Everyone preparing to go on a vacation, whether it’s for a weekend in the closest city or six months backpacking in Europe, has the same big concern: How to achieve blissful stress-free travel. The good news is that it is fairly easy to do just that following a few simple steps. This article will go over how not to worry while on vacation!
Step 1: Plan for the travel
The first thing to do is plan the trip. The best way to begin is to write out a list of locations of interest, then narrow it down by the amount of time available to travel. For a week or less try to stick to flight times within 6 hours to avoid severe jet lag.
Once settled on a location, the next step is to book a flight. There are all sorts of methods for getting the best price for airfare, but truthfully the critical part is just knowing what a good deal looks like. This requires comparing several options against each other. For example, saving $100 might not be worth it when you look closer and see the cheaper flight has two layovers while the more expensive one is a direct route.
After the flight is booked then it’s time to plan housing and activities. Using a spreadsheet broken down by day is one of the best ways to make sure everything is planned out. Be sure to have columns for date, activities, hotel, and notes about things that are of interest. Having a good plan before leaving home can make it much easier to just execute plans stress-free. And of course, if planning isn’t appealing, there are always travel agents with pre-planned trips!
Step 2: Plan for the home
One concern of travelers is what is going on at home when they’re away. For short-term travel, this might not be that big a concern. If you live alone, a cheap renters insurance policy and a friend to come by to collect mail once or twice is enough to get peace of mind on your trip. If you have pets, hopefully there is a family member to watch them while you are away.
Be sure to empty the fridge before leaving. However, for longer-term trips, leaving things back home can difficult regardless of the prep work undertaken. Hiring a house-sitter might help alleviate any stress of leaving the home unattended, and it might be necessary to look into having any children and pets come along for the journey.
Step 3: Plan for things to go wrong
Now there is a plan in place for the trip and the home, but what about if things don’t go according to plan? What happens then? Honestly, the most important step is to accept that not everything is going to go right on this trip. Travel takes a lot of work and is not without its qualms. It can be missing a flight, a tour guide not showing up, even something as simple as an additional baggage fee. All of these hazards of vacationing have the chance to ruin a trip.
The good news is that it can be avoided completely by keeping a positive attitude in spite of traveling adversity. Incorporate anything that goes wrong into the plan. A long layover or a chance to explore a new city? Tour guide missing or an opportunity to meet locals in the area while waiting? Nothing is so bad that it should ruin a well-planned trip. Sometimes the best memories come out of seemingly unfortunate situations!
Step 4: Plan to RELAX
Once the first three steps are completed and everything is set into the motion, the most important thing to remain stress-free is to actually relax. Anyone can prepare for a trip, pack everything, hire a babysitter, but then when they actually get to the place they’ve been waiting to travel to, they don’t know how to just relax! It can be hard to just let loose and have a good time, but in a new place with new people (that likely will never be seen again), there is no better opportunity!