Travel Well - Strategies for Managing Stress

Travel Well -  Strategies for Managing Stress

Written by Kristen Simon

Ah, vacation. It seemed so blissful as a child - all the planning, budgeting, arranging, coordinating, traveling, and other work hidden behind the curtain, left to those sitting in the front seats AKA my parents. Flash-forward twenty years, to a family vacation as an adult, and I’m struck with the sudden realization: Vacation is stressful.

Coordinating meals, arranging travel, ensuring joy for all...we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to deliver perfect vacations. Travel alone can be stressful - whether it’s a car ride or a flight, there’s always a hitch in the plans. Managing the separate dietary tastes of a family (especially if you’re trying to eat healthy on top of that) is downright overwhelming. Kids want to swim, adults want to lounge, and grandpa wants to go for a walk; there’s no way to get everyone on the same page, and it’s overwhelming trying to make sure everyone’s having fun. Raise your hand if you’re with me.

This week we’re talking solutions to travel stress, and ensuring that you come home from your intentionally restful week feeling….actually rested. And today we’re starting with some tips for things to do before you even leave to make sure everything goes smoothly!

The overarching idea is to plan ahead.

  • Lists are your friend - consider making a list of  all of the things you need to do before you leave.

    • arranging for child or pet sitters

    • have your mail held

    • pack

    • things you need to finish at work

    • anything else that’s worrying you.

Writing down your to-dos (or putting them into a helpful to-do list app on your phone) helps you re-establish control over the situation by organizing your thoughts. Once you’ve got it all written out, there’s no need to worry about forgetting something.

  • Planning is helpful as well.

    • Researching restaurants, accomodations, activities, and more ahead of time can help you avoid minor stresses while on your trip. Everything doesn’t need to be planned down to the minute, but sketching out a rough outline certainly helps.

    • This goes for travel as well -

    • Driving? Plan your route, and take into consideration traffic and time of

    • Flying? Think about what you want the airport experience to be like, and create that. Arrive early if you want time to settle in at the gate. If you hate waiting, familiarize yourself with TSA wait times to ensure you’re arriving in time - but not too early.   If you have enough time before your next vacation, consider getting TSA Precheck approved to skip out on the horrendous security lines

To simplify- think about the aspects of the trip that might be stressing you out, and instead of worrying, spend your energy planning.

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