Stress Free Travel Tips

Monday, April 7, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| |

Monday, April 7, 2014

stress free travel tips
Let's face it, traveling can be exhausting. When I went to NYC for spring break last year I felt like I needed an extra week to rest from the trip. At the time I thought that I had to squeeze every last possible sight, activity and restaurant into four days or else the trip wouldn't have been a success. I didn't want to get on the plane back to school telling myself, "oh I really wish I could have done ..." And you know what? I did not feel that way at all. With a lot of preplanning and thought beforehand, I knew how to best maximize my time in the city, and while I may have been exhausted afterwards, I was never stressed. 

How did I do it? And more importantly, how can you do it? 

Do the bulk of your planning before you begin the trip.

Do your research. Prioritize what exactly you want to do and see so that when you are in the midst of your travels, you make sure that, if all else fails, you see what you came to see. If you are going to be in a large geographical area, it's not a bad idea to look at a map and make a loose itinerary based on location and proximity of destinations so you are not backtracking all over town.

Keep your tickets/money/passport/ID in a front pocket for easy access.

It's the worst feeling being in airport security or about to board the plane and realize that your ID or ticket is in your purse, which is inside of your  carry-on, most likely buried at the bottom. And you end up being that person who holds up the line and practically has to unpack just to locate it. Don't be that person. Keep items that you need to reach easily in a front pocket of your bag to avoid the sighs and frustration of your fellow passengers.

If you have an itinerary, budget relaxation time. 

You're on vacation, first and foremost. Unless you happen to be traveling for work, but for the sake of argument, let's say you are on vacation. So make sure you aren't under the delusion that you will be able to go full steam ahead ten hours a day, every day. Make room for breaks or naps. 

Know your personal schedule.

Are you a morning person? A night owl? If you can't really function or be around people before 10 a.m., don't think that you will suddenly be gung-ho for a sunrise hike. Know what time you function best, and plan to do the bulk of your activities then.

Google maps app will be your new best friend.

Do you remember the days of Mapquest? Oy vey. One wrong turn and you should just go ahead and chuck those directions out the window because they are useless. Now the Google Maps app makes fining your destination a breeze, whether you are driving, walking or taking public transportation. While I'm still partial to my Garmin when I'm driving (I think it gives better rerouting directions), I constantly turn to Google Maps to help me locate restaurants and shops.

Know that you can't see everything a city has to offer in one visit.

You are going to have to prioritize to some extent. And the best part is, you can save a few things to do to give yourself an excuse to visit again. 

Don't get hangry. Always keep snacks with you.

And finally, the best way to avoid being stressed while traveling is not not let yourself reach the level of hanger (anger that is a direct result of hunger.) It happens to the best of us, and will absolutely drive your travel companions crazy. Do everyone around you a favor and keep snacks on hand. I'm partial to Larabars or other types of dried fruit and nut combinations. Or clementines. I always had a clementine in my bag in Paris, it was perfect for eating while walking.

April is Stress Awareness Month and the folks at Dropcam are working to compile a list of the best tips to reduce the stress associated with a big trip. From how to travel light to what to check before you leave the house, they want you to share your tips. Compile your own stress-free checklist and email the post to


Kaelene Spence said...

So important to keep snacks and plan relaxation time I agree. Great tips :)

Jess Hnatiuk said...

All great tips! I think folks get too excited about the trip that they forget the little things!

Kayli Schattner said...

Wonderful tips, Jess! I have to admit, I often get hangry on my trips...and any time.

LifeChangesii said...

Snacks!! I agree. I just went to Target to get some for my trip this weekend. And thank god for google maps.

Jenna Secrist said...

These are great tips! I definitely recommend bringing snacks along the way...and water!

Megan C. Stroup said...

Say no to hanger!!! Haha. Great tips! I'd love for you to link up with my Travel Tuesday post sometime. :) Even today!

Amanda Kerzman said...

These tips are spot on! I recently traveled to Iceland, and it was an incredibly awesome, smooth trip. I attribute that to the crazy amount of planning an research I did before hand! Love the tip about having snacks on hand. Being hangry on vacation is not cool, haha.