Traveling offers an incredible opportunity to go beyond our usual environments. As deeply rewarding as travel is, the act of leaving a place you’re familiar with and taking steps to expand your horizons can present severe stressors. Logistical problems are simply a reality of travel, especially when you explore outside your own country. Here are a few tips to help you avoid vacation stress so that you can make the most of your experience.
3 tips to help you avoid vacation stress
1) Be Realistic About What You Need
Creature comforts are a real thing! If it’s your first time going abroad, don’t forget to bring things you know you need. Attempting to simply deep dive into the local way of life and forgoing all necessities is undoubtedly exciting. Still, finding the items you need to live comfortably might take more time than expected. Not understanding local equivalents or where to look for necessities leaves you hanging and quickly leads to panic.
Consider the local culture you’re soon to explore and do what you can to prepare for it. For example, the essentials for enjoying an island stay in the Caribbean are bound to differ from a trek across western Europe. Stay conscious of any items or habits you hide behind, but don’t deny yourself the objects that help you feel safe and stress-free during your travels. Sometimes, it’s just better to overprepare.
2) Create a Flexible Travel Schedule
Travel schedules are fantastic tools to avoid vacation stress. But creating too strict of a schedule leads to worries over where you’re supposed to be and stops you from experiencing where you are. And having no schedule at all is like attempting to start a novel and staring at that first blank page—it’s difficult to know where to start.
Your travel schedule should include flights and options for public transportation above all else. After covering the logistics, consider noting the destinations you want to visit or the experiences you want to have. Allow yourself to add some or skip a few throughout your trip. Flexibility is key to enjoying your stay!
3) Make Informed Decisions When Possible
Engaging in sustainable, ethical practices is difficult at home, but the challenge is more significant abroad. One tip for lowering stress during a vacation abroad involves understanding where you’re going and how you’re investing your money in the local community. It’s critical to spend time exploring your destination’s relationship with sustainable practices and seeking out businesses or areas that share your values before your trip. This research allows you to breathe and explore freely, without as much anxiety over making the right decisions.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to entirely avoid vacation stress (unless you take a staycation, then maybe!). But taking a few simple steps like the ones above can help you at least address some of the common reasons vacations can cause trouble.
What are some of your best tips to avoid vacation stress? Let us know in the comments!