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Travel Tip Tuesday – 7 Tips for Making Travel Stress-Free

Travel Tip Tuesday Newsflash: Travel Can Be Stressful! Duh.

Planning, packing, arranging transportation, keeping on a schedule, flying, not-flying when you are supposed to be flying, making sure you didn’t leave anything behind- it is enough to drive the sanest person crazy.

And being the type-A personality that I am- I tend to be wound up as tight as my undies in my luggage – so I need any little bit of advice on making travel stress-free.

Here is a few things that help me out- hopefully they’ll help you as well!

1. Have a spa day. Whether it’s before you go- or after you get to your destination (I prefer before) it sets the tone.  A massage, maybe a mani-pedi- anything to get you in a pleasant mood, unknot those tight muscles and get you in a relaxing spirit.  And don’t forget to do some Travel Yoga.

2.  Book travel at smart times. Consider booking your flight, train or driving times during non-peak times. Attempting to make a flight while stuck in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic will grate on the strongest of nerves and you’ll end up chewing that polish off those freshly French manicured nails.

3.  Speaking of transportation … rather than relying on public transportation, why not get a good friend or family member to drive you to the airport instead?  It might relax you, knowing that you’re in good hands and that you can talk up a storm with a friend- taking your mind off that leg of the trip.  And unless they own a Yugo- It’s a sure bet that the seats will be more comfortable!

4.  Don’t overbook your intinerary.  You run the risk of being stressed, running from place to place- not even taking the needed time to actually and experience your destination. Don’t schedule every waking moment – leave time to just be.

5. Try pre-packing. Always keep your bag packed and at the ready, except for your clothes.  Top-off liquids when you arrive home from your trip.  Replace anything you ran out of right away- that way when it’s time to pack for your next trip- all you need is your clothes, camera equipment and electronics.

6.  Lists, lists and more lists. Make lists of everything and check off as you go. Packing list, a list of chores around the house before you leave, a list for the house-sitter, a list for things you need to buy before you leave. This way- you are sure not to forget anything, spending less time wondering and worrying.

7. Take enough time off. Don’t plan to work right up until the second you’re due to leave and make sure to give enough time to unpack, relax and get used to the time-change on the way back, especially if it is an international trip you are returning from.  Build in an extra day on each leg of your journey- act as if it is part of your intinerary!

And if these tips don’t work, you can always revert to my favorite tip of all - drink heavily and take Vallium!

Becoming a carry-on only traveler is a great way to lessen stress. Click here to see how I can help you convert!

Now, hop on over to My Bella Vita to see what Cherrye has on offer today!
  • User Gravatar
    NurseTerry
    May 12th, 2009

    Let’s see..I pack the night before. Don’t worry much about itinerary except for the travel component..hotels. We take cabs from the airport to the hotel. Here in CA we take BART to the airport which is fantastic as it drops us right at the international terminal at SFO. Cheep- $7.00 on a senior ticket. We drive and use Park and Fly at Oakland Airport. Cheep! $72 for the week.
    The only other planning I really do is if we intend to take tours. I book online from home. Meals, etc…I ask the concierge or locals. Never had a bad meal anywhere except Haverhill, MA.
    Have a great journey!
    xoxo http://www.caringisnotenough.net

  • User Gravatar
    NurseTerry
    May 12th, 2009

    And anything that I pack can be washed out and hung up to dry. For example…I only take 3 pairs of undies…

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    May 12th, 2009

    Glad we think alike on that one- you don’t need your whole dang wardrobe *just in case*?!?  In case what, the President suddenly calls and invites you for dinner?  Vogue decides they want a full-length feature with you?  I always love hearing the *just in case* and wondering what that means? Ha!!
     
    xo

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    May 12th, 2009

    Looks like you’ve got it down pat, Terr :)   And yes, that BART is pretty darn convenient, as I recall!!
     

  • User Gravatar
    Angie
    May 12th, 2009

    This is more of a “once I get there” stress free suggestion. With the rise of the Euro, I no longer bring souvenirs home to friends and family but I do love to send postcards. Instead of carrying a list or my blackberry/computer (not carrying either one this year)…I decide beforehand who will get postcards then I print out address labels for them. I keep them in my travel purse so when I see a card I like, I can just whip out my labels and send it ASAP. Travelling with a group allows me less time for lingering in cafes writing postcards….I also do multiple labels for family and friends I know will get cards from multiple locations!
    buon viaggio

  • User Gravatar
    NurseTerry
    May 12th, 2009

    Just In Case:
    I bring 3 scarves and 2 pair of good earrings. Take me or leave me…

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    May 12th, 2009

    Great idea Ang. I can’t tell you the last time I sent a postcard?! Isn’t that terrible of me??

  • User Gravatar
    Cherrye at My Bella Vita
    May 13th, 2009

    First of all-love the alcohol and Valium tip! Ha.
    Secondly, love Angie’s label idea. It is brilliant!
    And thirdly, for stress-free travel I make a mental note to get my attitude right and enjoy it all-even the planning. You’d be surprised-or not!-at how far a good attitude will take you!

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    May 13th, 2009

    Oh, Cherrye, I try so hard on tht attitude thin- but sometimes I weaken and travel gets the best of me. I know, I’ll try harder :)

  • User Gravatar
    sunny
    May 13th, 2009

    New to your blog. LOVE IT! (someone referred us to it – from the yahoo group called “French Chic”).
    I’m leaving tomorrow morning for a five-day vacation and my flight is early morning. I totally agree with you about the family member or friend taking you to the airport (CHECK), and the relaxing activity before or during (CHECK – getting a cheap manicure/pedicure when in SF. Miss those. Where I live it’s $50 for both services.) and LISTS…so important (CHECK). I use gmail..and there’s a “lab” feature called Tasks that lets you keep track of multiple lists at once..and you can even get an email about something and add it to one of your lists of tasks.
    I have ones called “Packing List”, “What to do before leaving”, and “While in SF” – adding and checking things off as I do trip preparations.

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    May 13th, 2009

    Welcome Sunny!!  Glad we *found* each other!  Great tip on the Gmail lists- I didn’t know that.  I’ll have to check that feature out- I could sure use it!!  Have a wonderful trip :)
     

  • User Gravatar
    Imani
    May 14th, 2009

    HEY! Have a great time in Roma!
    My tip…when one travels, things will go wrong. Accept it and if everything goes smoothly, hell, you win…either way, you win so long as you get there and back safely.
    When I go to Italy (two months at a time), I usually bring one backpack and one medium sized suitcase. Next time (September) I’m going to try it with just my backpack. Don’t know how I will bring back all that pasta, coffee, honey, etc. but heck! It will be worth not waiting for my luggage.
    Have a great time! Mangia! ;-)

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    May 14th, 2009

    Thanks!!! I like your attitude! And as far as your goodie bag- ship it all back to you in one BIG box :)

  • User Gravatar
    MJ
    November 21st, 2009

    I love the tip about getting a massage. I think it’s great to get one AT the airport. Get there early, check in and then take the time to get into the holiday mood. Really chills me out (I’m a nervous flyer) before a flight. Airports like Ton Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City and Schipol in Amsterdam do brilliant massages!

    Great tip MJ! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  • User Gravatar
    Robin Locker
    November 21st, 2009

    I share your nervous flyer trait- and I love getting a massage before a flight! Thanks so much for the tips on the airports. If I make it to either of those- I’ll make sure to get a quick one before I board ;)

  • User Gravatar
    anne
    March 25th, 2011

    My toilet kit is always packed and that includes a couple of pair of inexpensive, all purpose earrings. Makes a huge difference when I can just throw it all in my bag. And always make sure you have a good supply of ziplocks!

    Excellent Anne! Sounds like you are a savvy traveler :)

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