We can all agree that traveling is great but we can all reduce travel-related stress. Travel’s eye-opening, it’s freeing, it’s educational, it’s relaxing, and amongst all these things, it’s even sometimes a little bit stressful. But, worry not! I’ve compiled a short list of things you can do to make your dream vacation as stress-free as possible based on my own experiences.
1) Do Your Research On Where You Are Going
I know this might seem obvious, but taking some time to plan ahead can make a big difference in reducing stress. Especially in situations where so many things can have the potential to go wrong. Making sure you’ve prepared yourself is just one small step you can take to assure your trip is stress-free. Finding activities to do/places to visit beforehand ensures that you can fit in everything you dreamed of doing since planning your vacation. I know that sometimes creating a plan can be time-consuming and even tedious. Trust me, once you’re in another country navigating through unknown cities, you’ll thank yourself for having a plan beforehand.
Personally, I’ve always been a last-minute planner, so when searching for a tour to go on, I knew EF Ultimate Break was perfect for me. They scheduled everything from hotels, flights, ground transportation, city tours, and even group breakfasts every morning. This took nearly all the stress out of my travel experience. I couldn’t be more thankful for all the preparation they took care of for me. If you’re not one to break out the planner and compare prices all night, consider looking into travel packages or scheduled tours.
2) Learn the Basics Before You Travel
One of the biggest things people can do when visiting another country is learning more about their language. It can be very helpful to learn some basic terms to get you by. Learning how to say common courtesy things like, “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” can make a big difference. You will not only feel more comfortable in your environment but also can communicate with local people.
3) Bring Snacks to Reduce Travel-Related Stress
Oh my gosh! If I can really emphasize one point on this list of how to reduce travel-related stress, it’s to bring snacks with you, as often as you can. Especially when traveling alone, you don’t always have immediate access to food. Sometimes you’re unsure when your next meal is even going to take place. Prevent hangry breakdowns before they happen by stocking yourself up with some dry snacks, like granola bars or crackers. When on my tour of Europe, we had set times for breakfast and for some dinners as well. Having Goldfish crackers and fruit gummies to hold me over until meal times was the key to keeping myself happy while on vacation. Of course, don’t forget the water! Staying hydrated and well fed makes for a much happier vacation.
4) Expect That More Than Likely, Things Will Go Wrong
On almost every journey I’ve taken, especially by plane, something has gone wrong. Flights have been delayed, boarding passes have been lost, and schedules have had to be shifted. All of these things are okay, and they are manageable. It can really reduce some travel-related stress if you’re prepared to deal with bumps in the road.
When I left the country alone for the first time, a mix-up happened when trying to get my second flight’s boarding pass. My first flight had gotten into Chicago just a little late. Without a boarding pass, I had to travel across the airport and out of security, get my boarding pass, and then somehow get back through security in the 40 minutes I had for my layover. Being alone made this extremely stressful. I had no idea where I was going or what I was supposed to be doing. Thankfully, an extremely kind woman from British Airways (the airline I was taking) came and plucked me out of the security line. She pushed me to the front and rushed me to the gate to board my flight just in time. This kind woman’s help brings me to the last point on this list.
5) Know That There Are Kind People Everywhere You Go
One of my biggest fears in leaving the country was that being unsure if I would be able to ask questions or get help from locals. I wasn’t sure how they would respond to me as a foreigner. While there are some people that have their opinions about Americans, 99% of the people I spoke to and asked questions were more than happy to help me because they were so proud of their country that they were willing to openly share whatever information they had with me. So, don’t be afraid to reach out for help to ask questions. It can make a huge difference in your travel experiences and reduce travel-related stress.
by Sara Sands