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Skip the Stress: Practical Tips for Worry-Free Vacation Planning and Travel

Skip the Stress: Practical Tips for Worry-Free Vacation Planning and Travel

Posted by NAR Travel Club on 06/24/2022

Life is stressful sometimes. It’s why people go on vacation, to get away from the worries of everyday life. But sometimes planning and going on vacation can be stressful too. Vacations involve a lot of research, time, and decisions, which adds difficulty to your already full plate. But there are many ways to reduce the hassle, and this list is a great place to start. Read on for some tips to lower the stress while planning, packing for, and traveling on your next trip.

Planning Your Vacation

Sometimes making a good old-fashioned list is the best place to start. Jot down (or type, if you prefer) all the things you need to book. Do you need a flight, hotel, rental car, airport shuttle, tour package, cruise, excursion, event tickets, or something else? Most of those need to be booked ahead of time, so make a list and start crossing things off. Sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp may help with the decision-making process, by providing insight from other travelers on the places you’d like to visit. You want to make the best decision for your travel needs, and doing it blindly is risky. Relying on the input of others travelers can reduce the stress and help you confidently make an informed decision.

Packing Your Bags

Less is more with travel packing, so keep it light and don’t bog yourself down with extra stuff you likely won’t need. An overstuffed suitcase adds stress to your trip, and chances are, if you run out of socks you can easily purchase some. Pack smartly by following the tried-and-true process of packing shoes first, stuffing the shoes with socks or other lightweight items, and then rolling the rest of your clothes and layering them in. This keeps things tidy and fairly wrinkle-free. Pack all liquids in a zipper storage bag. You don’t need the chaos that a burst bottle of shampoo will cause, and this doesn’t apply just to air travel. Pressurized air on airplanes can cause liquids to burst open, it’s true. But so can dropping a heavy suitcase on top of it while you’re cramming it in the trunk for a road trip. Be smart and bag it up.

Packing a few leisure items can help you relax and enjoy the journey towards your vacation, worry-free. If you’re flying, noise-canceling headphones can be a huge help, as can downloading a few podcasts or audiobooks ahead of time. Bringing a few non-digital items can be a big help as well. If your battery runs low, you won’t get to finish reading that eBook you’re enjoying, so packing an actual book or even a deck of cards to pass the time might come in handy.

Travel Safety, Streamlined

You want to feel safe and secure while you’re traveling, and that definitely involves planning ahead for a variety of unlikely possibilities. It’s doubtful that you’ll ever be in a worst-case situation while on vacation, but you never know, and the unknown causes stress and anxiety. To help mitigate this, say yes to travel insurance. Yes, it adds cost and you probably won’t need it, but you’ll sleep better in your cozy hotel suite if you know you’re covered in an emergency. It’s also a good idea to make copies of your identification and travel documents, in case your wallet or luggage gets lost or stolen. You can scan or take photocopies before you travel, and keep the copies separate from the originals. You can also simply snap a photo of the item and email it to yourself, so that you can access it via the internet if needed.

Our culture is very digital-dependent, especially while vacationing, and a low battery can add insecurity and worry to your trip. Plan ahead and bring an extra battery or portable charger to help keep your mobile devices charged when you can’t plug in. There’s nothing more stressful than needing to contact your hotel or tour operator and finding you have a dead battery. It can also help to prepare by downloading maps ahead of time, in case you are relying on your phone’s navigation system to get you to your destination safely, and run into a dead zone.

Removing Roadblocks to R & R

You are taking a vacation for a reason. You want to de-stress and get away from the hassles of the daily grind, right? If so, one of the best gifts you can give yourself while on vacation is to unplug. Break away from the cares of your job, meetings, appointments, errands, and day-to-day responsibilities. Sign off of social media, take a break from the daily newsflash, close your email, and be present in the moment. Your traveling companions will appreciate it, and your mind, body, and soul will too. Include some downtime in your itinerary, to allow you to relax and recharge your personal batteries. Maybe it’s a day on the beach or by the pool, reading, sipping an adult beverage. Maybe it’s a low-key trip to a local museum with no time constraints. Maybe it’s a quiet walk at sunrise or sunset by yourself or with a loved one. Whatever it is, make time for it. You KNOW you need it.

A Friendly Reminder

Streamlining vacation plans can help reduce stress. Use NAR’s full-service online booking platform for flights, accommodations, rental cars, and activities all in one place. You’ll have less paperwork and less hassle, and will avoid juggling multiple sites for different things. It’s simple, straightforward, and most importantly, stress-free. Join NARtravelclub and start planning today! Use activation code: NAR to create your account.

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