Seven Steps to Stress Free Travel

For some people, travel is inherently stressful. For most of us, though, stress happens when someone or something throws a monkey wrench into our plans. Betty Thesky, a flight attendant, blogger, and author offers some great tips on reducing or eliminating travel-related stress.

1.  Book the first flight of the day. The morning flights have a huge advantage because the airplane is already parked at the airport and you don’t have to worry about delays or weather in some other city where your plane is flying in from.

2.  When booking your own trip online, be very aware of the time you have between connecting flights. Airline tickets used to be booked by professionals, but today the consumer does it themselves online, with the price being the deciding factor. If you only have 45 minutes or less to connect to another flight, you are basically flirting with a very stressful situation.

3.  If you find yourself in a creeping delay (one that keeps extending) get on the phone and call the reservations number for the airline you are on. The one or two gate agents working your flight are going to be overwhelmed and stressed out and will be less likely to be able to research all your options. On the phone, even from your seat, you get your very own agent all to yourself.

Dr. Kathleen Hall, founder and CEO of The Stress Institute  offers these stress-free travel tips.

4.  Accept the fact that some sources of travel stress are unavoidable – weather, overcrowded airports, the behavior of other passengers. Have some stress reduction techniques ready before you go, so that when you feel stressed, you know what to do. Stress management tips are available on Dr. Hall’s website.

5.  Take your comfort with you. Children who carry a beloved stuffed animal everywhere have the right idea. We all have something that makes us feel better – a blanket, a pillow, favorite music, soundproof earphones. Whatever it is that makes you feel good, take it with you when you travel.

6.  Plan ahead for healthy, nutritious meals. Most airlines don’t serve meals on short flights, just hand out high fat, high calorie snacks. Eating the right foods in the airport – or packing them in your carry-on – can help. Foods that are high in omega 3’s, B6’s, and B vitamins, and spicy foods) can help you feel calmer, while eating high fat, greasy foods can make you feel anxious and stressed out.

7.  Last, but hardly least, remember the cardinal rule of stress-free travel: be flexible. Surrender, and don’t worry about things that are out of your control. Think of it as just part of the adventure – take a deep breath, and adapt to the changing situation.

Photo credit: / CC BY-SA 2.0

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