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Avoiding Travel Stress

Posted on May 20, 2015 by Kirsty

We can all admit it – from time to time, travel can cause us a bit of stress. Whether it’s knowing exactly what to pack, trying to work out your perfect travel route or even entertainment for the journey, things don’t always run smoothly.

But, surely enjoying some well-deserved time to yourselves should be a relaxing experience? Well, here at Great Little Breaks, we have been doing our research and have found the most common causes of stress when travelling…and how to avoid them!

Make lists and stick to them – as we discussed in our blog ‘How to pack for a short break away…’, packing can be a pain. Knowing what to buy can also be a pain and last minute panicking makes things a whole lot worse. You might think that making lists can make you obsessed but at times then can save you lots of time and, you’ve guessed it, stress! Make sure you know what you need, when you need it and make your next great little break a breeze.

Avoid surprise changes where possible – Denis Waitley said “Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.” What happens if you have car trouble before that long journey? What about if your train is delayed or gets cancelled? Maybe you can’t make your stay due to an emergency? Some situations cannot be predicted but they can be planned for. It’s always a good idea to have a back-up transport plan or cover just in case you have to cancel your plans at the last minute.

Don’t get ‘hangry’ – Simply defined as ‘a state of anger caused by a lack of food; hunger causing a negative change in emotional state’, being ‘hangry’ doesn’t help anyone. If you’re on a long journey, no matter your method of transportation, you should always stay hydrated and well fed. A long drive or a journey full of changes requires a lot of concentration and it’s easy to turn into a franken-traveller when you haven’t had enough to eat or drink.

Maps and Satellite Navigation are essential – You may know your route well but getting lost is one of the most common causes of stress when travelling. Some travellers love getting lost – how else do you think the most exciting discoveries are made? – but when it’s getting late, getting dark and you’ve taken the wrong turning down a one way road, a map might just come in handy!

Be comfortable and stay comfortable – We’ve all seen them; the women strutting across the platform in their six inch heels and the men wearing a three-piece Armani suit on a four hour coach journey. Do you think they are comfortable? Pick something sensible, comfortable to spend a long time in, easier to sit down or stand up in and individual to your own style – well everyone has their own spin on things.

Find your travel entertainment – This may not apply to drivers, but entertainment can be essential for tiresome children and for those using other methods of transportation. Books and magazines work for some people, but other ideas include your favourite music playlist, in-car quizzes or games or your favourite film/TV series on a tablet. Don’t forget, boredom can easily ignite even the most relaxed of us.

Sometimes you need to shut out the world – Whether through the use of music and headphones or with much needed ear-plugs (often a traveller’s best friend), there are times when you will want to sit back, relax and enjoy some quiet. But, sadly, you can’t always guarantee that there won’t be a screaming toddler in your carriage or a businessman one seat across who persists with loud discussions over the phone. Be prepared.

Give yourself plenty of time – As we talked about above, things can happen that are out of your control. Your car could get a flat tyre, your train might be delayed or you could be held back from your trip because someone has called in sick at work – these things happen folks! But unnecessary stress can be avoided if you give yourself more time; more time to pack, more time to get to your destination and less time rushing around.

Have you got any more tips on avoiding stressful travel? Let us know via Twitter!

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