Traveling is always fun – catching up with relatives you don’t often see, exploring new areas, making memories with family and friends, and getting away from the stress of daily life are all great reasons to either hop on a plane or jump in the car.
Of course, traveling also comes with its fair share of stress. No matter how well things are planned, it always seems that you are left scrambling to get everything done. When you finally do get out the door, someone has probably forgotten something. If you’re planning to pack up your bags and leave town for a bit, here are a few tips for reducing the stress of leaving home and traveling.
Create Your Packing List in Advance
If you write up a packing list the day before, you are bound to forget something you needed to add to that list. Start the list a few days beforehand and give yourself plenty of time to revise it. You also need to be sure there is extra room in your suitcase for souvenirs, shopping bags, or whatever else you will need to bring home. Check your airline’s baggage weight guidelines and be sure you won’t go over the limit on the way home.
Plan Your Trip as Early as Possible
Flights are going to fill up more quickly and become more expensive as you get closer to the date. Some say the magic time to purchase a plane ticket is 54 days in advance, though prices can vary, particularly during busy travel seasons.
If you’re driving to your destination, start planning early so that you can get on your way in plenty of time. An early morning departure can help you avoid traffic but also means you won’t have much time to prepare before you leave. Pack snacks, load luggage, and set several alarms the night before. These steps will ensure that you’re ready to leap out of bed and head right out the door.
Identify Potential Problems
Being prepared for anything is one of the best ways to keep your stress levels low during travel. Take a moment to sit down and picture all the things that could reasonably go wrong. For example, if someone in your family has a bad allergy, pack an extra epi-pen in case you use or forget the first one. If you are on your way to a warm climate but have a stop in Denver, be sure to pack at least one warm item in case your flight is delayed.
Of course, you shouldn’t be preparing for every single little thing that might happen on your trip, but you should identify the most likely issues to occur and be ready to handle them.
Don’t Forget Pet Care
Placing your pet in a kennel for the trip can be a source of stress for both you and your pet. Many kennels will keep the dog cooped up with limited play time and interaction. By hiring a freelance dog sitter, your pets will receive one on one attention, and you can rest assured that your furry friend is being monitored and cared for. If you are worried that a pet sitter isn’t in your budget, think again. Each sitter has the ability to decide their rates, meaning you can find someone that works with your budget.
Traveling is supposed to be fun. While you should certainly be ready to handle potential problems, you also need to remember that the purpose of the trip is to relax and have fun with family or friends. If you have prepared well in advance, there is no need to spoil your vacation by worrying about things that you have covered. So hire a sitter, plan in advance, write up a packing list, and arm yourself for what might go wrong. From there, you can rest assured that your trip will be relaxing and enjoyable.