By Shimoné Bekker
Some might say that travelling is more stressful than just staying at home. The process of planning and organizing a trip can be very overwhelming and lead to a very stressful time. Factors such as the weather, flight delays, transportation, conflict with your co-travellers and other details might seem like a lot to handle. Even so, the first thing to do is to identify your concerns and then find ways to manage them.
Planning Your Stress-free Trip
After travelling a few times, you get used to how things work and the planning process becomes easier. When the idea of travelling comes to mind, always make a list and do your research. Consider your finances (budget), the dates and the duration of your travels. Based upon what you determine you can do some research on your desired destinations and start making your final decisions from there.
Although a lot of time and effort goes into the planning and research process, it can also be a very interesting and fun activity. The best way to start would be by making your list of things to plan, organize, figure out and arrange. Make a list of everything you want to do and take it one step at a time.
Another important factor to take into consideration is who you will be travelling with. Travelling with someone can be very difficult and you need to consider this very carefully. Be sure that your travel partner(s) is someone who can be flexible and who is considerate. You will be in this person’s company for some time, so it is important to be sure that you will get along.
Organizing Your Stress-free Trip
Google provides a great list of the tourist attractions of any location you want to travel to. Find a map and search for all the activities you want to do. Next, decide where you will start your tourist activities and where you can move on to next, considering the location of your accommodation. Make sure to go to the next location that is closest to your current destination. Do not travel east, west and back east again!
Remember that you shouldn’t plan too many activities for one day as things can change and some activities might take longer than planned for. It is also important to leave room for flexibility and relaxation. You do not want to rush from one place to another as this can be quite stressful. Add at least one extra hour to your schedule for each activity planned. When planning activities, keep in mind that there are private or group tour packages available to purchase. This can make life easier, although it is a bit more expensive.
Research the distance between these destinations, make a rough calculation of the time you will spend at each destination as well as the time it will roughly take to be transported from one place to the other. This includes deciding which type of transportation you will take from each destination. Sometimes walking is a good option as you will see more along the road and get to explore more. Then there are also taxi’s, buses, metro stations and even bikes and scooters to rent. Always make sure you have a light backpack with your essentials so that you will be able to travel light and easy.
When booking accommodation, make sure it’s close to most of your activities. It is not always the most expensive hotels that are the best. There are places like Airbnb that have great service for a good price.
Stress-free Packing Tips
- The number one rule: roll your clothes instead of folding them.
- Wear a lot of layers on the flight so that there are fewer items to pack into your suitcase.
- Plan your outfits.
- Take a rain jacket – it keeps you warm and dry and does not take a lot of space.
- Pack a sarong – it can be used to keep you warm or as a towel, picnic blanket, pillow and even a face mask.
- Pack dual-purpose items.
- Use sample size toiletries.
- Always pack a universal adapter.
- Take extra plastic bags.
- Always pack your liquids in a Ziploc bag.
- Check the weather forecast before you pack.
- Keep your activities and arrangements in mind.
- If you can keep your things at your hotel, it’ll be an ideal situation, but if you have to carry it with you during the day you have to make sure you pack a backpack and keep it light enough to carry with you the whole time.
Always have a list to tick off to make sure you have packed everything. You can keep a copy of the list on your computer so that you can add items onto it as you go and print the list out when you need to use it.
When you are packing for your trip, the place, the weather and the duration of your stay plays an important part. For instance, if you know it is going to be hot and you are going to an island where you are going to be on the beach most of the time, it’ll be easier to pack light.
Keep in mind that some items can be worn twice, like a pair of shorts and a dress. Remember to take one pair of sandals that will match all of your outfits. When you are on the flight, you can wear a jacket and one pair of closed shoes you want to take on the trip.
Let’s say you will be travelling for a week. That will add up to 7 days and 6 nights. Here’s what you need to pack in terms of clothing:
- Underwear x7
- Sleepwear x1
- Swimwear x3
- Shorts x2
- Dresses x3
- Shirts x4
- Hat x1
- Sandals x1
If you are travelling to a colder destination, you will make some adjustments to your list:
- Underwear x7
- Socks x7
- Sleepwear x1
- Tops/sweatshirts x5
- Jeans x3
- Dresses x2
- Dress shoes x1
On the plane, you can wear all the “big” clothing that will take up too much space in your suitcase, like your boots, jeans, jersey, scarf and jacket.
Now for the other essential items you need to pack:
- Face wash
- Hand sanitizer
- Insect repellent
(Always take a big handbag or a reasonably sized backpack)
- Change of clothes
- Empty water bottle
- Electronics chargers
- Travel adapter
- Copy of passport
Follow these steps to experience your first of many easy, stress-free and well-organized travelling experiences.
Read more on PRO-Travel.