Sometimes in the past I have found travelling so stressful that I could quite easily have binned the holiday at the last minute. However once all checked in I would relax and be raring to go.
The following travel tips should help reduce the stress of travel.
1. Be prepared, check way in advance of travelling that your passport is valid, if it is due to expire in less than six months check the passport requirements for the country you are visiting. And get a European Health insurance Card if travelling within Europe, they’re free so no excuse.
2. The same goes for visas, check with the country you are visiting and ideally allow six weeks for applications to be processed in busy times. Sadly I know of someone who didn’t make their holiday because their visa didn’t turn up in time.
3. Wherever in the world you are travelling to, check which vaccinations are recommended as some require more than one dose over a period of time to be effective.
4. If you have an early morning flight consider staying in a hotel local to the airport to avoid stressful rush hour traffic. That is what I did when I went to Ireland last November. If you want to drive to the airport there are lots of great park, stay and go options such as the one offered by the Crown Plaza, Heathrow. You can then park your car, unwind in the hotel for the night and go off on your travels the next morning feeling calm and relaxed. We have done this many times with the children after missing a flight once! Yep, that was fun.
5. Obviously check what you need to wear, if going on a casual beach holiday you won’t need much more than swimwear, shorts, t-shirts and summer dresses. Some deluxe hotels will expect men in long trousers for dining in the restaurants, this will be clear on the hotel’s website though. Observe the dress code of the country you are visiting, especially relevant when touring places of worship.
6. Travelling with young children doesn’t have to be too stressful if you are prepared, don’t panic about taking enough nappies for two weeks unless you are going to a remote jungle somewhere. Again, do your research, most places will have shops where you can buy essentials. I do remember travelling with four children once, the youngest was just over a year old and we had to get a teeny tiny plane with a luggage restriction of 15kg…I had to pack very carefully, and take enough nappies! It was a challenge but we had an amazing time.
7. It should be obvious but make sure you have enough essential medication in your hand luggage to last a few days, you never know when you will end up with an impromptu extra long stay due to delays out of the airline’s control. I was shocked how many people were in a sticky situation after the flight I was on from Florida last year was delayed by over 24 hours.
8. I think travelling on the whole with young children is so much easier now, but if you need to keep them amused on a flight consider making up a bag of goodies for them that you give them on the plane filled with small gifts. My children loved little play figures, a colouring book and a small box of pencils, magic painting (don’t forget the paint brush) was a big hit. Effective and mess free as long as you hold the cup of water. A new picture book or story book for older ones along with small travel games such as magnetic ludo or hangman are great time wasters too.
Don’t forget to have fun and remember that you can get most things anywhere so don’t panic too much about trying to fit the kitchen sink into your luggage.
Does anyone have any other tips for reducing the stress of travel?
Disclosure: Sponsored Content