TRAVELING 101

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Ways to Have a Safe and Stress-Free Trip

May 17, 2011 by

Traveling can be quite stressful and it’s not getting any easier.  With new security concerns, air travel may seem especially nerve-racking.  There are some ways to help keep your trip as safe and stress-free as possible and making your arrangements early.

Make a Checklist

One of the best ways to reduce some of your travel stress is to stay organized.  Make sure that you write up an itinerary so you’ll have some guidelines to review.  You’ll be able to glance at one sheet that lists all of the important information for your trip, especially if you want to save yourself some money for your actual trip.  Include your airline flight, parking, rental car, and hotel and sightseeing reservations.  Having all the info in one place is convenient and makes life easier for your entire trip.

Pack Properly

Keep the latest security regulations in mind when you pack.  You’ll want to keep a small carry-on that has essentials in case you get delayed in the airport.  Choose small sized toiletries or they may get tossed out in security.  The best option is to pack as lightly as possible.  It’s also helpful to use a slightly larger suitcase than you think you need.  Use large plastic storage bags to hold small items such as socks and underwear.  The less you have in your suitcase, the easier it will be for TSA to go through it if need be.  Don’t forget to keep your necessary paperwork at hands length for all points during your trip.  Last thing you want is to have to pay twice for pre-bookings like airport parking because you don’t have a copy of your voucher.  This will just create one more step and hassle for you.

Arrive and Park Early

Get to the airport with plenty of time to spare by booking your airport parking at least two hours prior to your flight departure time.  Shuttle busses run at different times depending on what facility you have booked with.  When you’re running late, stress can mount and every little thing seems to go wrong.  Follow the arrival guidelines provided by your airline.  Keep in mind that traveling on a holiday or other busy day will require you to have more than your standard dose of patience, plus you can feel better that you booked items early and don’t have to pay the higher rates during peak travel times.  It’s always easier and faster to arrive earlier rather than later.  Consider reserved, prepaid or valet parking options that are designed to streamline the process and get you into the terminal much faster.

Plan for Fun

Everyone wants to jam as much into their trip as possible.  But planning too much can actually make it less fun and create more stress.  Plan some time for doing nothing.  Then you can decide at the time what it is you’d like to do such as lay by the pool, swim in the ocean or visit the hotel spa.  Remember that de-stressing is what vacation is all about.  When traveling with the family, allow some time for each family member to include an activity that they enjoy.

Be Prepared

Plans can change due to many things such as weather or even illness.  Prepare for the possibility of these events and have some alternate options ready if you need them.  Read about the area online before you go so you’ll have a good idea of the local eateries and sights.  Bring along an umbrella for rain and a few small games in case you need to stay in for the day.  Make a list of attractions that are indoors in case it’s raining.  Don’t forget to utilize your hotel’s concierge to find ideas for things to see and do in the area.