Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, it’s only natural to fret about the details ensuring that you get everything right.
The longer your trip, the more stressful it is to prepare for it.
In fact, according to Travel Agent Central, 67% of travelers have admitted to arguing with their travel companion, all because of the stress of planning a vacation. Additionally, 25% of travelers broke up when traveling with a significant other.
Finding cheap airfare, car rentals, and Airbnb may be the essentials of proper travel preparation, but locating these is just the start of your trip planning process.
However, the good news is that as long as you manage to plan well, you can easily avoid the last-minute rushes and stress of travel.
You can make travel effortless by taking care of some essentials, such as managing your finances and packing the right stuff.
Here are some of our tried-and-tested pre-travel tips to minimize the stress of traveling.
Pack Before Hand
Don’t take on the added stress of starting the packing the night before the trip – something will inevitably go wrong, go missing or go broke.
If you want to make sure that your trip gets off to a good start, it is important to start packing at least a week before you travel. But that’s easier said than done – in a study by Marketwatch, more than half of the respondents admitted that they would instead give up alcohol and social media for a month to avoid packing for a trip!
Similarly, 65% of the respondents agreed that not procrastinating would minimize stress while packing up.
To make the process effortless, make a packing list beforehand. This way, you’ll be able to pack in a fraction of the time, and you’ll know that you have everything you’ll need as you leave the house.
Have a Separate Place forThe Important Stuff
Think about it for a second, will you need immediate access to your accessories while on the road.
Sunglasses, headphones, water bottles, neck pillow, Wi-Fi hotspot, power bank, keys to the luggage locks, and other similar items tend to misplace quickly. And the only way you can keep them in control and on you is to have a designated place in your carry-on luggage for all of them.
For example, put the umbrella or the raincoat in the same exact spot in your bag every time. Have special places for keeping the keys, glasses and receipts,so they never go missing.
Unplug From Work Earlier Than Usual
This point is especially criticalif you are going on vacation.
Some people make the mistake of working right up to the day of the flight. So they essentially board the plane while stressed out about their day, with business notes running through their brains.
And this is due to the fact that83% of American employees suffer from work-related stress.
So, separate yourself from workplace stressors at least two days before your scheduled trip – this will help you get excited about the upcoming vacay and in the right mindset to have fun.
This works the other way round as well – make sure you have an extra day off after returning from the trip as well. This should help you adjust right back into your regular life and recover from the fatigue of the travel.
Use Social Media to Get Help
Facebook and Twitter have definitely made life easier for travelers. They no longer have to suffer through long wait times on the phone with airlines or looking for something to do in a new city.
Instead of calling up airline assistance, just tweet @ the airline to get an instant response – they’ll change your seat, help you find a flight, and even give flight updates by tweeting right back at you.
Similarly, Facebook groups for travelers are often chockful of experienced explorers and nomads – ask them for advice, and they’ll tell you all about off-the-beaten-path sights that you won’t find in any ‘Lonely Planets’ books.
Read all the travel blogs, sharing economy websites, and travel guides available online to prepare for the trip ahead. This way, you can have all the info you need before your journey begins.
Have Stuff to Do on the Plane
Imagine getting on a plane all excited about your destination, only to realize 15 minutes into the flight that you are bored out of your mind.
You should be prepared to do something more than just read the inflight magazine for the next few hours – so pack accordingly.
Bring along a book or two, if you are working on a personal project,bring along the necessary files to work on. Listen to a podcast, write in your journal, or maybe even do your skincare regime. The sky’s the limit, really.
Wear Ridiculously Comfortable Clothes
Think your underwear is inconsequential to your trip?
You risk chaffing, irritation, and constant discomfort wearing the wrong kind of undies. These problems can instantly ruin an otherwise fantastic trip.
So before you even start packing, invest in a couple of MyPakage underwear to keep you comfy regardless of where you are headed. Comfort is the most significant thing when traveling. This is because if you wear something cozy, you can move easily in it. When you are relaxed, you feel confident and positive. And so you can do what you want to, without fretting over how you look or how you should move.
So carry your basic clothing essentials with you. The t-shirt that gives you the most relief, your night suit, a pair of comfy leggings, and all those pieces that remind you of coziness.
Always Charge Your Gadgets
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people fail to prepare their gadgets for the travel.
It’s all too common to see people get to the airport only to realize that their laptop or phone isn’t charged, and they packed the power bank away in the luggage.
So make sure you plug them in on time, and that you have a backup for the pathway.
No one is going to lend you a charger or a power bank when traveling. (Seriously, we’ve even had complete strangers come up and ask us if we’d let them use our laptop. Umm, no!)
Have Your Travel Docs Handy
You never know when something can go wrong –have important documents and travel info on you at all times.
This includes proof of vaccination, hotel bookings, driver’s license, passport, visa, ID documents, travel insurance documents as well as tickets for any events you plan to attend.
Apps like TripIt are great for iPhone users to keep their itineraries and flight info secure in one place. The app even offers timely alerts and reminders to get you moving in preparation for the trip.
Travelling doesn’t have to be stressful, and it sure doesn’t have to be disorganized either.
When you have all your papers, accessories, clothes, snacks, and other needs packed a day before, it’s easier to show up on time and enjoy the Zen of effortless travel.
It takes only a little bit of preparation to pull off an exciting trip that you’ll remember for many years to come.
Get down your pre-trip preparation routine, and you’ll be able to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
ABOUT Alycia Gordan
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcaretechnology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia