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!