Travel can be stressful: change of schedules, depending on others, unfamiliar places and annoying company can make you sad, mad or both. Some of us really enjoy the process, but while we are a small percentage, here are some tips and tricks for fighting stress. Specially for those who want to travel stress free for business.
Relax from your trip
If you are traveling for business, make room for tourism and relax. If you are on vacation, make room for wandering without a purpose.
Relaxing from your trip can be great to fight stress and jet-lag. Most people get stressed when they travel because they focus too much on the purpose of their travel. Whether you are travelling for business or on vacation, take your time to relax and “do nothing”: you don’t need to see everything that is listed on your Lonely Planet, nor spend 24 hours working.
And, if you are travelling alone, get to know new people. You have plenty of options, attend a venue, take a guided tour, learn to cook at a local spot or use Tinder to find somebody tho show you around. Plus, many hotels are now including places like common rooms, coworking spaces or big tables to share and meet others travelers like you.
Planning reduces stress. If you suffer from Ouch! and Noooo! when you travel, take control over what goes inside your luggage and avoid having to buy things when you are out.
Also, you can always “let go”. After years having to rush over my luggage and forgetting things, from toothbrushes to cellphones, at home, I have assumed that there will always be “something” I leave behind. And, what’s more important, I can always buy it when I get there or it was never that important
Pick a hotel that is close and comfortable
Seems like we can only go price when we choose a hotel. But when you are trying to be productive, creative and well-rested, you better spend a little more on your lodging. Check for workspaces, wifi, cafes, transport… all you will need to avoid stress when you are travelling.
Most of the time you won’t get that overpriced anyway.
Pre-book your transport
You arrived to a new country (or town), you don’t know the transport, don’t speak the language, there’s a different currency and… you can get in panic. Get practical instead and pre-book all your transport through the web.
In most cases you’ll even get discounts and better door to door services. Just check what your airline offers or use apps like Uber, Cabify and so on.
Make room for some whatifs
Ok. There shouldn’t be many “what if” if you are backpacking, but even then there is always room for a “what if I need to attend a formal dinner“. Get a little black dress or something similar on your bag and a matching pair of sandals. Everybody knows you are travelling, so they won’t expect top etiquette, but you shouldn’t attend on flip flops.
If you are there for business, add a “what if I stain my outfit with coffee” or similar too. And make room for the chance of networking, you never know who you might meet in your next adventure. What if I meet the man of my dreams or the chance for a better job?
Never, ever check in your luggage
It’s not because of price, nor because of the probability to get your luggage lost. Checking-in creates stress when you travel because when you check your luggage, you have to wait for your luggage. You could be using that time to call home, go for a walk, lunch and update your status on Facebook.
Don’t book with the airlines that make you feel unease
You can go cheap and that’s all right. But when you are travelling for business or taking a long flight, you should be wiser. Being able to sleep, read, work, play and walk around is important. Now add being able to change your flight without hassle, using points and having people who speak your language. If you can choose who to fly with, do it, it will help you fight stress and become more productive.
Learn something about the country you’ll visit
There is something about connecting with people that helps fighting travel stress. Sometimes we tend to forget that every culture is different. Knowing before hand how they manage business, opening and working hours, etiquette, food and drink, will help you reduce the stress of the unknown.
Learn a couple of basic words in the local language, like Good morning, thank you and please. You’ll get more things done and probably faster. And they’ll appreciate your efforts even when you sound weird and get most of the words wrong.
5 Comments and Questions
Interesting. I like the “learn something about the country you’ll visit” part. So many people don’t know a thing about the places they are traveling to and it just makes no sense to me. I love making all the lists and having some free time (though I need to have more, thanks for the reminder) and also make time for decompressing after the journey itself. Nice post. ;)
Completely agree with you on trying to forget about the purpose of the trip if you’re traveling for business and trying to make some time for sightseeing. Even if you travel to the same place all the time, there’s bound to be something new to see every time you go there.
Fully agree with several of your points. Certainly making lists is a must for us. We are much more relaxed when we have a general idea of what we are going to do/see. While we don’t plan it out minute to minute, it’s nice to have a “must see” list as well as “if there is time” list.
Totally agree with leaving time to roam without plans, or trying to hit everything in the guide book. I think that is a big reason why people get stressed….plus they miss out on the local experience, when they only hit the tourist spots.
Great post, going to put some of them in use on our upcoming trip!
I agree with what Honeytrek said! I get stressed out with I have a specific plan timed out so I normally spend my first day in a new place just wandering around to get my bearings and feel out what I may want to do over the coming days.