The summer holiday months of July and August are synonymous with travel, discovering new destinations and experiencing new cultures. Although this may fill the majority of us with joy and excitement, for others, the thought of flying, driving or train travel will cause worry and anxiety.
Weather conditions, flight delays, jet lag and conflict with family members are all potential sources of stress and it’s doubtful that any trip will go ahead without a few slight hiccups.
Whether you are heading off to a long-haul destination or preparing for a UK staycation by the sea, we have put together a few travel tips aimed to ease the stress levels associated with travel.
Enjoy the planning
For some of us, the most stressful part of travel is the planning. This includes searching for the cheapest flights, the perfect accommodation, booking restaurants, sorting childcare and planning activities for when you arrive. This is also the point where we often begin to have financial concerns related to the trip, too.
There are so many things to consider, so it’s easy to see how it can become overwhelming and take over your life.
Therefore, to make life easier and the planning more enjoyable, break it down into chunks. Make a checklist and work your way through. If you are travelling with a group, then make sure you delegate some of the research and booking responsibilities to the other members. Start with the most urgent – usually the budget, the travel aspects and accommodation, and then leave the rest until later when you have time to focus on them.
If you really don’t feel you have the time, knowledge, or interest in planning a big trip and all the accompaniments, then consider using a travel agent or tour expert to help you. It may end up costing slightly more in the end, but you may feel it’s worth it for that extra peace of mind.
Also remember you don’t have to plan every last detail! Sometimes a bit of flexibility is nice when it comes to choosing restaurants and planning activities when you get there. Your mood might be very different at the time of holidaying, to what it was
Adjust your expectations
It’s perfectly normal to be extremely excited about your forthcoming trip and to daydream about the sunshine-drenched days by the beach sipping iced-tea. The anticipation of travel can have positive benefits and help to uplift your mood both at work and at home.
Although travel can be transformative, however, it’s important to realise that the real event might not be just as it is in your dreams. There may be slight delays to your travel arrangements, there may be rainy days when you can’t venture to the beach and there may be moments when your travel partners are grinding on you slightly. Fear not, this is perfectly normal!
Enjoy the experience for all that it is. Embrace the good parts but equally breeze through the not-so-good parts and put them down to life experiences that you hopefully can laugh about over a chilled white wine later in the holiday!
Embrace unfamiliar experiences and situations
Whether you are travelling somewhere brand new or are returning to a familiar holiday destination, you will not have all your creature comforts around you, and you may not instantly feel as comfortable as you do back home. Even thought you like to think that you are a seasoned traveller, always ready for new adventures, it’s completely natural to feel a bit isolated or overwhelmed in a new place.
Cultural customs, different languages, new foods and unusual mode of transportation may all combine to leave you feeling a little confused and unsure of where to turn to.
Although you can’t prepare for every eventuality you will encounter, you can do your research before you travel to ensure you are ready for the experience. Read travel books about your destination, read other visitor reviews, borrow a language guide from the library and ask friends and family members for their recommendations too.
There will be moments when you feel exhilarated and refreshed, but there may also be situations where something feels more unsafe than just different. If this is the case, leave the situation. Trust your gut and always ask someone for help if you feel you need it.
Take time for yourself
If you are traveling solo, then there is only yourself to consider when it comes to making plans. If you are travelling with others – partners, parents, friends or kids – then the considerations change, and you will have to factor in their needs and expectations as well.
Obviously you won’t all want to do the same things all the time, so a great deal of compromise will need to come into play. Days by the pool might have to be interspersed with trips to the water park or visits to the museum and local tavernas. This can often be a stressful experience for people, especially if you don’t agree on everything and have completely different interests.
Once everyone else’s needs and wants have been taken care of, remember that this is your holiday too and you need some time to relax. Plan in some mornings or afternoons to take a stroll alone, or book onto a local yoga class to ensure that you are making time for your mind and body to calm and quieten. Make sure everyone is aware of your plans and as long as there is some compromise, everyone is sure to be happy with their own arrangements!
We hope you have a fabulous holiday, wherever you are going to and look forward to hearing all about it when we see you in your next yoga class.