Travel is a funny thing. It’s meant to bring relaxation but it often brings the complete opposite. The more I’ve travelled though, the more I’ve learned to play an offensive game. While there’s nothing you can do to prevent travel delays or sudden illness, there are things you can do to eliminate other stressors. I use these tips every single time we travel now.
Nine Ways to Reduce Travel Stress
Keep Your Meds With You
Last year we were asked at the gate to check our carry-ons because the plane was full. Not seeing any harm we volunteered our bags assuming they’d be waiting for us on arrival. You know the punchline of course; they lost our bags that contained my husband’s very important heart medication. Since then we keep all meds in my purse which will never get checked. Also make sure you keep them in the bottles they’ve been prescribed to you in to avoid questions at customs.
Roll Your Clothes
The less you have to carry the better. Rolling your clothes allows you to fit more clothing into one bag so that you might even be able to fit the whole family into one.
Exchange Your Money Before You Go
There is nothing worse than landing and trying to find foreign currency. Since I found out about CIBC Foreign Exchange, I’ll never worry about it again. I can order my money online and have it delivered directly to my door before I travel. Not only is it a time-saver, it’s a sanity saver.
Carry Battery Packs
I always have my phone and laptop with me so I can work on the road. My kids have their iPods and my husband has his laptop and phone as well. That’s a lot of devices to keep charged and there’s not always a place to charge them. Everyone gets a battery pack in their carry on as back up.
Carry a Reusable Water Bottle
Nothing irks me more than paying for water, unless of course it’s paying through the nose for it at the airport. Carry an empty reusable water bottle through customs then fill it up on the other side. Keeps money in your wallet and plastic out of landfills.
Take a Picture of Where You Parked
You may think you’ll remember where you parked the car at the airport, but trust me after a week of Margaritas on the beach your memory won’t be so stellar. Snap a picture with your phone and then share it with someone in your party as backup. I once took a picture and then accidentally deleted it. Losing an hour searching for a car is not the way to end your holiday.
Leave Important Documents With Someone At Home
Quick, close your eyes and recite the numbers on our credit card, bank card and passport. Exactly. Unfortunately, I feel like I’ve learned all these lessons the hard way for you. Years ago on a trip to St. Martin our credit card was stolen and our bank card was cancelled. We were just engaged and my future husband decided that he’d rather spend the rest of his life living in St. Martin then ask his future father-in-law for help. “Hello sir, I’d like to marry your daughter but first can you bankroll the rest of our vacation?” We made it through, but since that time I take photocopies of all important documents before we travel and leave them with someone we trust just in case.
Get a Pashmina Shawl
I can’t emphasize this one enough for the ladies. Travel is exhausting and sometimes you just want to wrap yourself up in a blanket and let it go. My shawl has been my coat, my blanket, my pillow, my scarf, my headwrap. It is the best travel investment I’ve ever made.
Keep Hand Sanitizer On Hand
Planes and airports are germ-y places based solely on the fact that thousands of people pass through them daily. Not to go all Howard Hughes on your here but airports and airplanes are crawling with microscopic bugs just waiting to get all up in your business. In my purse I religiously carry three things; hand sanitizer, hand moisturizer (because hand sanitzer is drying) and face spray (because airplane air is drying). Just like I wouldn’t leave home without my passport, I would leave these three things behind either.