The whole point of going on a vacation is to get away from the busy and stressful life that includes long hours of work and lists of responsibilities to the family and at home. However, preparing for travel and the trip itself may create a stressful environment. If you failed to make preparations ahead of time, you might find yourself in a mess even before you make it to the airport. You may also have a worse experience if you decide to pack your things at the last minute.
However, you will begin to gain experience and collect tricks and hacks to make your adventure stress-free if you travel often. Seasoned travelers provide newbies with 13 tips that will turn your stressful trip into a relaxing vacation.
1. Choose Online Boarding Passes
Modern technology provides us with the best solution for the dilemma of rummaging through the inside of your carry-on bags for your family’s boarding tickets on the airport line. Paper boarding passes are prone to get lost or torn apart, which immediately puts you the danger of missing your flight. Thankfully, airlines allow people to check in and download a mobile boarding pass online, removing the threat of losing your flight tickets while running late at the airport. Getting a mobile boarding pass should be your priority so you could focus your attention on other travel essentials like packing and booking hotels.
2. Make a Packing List
Packing comes second to airline booking in the traveling process. However, most people organize their belongings with hours left before the flight. To avoid the hassle, you should consider creating a checklist of the essential items you need for packing days ahead of the trip. A packing checklist will help you figure out what luggage you need for the vacation and how you can organize them. A checklist also prevents you from forgetting about the essential things like your passport, underwear, and toiletries. Most importantly, creating a checklist will not take up too much time. There are a lot of packing checklists available online for you to copy. There are also mobile apps that can help you organize your stuff days before the trip. For a stress-free trip, do not leave your packing up until the last minute.
3. Head to the Airport Early
Getting an online boarding pass will allow you to check in online, giving you more time before heading to the airport. However, you need to be aware that the roads leading to the airport are some of the busiest streets in a city, which will witness a lot of traffic jams. On the airport itself, you may be subject to extra security attention or wait for a long time at the parking queue. If you leave early for your trip, you can eliminate the chances of arriving late to the airport and miss your flight. Leaving early for your flight will reduce stress for your trip and make room for excitement.
4. Carry-On Bags Must Contain the Important Stuff
There are many reports of personal belongings being stolen and destroyed in luggage in the middle of the flight. To avoid losing your phone, laptop, passport, or other essentials, you need to put them in your carry-on bag. When you purchase travel insurance, you may not be aware that it will not cover lost possessions when you leave them unattended.
5. Remain Aware of Your Passport Expiration Date
A lot of people get excited with booking their flights, unaware that they may be heading to the airport with an expired passport. Some countries require passports to be valid for at least six months from the date of your flight. To avoid this stressful event, you need to check your passport immediately after booking a flight. Renewing your passport in two days is possible, but you should never do it at the last minute. It is better to have the identification renewed sooner rather than later.
6. Add Clothes to Your Carry-On
There are some instances where people in the airport find out that their luggage was sent on another flight and did not make it to their destination. While it rarely happens, you need to prepare for a worst-case scenario. Keep a pair of clean underwear and toiletries in your carry-on bag as an emergency. You can buy extra clothes at the place you are visiting in time for the airport to deliver your misplaced luggage to you.
7. Earplugs, Sleeping Masks, and Neck Pillows are Must-Haves
Traveling can become difficult if you lack sleep. You may want to try to squeeze in a nap while waiting for your flight or while waiting for your arrival at your destination. To get a more peaceful sleep, you can drown out the noise in the airport or the plane with earplugs. You can also avoid bright lights with a sleeping mask. To make you feel more comfortable, you can use a neck pillow to support your sleep. The sleeping items also work when you are on your trip, especially if your hotel has sheer curtains.
8. Avoid Flashy Accessories
Tourists with excessive accessories, jewelry, and layers of clothing will have a stressful time going through airport security. Before going through a security x-ray, you need to take off your accessories and other metallic items on your body, as well as your jacket. You need your outfit to be as simple as possible if you do not want any stress at the beginning of your vacation. Objects like cameras and bottled water are also a hassle because you have to attend to multiple items at once. It is essential for you to keep all of your belongings in a carry-on bag.
9. Keep Yourself Entertained While Waiting for Your Flight
Waiting for your flight can be a drag. It can also lead to unnecessary expenses when you buy expensive food at the airport.. You could read a book to keep you from getting bored while waiting at the airport so you can conserve your phone battery. You can also listen to music and not worry about it if you have a portable charger in your carry-on bag.
10. Research on Local Travel at Your Destination
Preparing for a trip must include researching the possible transportation you can use to get to your hotel without waiting for a cab. Taking a cab during your whole trip may increase unnecessary expenses. Public transportation in any country is cheap, which will give you more opportunities to make your trip less stressful and more fun.
11. Use International Bank Card for Backup
Most travelers use cash whenever they go on a trip. However, it may become stressful if they run out of money before returning home. While it is a small detail, getting an international bank card will help you ease your worries should you run out of cash. If you have a credit card with you, you can rest assured that your trip will go smoothly.
12. Take Your Medicine with You
If you have a medicine schedule, you cannot travel to a foreign country without a full supply for the whole trip. Getting prescription drugs on foreign land may be difficult, especially if you do not have a full grasp of their language. It is also ideal for you to pack medicines like sleeping pills, pain killers, and anti-diarrhea medication for emergencies.
13. Get a Local Cell Phone Number Or Make Sure Your Plan Has Roaming
While you may not be texting anyone in a foreign country, you will need the international data to help you get to your hotel. Buying data abroad will help you avoid the stress and panic that comes with trying to figure out how to load the route to your destination in Google Maps. Buying a prepaid SIM card in all countries will instantly get you a data package that you can use to make your trip more relaxing. Some cell phone companies have roam like home packages which let you use your phone on your trip the same as you would at home for a small daily fee. Check with your mobile phone provider ahead of time to set it up.
The key to a stress-free travel adventure lies on your ability to prepare for it. If you follow the traveler tips, you will be able to avoid a stressful trip and enjoy a break from a busy life.