Travel doesn't need to be stressful – especially after you've read our 15 tips for a stress free travel experience!
How to travel stress free
Are you feeling stressed out at the thought of your summer vacation? Relax! There are plenty of ways to make your trip go smoothly and without any drama.
No one wants to deal with the headache of travel stress – whether it's for business or pleasure. After all, vacations are supposed to be a time to relax and rejuvenate! But sometimes, the planning process (and even the journey itself) can be anything but relaxing.
If you're looking for ways to reduce stress before, during, and after your travels, I've got 15 travel tips to help you out.
1. Plan ahead
This one might seem obvious, but it's worth repeating: plan ahead! The more you can plan in advance, the less likely you are to run into stressful situations.
If you're flying, book your tickets as early as possible to get the best rates. Once you have your flights booked, start thinking about other important details like accommodation, transportation, and activities.
You'll also want to make sure your important documents like passport, travel insurance, and boarding passes are in line. The last thing you want is to be scrambling at the last minute to get everything in order.
Related: How to plan a travel budget
2. Make a packing list
Packing can be one of the most stressful parts of travel, especially if you're trying to pack light. And especially so if you are leaving it all until the last minute!
To make things easier on yourself, create a packing list in advance. Way in advance! This way, you know exactly what you need to take with you on your trip and can buy items in advance if you don't already have them.
One useful tip is not to overpack. You might think you need six pairs of shoes and three weeks' worth of clothes, but chances are you'll only end up wearing a fraction of what you bring. Not to mention, lugging around a giant suitcase is no fun. Also, remember to leave room to bring back gifts and souvenirs from your trip!
Check out this international travel packing checklist for some ideas on what to take.
3. Pad your itinerary with extra time
One way to mitigate stress is to give yourself more time than you think you need. This way, if things run behind schedule (and they often do), you won't be left scrambling to catch up.
For example, if you have flight connections, make sure to give yourself plenty of time in between. I recommend at least 2-3 hours, especially if you have to change terminals or get a connecting flight. Never underestimate how long it takes to move through the security line, especially if flying during peak season!
The same goes for any other activities on your itinerary. If you're planning on going sightseeing, leave some extra time in case you run into crowds or get lost. No one wants to be rushing around on vacation! Arriving early for things will also help you avoid the stress of being late.
4. Travel during the off-season
If you can, travel during the shoulder or low season. Not only will you find cheaper rates on flights and the best deal on accommodation, but you'll also avoid the crowds. And that means fewer stressful situations!
Of course, this isn't always possible. If you're restricted to school holidays or other peak times, don't worry – there are still plenty of ways to reduce stress while traveling.
5. Join a tour group
One great tip, and a way to meet people and see the sights without having to worry about planning everything yourself is to join a tour group. There are all sorts of different tour groups available, from food tours to history tours, so you can find one that suits your interests.
This is a great option if you're traveling solo, but it's also fun to do with family or friends. And it takes a lot of the stress out of planning!
I recommend Get Your Guide for city tours and day trips. It saves all the hassle of organizing transport to attractions yourself, and you get the benefit of a professional guide. It's a way to make life easier and see more at the same time.
Related: Benefits of solo travel
6. Choose your accommodation wisely
Finding good hotels can sometimes be a stressful endeavor. Where you stay can make or break your vacation. If you're looking for a stress-free experience, it's worth spending a little extra to stay somewhere comfortable and convenient. Having a good sleep always makes the day go better.
For example, if you're traveling with family, you might want to choose a hotel with kids club facilities so you can have some time to yourself. If you're looking for a romantic getaway, you might want to splurge on a luxury hotel. And if you're on a budget, there are plenty of great hostels that won't break the bank.
Location is also important. You want to be close to the things to do, but also not in any areas or neighborhoods that make you feel unsafe when you walk. For example, I always recommend that when visiting Athens, people try to stay in the historic center as it's close to all the main places to see in Athens.
The important thing is to find somewhere that suits your needs and makes you feel comfortable.
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7. Foreign Currency and Bank Cards
If you're traveling to a foreign country, the most important thing you can do before you leave, is to make sure you have your finances sorted. This means getting foreign currency and organizing your bank cards.
Getting foreign currency can be a bit of a hassle, but it's worth doing in advance so you don't have to worry about it when you're on vacation. You can either get it from your bank or exchange it at the airport. I usually recommend getting a mix of both cash and cards, as you never know when you might need one or the other.
As for your bank cards, it's important not to forget to let your bank know that you'll be traveling so they don't flag any unusual activity on your account. You should also make sure you have a backup card in case you lose your primary card while you're away.
While you don't want to carry too much money on you at any one time, it's always a good idea to have some cash in case of emergencies.
8. Buy travel insurance
This is something I always recommend, whether you're traveling for business or pleasure. No one likes to think about what could go wrong on their trip, but it's always better to be safe than sorry if you like stress free travel!
I've had to use my travel insurance a few times when bags didn't arrive when I did at my destination (read my account of when I flew to Alaska here!) and I'm so glad I had it!
There are all sorts of different travel insurance policies available, so make sure you read the fine print to find one that suits your needs in the part of the world you'll travel to.
9. Travel with just carry on if you can
It might not be practical for every vacation or trip you make, but traveling with just a carry on bag on a plane has many advantages. Not only do you not have to worry about lost luggage, but you also don't have to waste time waiting at the baggage conveyor belt.
Who needs the extra weight of checked baggage to lug around? Pack light, and you'll be thanking yourself later!
If you travel with just carry on on your next trip, you might also be able to check-in online which can save you time at the airport.
If you do decide to check in luggage, maybe consider getting a luggage tracker. Read my review here: GEGO GPS Tracker
10. Prebook an airport transfer to your hotel
Arriving in a new place after a long flight can be daunting, especially if you don't speak the local language. The last thing you want is to have to figure out public transport with all your luggage in tow.
The best way to avoid this stressful situation is to book an airport transfer in advance. This way, someone will be there waiting for you when you arrive, and they'll take you straight to your hotel. No fuss, no stress!
Related: Snacks to take on a plane
11. Download some travel apps
Do you know how Google maps works offline? Are there any other apps you can download before your trip to make things easier? Find out and download them onto your phone before you go.
For example, in Greece you can download the Ferryhopper app that shows you all the ferry schedules so you can easily plan your island hopping adventures.
You might also like to read: Advantages and Disadvantages of Traveling by Plane
12. Buy some travel essentials
Sometimes, it's the simplest things that can take the stress out of a situation. For example, you don't want your phone battery to die when you're out sightseeing. Solution? Buy a portable charger or powerbank. Concerned the water might not be safe to drink? Take a water filter bottle.
Another travel essential I always pack is a mini first-aid kit. This has come in handy on many occasions, from treating a headache to relieving insect bites.
Related: Can you take a powerbank on a plane?
13. Read up on local customs and etiquette
If you're traveling to a country with a different culture to your own, it's always a good idea to do some research ahead of time. This way, you can avoid any potential cultural faux pas and make sure you respect local customs.
For example, in Japan it's considered very rude to be late, while in Greece it's considered impolite to refuse a drink when someone offers you one.
14. Learn some key phrases in the local language
This ties in with the previous point. If you can't speak the local language, learning some key phrases will go a long way in helping you to communicate with people and avoid any misunderstandings.
It doesn't have to be anything too complicated. Just being able to say please and thank you can make all the difference.
15. Relax and go with the flow
Finally, the most important thing to remember when traveling is to relax and go with the flow. Things might not always go according to plan, but that's all part of the adventure.
Traveling can be a lot of fun, but it can also be stressful if you're not prepared. By following the great tips for stress free travel in this article, you'll be able to travel without any drama and enjoy your time away.
Do you have any suggestions for how to travel stress free? Let us know in the comments below!
Also read: How to live for yourself and travel more
FAQ About Reducing Stress When Traveling
Still have some questions regarding how to avoid stress during travel? These questions and answers might have you covered:
What makes Travelling stressful?
There are a few things that can make travelling stressful: last minute planning, lost luggage, missed flights, and getting sick while away from home. If you can avoid these things, or at least have contingency plans, your trip will be much smoother!
How can I travel without stress?
A few ideas to travel with less stress include: planning ahead, making a packing list, and getting travel insurance. Additionally, try to relax and go with the flow – things rarely go according to plan when you're travelling!
What are some good tips for dealing with travel stress?
Some good tips for reducing stress while travelling include: staying hydrated, eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Additionally, try to take some time for yourself each day to relax and de-stress.
How do you relax when traveling?
One way to relax when traveling is by staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate you. Eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and exercise when possible to help keep your energy up and your stress levels down.
Can Travelling cause stress?
The answer is yes – travelling can cause stress for a variety of reasons. Planning ahead and visualizing what may happen during a trip can help reduce worry and stress. If you're already feeling stressed, try some relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.
Also read: Summer vacation quotes