Traveling-walking through a new country, adapting to a new culture, learning new words or phrases, dining on new-and sometimes unidentifiable-food … it is all part of the experience travelers crave upon entering a new land. Unfortunately, along with those new sounds, sights and smells, comes a healthy dose of stress, but that doesn’t have to damper your vacation.
Today’s Travel Tip Tuesday is written by my nomadic friend Andi, of My Beautiful Adventures, and is all about avoiding or eliminating travel-related stress. Welcome, Andi.
In the last 6 months I have been to 5 different continents and have taken several domestic trips. And believe it or not, I actually consider that a slow travel schedule! On my trips around the world I have stayed in hostels to B&Bs to luxury hotels and I have ridden in trains to boats to rickshaws. Thus, you could say that I am a bit of a travel pro.
The following are some tips I’ve picked up over the years to ensure as stress-free of a trip as possible … because if there is one thing I can guarantee you about travel, besides every trip changing your life in some amazing way, it is that you will always encounter stress of some kind.
1. Research. Now, I do not believe that before embarking on a trip every single second of every day should be planned. You must leave room for elements of surprise! However, your trip will definitely run more smoothly if you research your destination beforehand. There are copious travel websites and blogs on the internet with incredibly helpful information. Learn about the public transportation, important sites to visit, and recommended restaurants and hotels. It is also of the upmost importance to learn some key words in the language of the country you are visiting.
2. Carry a travel wallet. Buy yourself an affordable travel wallet and carry it with you to your destination. (I use this one!) Inside include your passport and/or license, a print-out of the confirmation from where you will be staying the first night, some currency of the country you are in, a phone number of a taxi service, if needed, along with other important phone numbers, and a pen. If you must go through customs, this will make the experience easier and faster.
3. Do not be ruled by fear. I get frustrated when I see article after article focusing on how to stay safe and avoid danger while traveling. Of course I think it is important to make smart decisions regarding your safety while traveling, but I also think it is important to not let fear stop you from having extraordinary and unforgettable experiences. I think it is vital to step outside your comfort zone and be open to new experiences.
4. Use public transportation, when possible. If you have done advanced research, you will already know whether public transportation is a good option. If so, it is often the cheapest and most efficient mode on transport, not to mention it an interesting way to see a new place. Plus, you never know who you might meet along the way.
5. Pamper yourself. If you do find yourself stressed while traveling, take some time or even a day to either indulge by going to a spa or seeing a movie. Sometimes a quick break from “being on the road” is all that is needed to de-stress and get you back in the traveling mindset. Also, I suggest bringing something from home that will help relax you further, like a lovely smelling candle or a comfortable blanket.
Alright, world travelers-what tips would you add to help others have a less-stressful vacation?
Until next time … Buon Viaggio.
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