It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling for work or personal reasons, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re likely to feel some level of stress along the way. And with that, you may begin to feel anxious before you ever leave home.
Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to ease travel-related stress. The more things you do, the greater chance you have of feeling your best from the beginning of your trip until the end.
Here are five steps you can take to ease travel-related stress.
- Pack in advance
One of the biggest causes of stress when traveling is last minute packing. Make a list of what you want to take and begin to move through it several days in advance. Not only does this give you peace of mind, but it also reduces the likelihood of forgetting something at home.
Tip: if you’re a regular traveler, create a master list of the basics that you take on every trip.
- Leave on time
No matter your method of travel, you want to leave your home on time. When you leave late, you’re behind the eight ball from the start. For example, if your flight departs at 5 p.m., you should arrive at the airport no later than 3 p.m. However, just to be safe, give yourself another 30 minutes. You’ll be glad that you did if you run into trouble, such as traffic or a longer than expected line at security.
Tip: when flying, double check your departure time before leaving home. You may find that it was pushed back due to a delay. If that happens, you can adjust your schedule accordingly.
- Don’t pack too much
As noted above, packing is stressful. And that’s particularly true if you wait until the last minute. Another thing to avoid is overpacking. The more you stuff into your suitcase the more you’ll question whether or not you really need the items.
In addition to the essentials, take clothes for every day that you’ll be gone. When you look at it from a daily perspective, it’s easier to pack what you know you’ll need and leave the rest behind.
Tip: look into ways to save space, such as by packing travel size toiletries. This is preferred to packing full-size items that add to your load and make it more difficult to find what you’re looking for upon arrival.
- Plan your travel day
From start to finish, you should plan your travel day based on how you want to see it unfold. Answer questions such as:
- What time do you need to leave home?
- What is your expected arrival time?
- Are there any potential hiccups to be aware of?
- What will you do if you face a delay that is beyond your control?
- Have you double checked your reservations?
As you answer these questions, you’ll find that your travel day isn’t nearly as stressful as you thought.
Tip: hope for the best but remain flexible at all times. When traveling, there will always be things that are out of your control. You must take them as they come.
- Get enough sleep
Think about how difficult it is to make it through a regular day on short sleep. Now, consider how challenging it would be if you were traveling. No matter what it takes, get enough sleep leading up to your day of travel. This is even more so important if you’re driving, as you need to remain alert while behind the wheel.
Tip: getting a good night’s sleep the day before you leave is ideal, but don’t stop there. Try to do this two or three days in advance. You want to be well-rested and feel your best when it’s time to hit the road.
There’s no right or wrong way to ease travel-related stress. The only thing that matters is that you find something that works for you. And when you do, you can rely on it to guide you every step of the way.
Do you often feel overstressed when you travel? What steps do you take to reduce the amount of stress that you feel? Is there anything you would add to the advice above?