Booking travel can be very stressful, especially if you are not used to it. With the high price of jet fuel, the Department of Homeland Security, language barriers, and international trading restrictions, going on vacation can be more difficult than just staying at home. People travel all over the world everyday, so you are going to have to learn to deal with it eventually. There are a lot of simple ways to reduce travel-related stress.
Find Affordable Airfare and Hotels
Travel experts agree that the best time to book a flight is on a Tuesday afternoon, eight weeks before the departure. But there is something to be said for last minute travel deals as well. To save money, you can book a flight, hotel, and rental car in one economic package at Expedia. Booking a travel package can mean less anxiety in the long run, since the hotel arrangements and rental car are handled for you.
Where ever you book, don’t forget to look for discounts such as these Expedia coupon codes. Most airlines and agencies offer some kind of promotional deals. For example, you may receive a small percentage off for registering at their website.
Organize Your Luggage and Documents
Your journey will go much smoother if you have everything that you need. Conversely, you do not need to pack a ton of stuff you don’t need. Baggage fees can take a hefty toll out of your vacation budget. Pack a few key clothing pieces and some travel sized toiletries. Most other stuff will be available wherever you are going.
World travel blog Evaser recommends you have two Ziploc bags marked outgoing and homecoming. In the first bag, put everything you will need on the day of travel: passport, ticket confirmations, hotel addresses, cash, etc. In the second, keep your keys, toll money and other fees that need to be paid upon return.
If you are traveling overseas, be sure to memorize your passport number. Not only will you be able to fill out the landing card without looking, but if something bad happens, you may need it at the embassy. Just in case, keep three copies of your passport in different places. Finally, it is a great idea to obtain foreign currency before the flight because exchange fees are usually higher at the airport.
Do Not Over Plan the Vacation
The point of a sabbatical is to relax, not to agonize about doing everything on schedule. Plan a few key points of interest to visit. But leave yourself some time off every day, so you can still enjoy new places you find out about along the way.
The Internet do-it-yourself-ers at Lifehacker advise you to turn off the tech on your trip. That is, do not spend the entire holiday working on the Internet or staring at your smartphone screen. If you need your phone, then just reduce the amount you use it without disconnecting entirely. People that get a ton of emails should set up an automatic out-of-town responder beforehand.
Stop Worrying About Little Things
You can spend a lot of time worrying about missing your flight, but the truth is that this rarely happens. If you can’t help it, then arrive super early and camp out in the airport lounge with the free Wi-Fi.
Once you get there, do not run all over town to save a couple dollars. According to the Art of Non-Conformity, he saved himself a ton of grief by not budgeting too strictly. If a purchase was less than $10 he did not worry about it, saving time and energy in the long run.
Finally, do not over-stress about getting lost. Most people are willing to help you out with directions or advice, especially if you look foreign. Even if they do not speak English, you can still say a lot with facial expressions and hand signals.