spending all of your days relaxing on the beach or by the pool, do something active with your days. So, you might actually swim in the pool instead of lounging beside it, and you might want to go for a walk in a place of scenic beauty to benefit both your body and mind.
I hope these tips were useful to you, but let me know if you have any other ideas for stress-free travel.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.