Traveling internationally can be a fun and illuminating experience, but it can also be stressful and exhausting. In order to enjoy the former benefits without suffering through the more frustrating aspects of travel, you need a plan that addresses classic points of friction. Do you know what to do?
5 Ways to Make Travel Easier
According to a study of more than 2,000 Americans, travel is stressful for almost everyone. One in four travelers say they expect something to go wrong on every single trip they take. Overall, the average traveler experiences 240 self-defined “stressful travel moments” in their lifetime. This includes issues like lost luggage, delayed flights, annoying passengers, flat tires, sickness, etc.
In a separate study, 89 percent of travelers say travel is usually enjoyable, but that it’s often marked by stress and difficulty.In other words, we like the idea of travel – and it’s mostly enjoyable – but the potential for stress is always lingering in the background. And if you can address these concerns, you can increase your chances of having a positive experience.
Here are a few specific things you can do:
1. Take Care of Logistical Details
Everyone wants to jump right into the fun stuff, like planning excursions and choosing activities, but don’t get so caught up in the surface-level details that you forget about the logistics of travel. This is especially important when it comes to international travel.
Take visiting the United States as an example. Travelers need an ESTA to enjoy visa-free travel into the country. A failure to plan ahead could create some serious problems at customs. There are similar requirements for Americans visiting other countries.
Don’t assume that everything will just work out. Read up on the rules and research your options. The sooner you get paperwork squared away, the better off you’ll be.
2. Set the Right Expectations
It’s important that you set expectations from the very beginning – particularly if you’re traveling with a mixed group of family and friends.
Traveling with your parents or in-laws might sound like a great idea, but they need to understand that you’re a grown adult and that you won’t be treated as a child. If traveling with other couples, you need to let them know which must-see items are on your itinerary so there’s no confusion when you arrive. The earlier you set these expectations, the easier the trip becomes.
3. Develop a Budget
Finances can be a concern for travelers. While you already know how much you’ll be spending on flights and accommodations before you touch down, it’s all of the other smaller expenses that add up over the course of a weeklong trip.
To prevent money-related stress from ruining your trip, be mindful of setting a budget for how much you want to spend on a daily basis. This keeps things under control and prevents a scenario where you feel like you don’t have any money to spend at the end of the vacation.
4. Pack Smart
People think they’re doing themselves a favor by packing anything and everything they could possibly need on a vacation, but they’re actually just weighing themselves down – literally and metaphorically.
Be smart about what you pack and how you pack. Try keeping clothing and personal items to a minimum. If possible, you can pack everything you need in a carry-on, which eliminates the possibility of lost luggage and/or dealing with checked baggage.
5. Eat Healthy
Most people let themselves go on vacation and eat anything they want. However, the unintended consequences of unhealthy eating are tiredness, weight gain, and digestive issues. So while the food may be tasty, you pay for it in discomfort and regret.
Feel free to eat some tasty meals and devour some additional calories, but don’t go overboard. By eating healthy, you’ll have a much more enjoyable trip.
Enjoy Your Stay!
We vacation for pleasure. It’s a way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and to enjoy new scenery and unique culture. It shouldn’t be another stressful activity in your busy life. By planning ahead and making smart decisions, you can relax, unwind, and enjoy yourself without having to worry about what might go wrong.