Okay, so we all know that traveling can be a total blast or it can be a complete nightmare – and usually it’s the latter. There are sooo many things to coordinate, it can be hard to not melt into a worried little puddle on the floor. I’m usually one of those people who pretends like the worry isn’t happening to me… until the night before, when I’m scrambling to remember what to pack and what to print, and when to fit sleep in. Through trial and error (and error and more error), I’ve come up with a few tricks to help me travel stress free, and enjoy the experience. And now I’m here to share them with you!
Let Your Bank Be in-the-Know
So you’ve bought your plane ticket. You know the dates and you know the route so… what next?
The first thing to do is notify your bank of your travel dates and location. I didn’t know about this tip until recently… when I started working as a teller at a local credit union! Without letting your bank know about your travel plans, your account runs the risk of being temporarily frozen! This is designed to stop fraud, so as soon as an unfamiliar transaction takes place they’ll hold your account until they can verify it’s you. It’s a great tool, as long as you use it correctly. So let your institution know what’s up!
Budget Your Trip
When I travel, I’m usually tempted to spend way more than usual. That’s why, when I head on a trip, I withdraw my budget in cash! Instead of swiping a plastic card, I use the money I withdrew so I can visibly see where I’m at with my budget! If you’d rather not carry around cash, that’s okay! Consider creating a travel checking account to help keep you within your budget. You can even make a debit card connected to the account, so you can only spend what is in that specific account!
Prep for Packing
If you’re a procrastinator like me, packing before the last minute is next to impossible. I never pack until the night before, even if I have intentions to do it long before. But it always leads to my stressing over whether I actually packed what I needed to.
Enter the packing list. Before you even think about opening a suitcase, grab a pen and some paper and think about what you’re going to be doing on your trip. It’ll help you avoid worrying if you know exactly what you need to pack before you start.
- Grab a google ten-day weather report for your location. Is it going to be cold? Will it be humid? Expecting rain? Write down any necessities you’ll need for that kind of weather.
- Think about any activities you have planned for the trip. If you’re going to a theme park, make sure you include an extra bag, like a draw string or backpack, that’ll be easy to lug around during the day. Headed to the beach, list out which swimsuits you’re planning on bringing along.
- How many nights will you be gone? If you’re only staying a few nights, one pair of pajamas might just do it for you. If you’re staying for an extended length of time, maybe you’ll plan on using a laundromat to wash a few pairs. Either way, write down how many pairs you think you’ll need to keep you comfortable.
- Mark down anything else you’ll need for your trip including: toiletries, electronics, chargers, pillows, blankets, accessories, etc.
The Trick to Carry-ons
No one wants to lose their luggage, but in case you do, it’s always great to be prepared. That’s why, when packing your carry-on, imagine that it’s going to be the only thing you’ll have for a day or two. What essentials will you need for the next day or so. Don’t go crazy, of course! But think about packing an extra change of clothes and something you’d feel comfortable sleeping in. Maybe grab a travel sized shampoo (always check your airlines travel restrictions), and some makeup remover pads for the road.
Along with a few items for emergency, I always keep a few snacks and an *EMPTY* water bottle on hand for my time at the airport, to help me save money. Airport prices are always jacked up miles high, since they know you’ll get hungry – so beat the system and bring your own supply of protein bars, gum and crackers in your carry-on. Don’t forget to bring your laptop or your phone charger, since the airport also likes to charge way too much for those too.
Timing Timing Timing
One of the best tips I can offer for traveling stress free is to be aware of the time. The most stressful trip I’ve ever been on is one where I showed up to the airport thirty minutes before my flight time and had to run through security to board my plane. Along the way, my suitcases got separated from me (since they missed their flight), and I was stuck without clothes for two days.
Avoid the drama mama, and check yourself in early online! Keep track of when your flight will take-off. Be aware of any changes to your itinerary and plan accordingly. Most airlines suggest you be at the airport at least an hour before boarding time – but you know your airport best. If you live in Denver, Colorado, it might be wise to arrive 2 hours early to give yourself some security buffer time. At any rate, never play it too close. Give yourself a cushion, and avoid the stress of running late.
Travel Stress Free
These tips will totally help you avoid the frustration and worry that inherently comes from traveling. I hope you found them helpful, AND I hope they make your next trip go as smoothly as possible! Let me know how they work for you. Happy Flying!