Traveling for us is second nature. It could be personality driven, but at the end of the day, the more often you do anything, the more comfortable you become. I just jumped off a cliff into the ocean to paraglide
for the first time and I’m pretty sure my nerves will be never be the same. That is unless I decided to become an instructor and make it a part of my daily routine; only then would I will settle my anxiety into normalcy. I don’t see that happening anytime soon. And I know for some the stress involved in that concept is similar to getting in a plane with an unknown driver and flying 50,000 feet above land and/or sea to get where you are going. When instead you could easily trust your own self and get behind the wheel of a car to get to the same destination (if it’s not overseas of course).
Humor me for a minute – and come jump off the cliff. With these learned travel techniques, you’ll be on board to gain your first stress-free wings in no time. Instead of beginning your trip once you get there, you can enjoy the travel time too.
Carry light – Airlines have been doing this for a long time. Just like we trust the HVAC guy
to fix your system (like that hubby analogy?), let the airlines do their job. Give them the benefit of the doubt that if they can fly you from point A to point B, they can surely fly your luggage. The less you carry on board, the less you have to worry about. Your airport experience now becomes lighter, freer and more timely traversing through.
Don’t worry; I’ve heard the horror stories here too. But everyone makes mistakes – honestly anything in your luggage is most likely replaceable; I’m not.Side note: Snacks recommended as a part of your carry on. (Just not a wheeled full size carry on – use a backpack/hip bag)
Download ahead of time – Now most airlines allow you to listen to your ipod or phone during take off and landing – meaning ample time to relax, learn and listen. Download your podcasts and movies beforehand and save on in-flight Wifi costs too. Plus, if your nerves are high, this will be a good distraction.
Suggested Podcasts –
My pick: As of late I’ve been laughing to my girl and her hubby at No-Filter Needed
Another tip: There are also coupons to pre-buy Internet aboard some flights! Look into it before boarding.
Style with Layers – No matter if you’re going to the Bahamas or you’re headed to Maine in the winter, you have to travel with layers. Luckily it’s on trend right now. But you want to be able to get cool or bundle up – with how unexpected the airplane temps are and the persons body temperature you are going to sit next to; you need options. This one is pretty much a no brainer, but I think blankets are just a waste of space.
Don’t be early – Have you ever heard of a plane taking off early? No. It doesn’t happen. If anything, it’s often the contrary. You need 1 hour before your plane takes off (not loads – takes off!) that you need to check a bag. Don’t get to the airport 3 hours early. It’s a waste of time, elongates your travel and escalates your exhaustion. You also spend money you don’t need to. Don’t be a worrywart – you’ll be there growing warts before long.
Again, I know the horror stories. This doesn’t mean you snooze past your alarm. This doesn’t mean you drive on an empty tank to the airport to end up on the side of the road. Do your due diligence people.
Use the given amenities – Everywhere has soap, shampoo/conditioner, blow dryers, toilet paper and an iron. You don’t need to pack what you’re already supplied. I get that some women have to have a certain hair product – but if you’re only there for 3 days, is it really necessary? Let go a little – enjoy the scent of shower gel meets shampoo and tough it out. You’re not there for a good hairstyle; you’re there for a good memory. Plus again, it makes for a lot less “stuff” in your luggage. And if it’s essential, there is always the option of travel size containers so your luggage isn’t over weight from the 10 products you use.
I have to tell on myself here – I generally always travel with my cuddle pillow – totally not necessary, but it’s for comfort not for convenience. At least that’s what I tell myself.
Shop small – When you’re getting all the goodies, at least give the gift of authenticity to bring money to the local businesses. They are using their resources, just as we do, but they are also using their talents. My goal, especially after owning my own shop, is to always shop small and give social thanks to and for them.
Now you may have to get on your bartering hat on, because some of them can hustle (but do you blame them?), so always ask for a bargain; you never know how they respond.
Eat local – Get where you’re going and find the local gems. We’ve never been a fan of the chains – where’s the culture? I don’t want to eat at a Chili’s in Mexico – I want homemade mole and to taste the local vegetation. If you ask a local on the street where the best place to eat is, they won’t tell you the big box location, it’s going to be the hole in the wall and you won’t regret a minute of it!
Find the craft brews – Coffee or Beer! Both of which will surely help the stress levels too J (especially if traveling with children!)
Stay humbly – Again, stay clear of the big box; you beat all the hustle and bustle of “tourists”. You are just a number to them. You are just another face. You are just feeding the fat cat. The true culture, the true experience is in the relationships you build and the imprint you make and receive. AirBnB is an amazing option for this, but we also love bed and breakfasts because you have more interaction with the locals this way since you actually see them and share a meal with them. AirBnb (use link for $40 off your next stay!)
, while amazing and truly immersing you in the civilian lifestyle, you often don’t have full access to the owner for sight seeing advice, etc.
Reusable bags – If you’re like my previous self, you will surely be coming home with some goodies. (Now viewed as trinkets turned trash, but I get it – everyone loves a good gift!) If you have your reusable bag stored away in your check on luggage, you can open it up, load it up and don’t have to pay a return luggage fee, since you can now use it as your carry on bag (since you followed step #1 of course.)
Boomerang your adventure – Think about it. No matter how serious or unserious the situation is; a boomerang makes it more fun
. Take away all the stress – even if you’re stuck between two smelly, snoring, who are people hoarding both of the armrests. Just let it go and boomerang!
I’m sure there are a 1000 more tips. I’d love to hear your go-to’s so I can add to my stress-free travel experiences.