Do you like to travel? Do you love to travel? Before you ask, my answer to both these questions is yes. However, the only difference between you and us is, we love stress free travel. In our opinion, travel is fun, not stress. Wouldn’t you agree?
I guess you and I are different. At the same time I am different from my wife, and so on so forth. The meaning of travel is different for everyone. 2 daughters of the same mother are different, then there are no similarities between you and me or anyone else. Therefore, the meaning of stress (travel related) is different too.
I can’t say about you, but for me, there is no such thing as travel-related stress. The kind of stress I get is related to no travels plans. I actually get hyper when I know my travel date is coming soon. My stress is time isn’t passing fast enough. A week feels like a month to me. Anyhow, we overcome our travel stress in different ways. Our stress is also for different reasons. And so does our remedy.
Keep in mind, I can write a book about how to relieve travel-related stress. However, that is not the aim here. So let us share with you some actions you can take to remove stress from travels.
Remove stress from your travels
Whether it’s a day trip, weekend trip, a cross-country road trip or an international trip, travel (with or without kids) comes with its own set of unique challenges.
If you planning a trip, making the trip stress-free is likely high on your list of priorities. With planning realistic goals and a bit of luck, stress-free travel is possible. Below are some suggestions that you can use if they apply to your situation.
Stop every couple of hours
While flying, it’s not possible. However, while driving long distance it’s incredibly difficult for children and elders too. No matter how much you bring along for entertainment, there is usually not enough to keep children occupied for an entire car ride.
Plan to stop for a drink, a bathroom break, enjoy a view or just to stretch your legs. This breaks up the journey for everyone and doesn’t have to add more than 10 minutes for every two to three hours of car travel.
Pack more than you need
While it is difficult to do while flying, car travel allows families a bit more flexibility when it comes to packing. My kids would pack PS4 and other games, irrespective of, if they can use them or not?
Things to carry are clothes, portable DVD player, a handheld video game system, a laptop, books, and notepad etc.
Book big accommodations
It is easy for two of you to sleep with 2 or 3 of yours in a single hotel room. But recognize the importance of giving families enough room when traveling with small children. For a stress-free trip with kids, (if possible), book a small apartment with a kitchen. It might cost you more, however, will save you a ton of hassle if you have early risers and/or need more room to spread out.
Choose a destination for everyone
We won’t take our 20 years old to a place for 5 years old. At the same time 16 years old to Amsterdam. The best way to achieve stress-free travel with kids is to do something or go somewhere that appeals to the entire family.
If you kids are old enough, ask for their suggestions and shortlist destinations. If 1 member doesn’t like the beach, then there is no point of a 3-week vacation in Florida.
Stress-free travel is easier to come by if parents keep their children’s likes and dislike in mind when planning family vacations.
Set realistic expectations
This is one of the best tips I can share with you.
How cool it is if someone asked you to watch your friend’s 3-year-old daughter on the vacation? You will have the same feeling if you asked your teenage kid to watch their young sibling in a tourist spot that they don’t like. And then not understand why he wants to stay on his own in the evening.
Travel at non-peak times
This is like 2 tips in one. If you have young age children or just the adults, traveling at non-peak times can help you in a long way. Again, this may not apply to everyone, however, this is to keep in mind as an option.
When our kids were young, we only traveled during the work week to avoid an influx of visitors and off-peak season to get better rates. I’ve read numerous times that during peak season at Disney kids have to wait for long times for rides. The last thing you want is an unhappy child who will mess up the entire vacation.
Bring your own snacks (a big stress reliever)
This is another double feature tip. I don’t like to buy snacks from the airlines or from the gas stations along the highway. Both are always expensive.
On the road and in the air, you can carry your own snacks. In the air, liquid might cause problems, however, snacks will save you money and will make your family members happy and something to do at all times.
Weigh your bags before you leave the house
Are you thinking what I am thinking? Then don’t think that way. When you are on a road trip, you should know the limitations of your vehicle. What is the maximum weight your vehicle can handle?
This way you will be able to anticipate, how much shopping can you do? Once we went to Great Falls, Montana for a week. We wanted to shop (till you drop) and also enjoy sightseeing. This was 2010 when CAD$ was high and buying in the USA made sense. We had to cut down our trip because our was full of shopping that there was no more space for us.
If you know your luggage weight, you can plan in a way that you can shop and you can enjoy the trip. Not that you have to cut your trip short because you shopped too much.
This is a good tip for flying. Because if you are going for a couple of days, go light, unless you want to pay hefty checked bag fee or if you are using a rewards card to check in your baggage.
Let us touch a different topic here. You probably know, how much we love health? Sometimes you have to travel when health is not at its best. This could be for whatever obvious reasons.
Choosing the right luggage
It is no doubt convenient to carry a large bag, however, opting to bring 2 – 3 smaller bags will significantly decrease the weight and pressure on your back when traveling (by road or air).
Remember to move slowly when lifting luggage and if a bag is too heavy, ask for assistance. Your body (and people traveling with you) will thank you.
Pain during flight or driving
Vacation is a must activity in our opinion. And, everyone should go on one. Whether it is a short distance or long distance is based on your decision.
There are things travelers can do to ease the process, especially if they suffer from chronic pain. On the plane, request an aisle seat. In the car ask for passenger seat (you don’t want to mess up others vacation due to your pain).
For long flights, move around the plane at short intervals. For long drives, stop at regular intervals. In both instances your seat reclines, so make use of this feature. Place a rolled up blanket or a pillow behind your back to provide additional support in flight.
Managing long lines & sitting for long times
Waiting in lines at the airport, train station and more during the holidays can wreak havoc on your neck, back, and legs. Same thing for long driving. If you are carrying large bags (on the flight and in the car) this problem can exaggerate.
What you can and should do is wear right shoes, your feet will have the proper support needed to endure long periods of pressure. You should stretch periodically while waiting, increasing the blood flow throughout the body.
If you already suffer from chronic pain, and flying, make sure to ask for wheelchair assistance. Wheelchair assistance will make sure you get to your gate and destination safely. Once reached, have some extra rest, so that your body adjusts and you are able to enjoy.
Like we said earlier, we can write a book about stress-free travel. However, these trips are those, that we have tried over the years and found good results. One extra thing I would like to add at the end of the article is, that you should carry enough medication to help you for when and if you get sick. We hope your next trip is stress-free.