We are all familiar with the popular notion of heading on a vacation to get away from it all. Itís all about taking a break. When we think travel, we think rejuvenation, refreshment, rest - an escape from lifeís frenzies of busyness, work, and stress. Who of us would not yearn to simply lay on the soft white sand at a paradise island and just relax without worry of meeting deadlines? Yet, the very thing we seek reprieve of can lurk and creep in. It is a dragon that needs to be slayed in order to protect our vacation fortress. It is the unwelcomed guest of travel stress.
We all need and want a break
The benefits of travel and going on a vacation break are well documented and widely noted as advantageous to our general well-being. After all, rest is part of our innate human need. As dwellers of most contemporary modern cities, a significant portion of our time, focus and energy is invested in the quotidian bustle of routinised work in various forms. Overtime, we may feel worn and fatigued, sensing a nagging desire to slow down and escape the daily grind.
In the happiness research study by Harvard University and the Institute of Applied Positive Research in 2013, taking a break from work by going on a vacation can produce a significant boost in energy, with 94% of travellers involved in the study reporting an increased level of energy and being positively recharged after returning from a good trip. In addition to boosting work productivity, recreational travel helps to boost oneís overall well-being. The imperative of positive travel experience has been so well-documented that many companies today offer paid vacation days -with some European countries making it illegal to not provide paid vacation days!
However, stress impedes on purpose of relief and happiness which travel can ought to produce for the vacationer. And realistically, we all know vacations consists of logistics and practical management. Thus, vacationing rightly mandates the savvy traveller to know how to combat preventable travel stress.
An effective way to fortify yourself against travel stress is to identify the problems and nip them right in their behinds. According to the Harvard Business Review, travel uncertainty, transportation, wasting time figuring things out on trip, and unfamiliarity with location are pointedly noted as the top contributors to travel stress.
Here are some practical anti-stress tips which you can take to sharpen your sword in preparation to slay the travel stress dragon:
De-fog travel uncertainty by planning well
Good and effective preparation is essential to decloud travel uncertainty. Reputable online booking agencies such as Webjet and Zuji can help you to clarify your travel logistics, as they allow you to sketch out your travel plans in proper detail such as searching, comparing and booking cheap flights, accommodation as well as travel insurance coverage and other travel packages. Webjet also notes in its travel tips to assist you in becoming more of a savvy traveller, granting greater assurance of what lies ahead and thereby demystifying the unknowns and minimising your anxiety.
Hire a car and avoid transport confusion
Renting a car can significantly reduce travel stress. You would be effectively equipping yourself with mobile autonomy, having the liberty to go anywhere you like and move around with ease as opposed to trying to figure out foreign and complex transport system networks, and in turn relieving stress from your travels. Make sure to equip yourself with a smart GPS or reliable map, and that you have a full tank!
Draw out a plan and schedule
It is always helpful to have a guide on hand especially when it will spare you the minutes - or sometimes hours - spent just standing around wondering where to go and what to do, or worse, getting into a quarrel over disputed plans. Start by going through a checklist even before you embark on your trip so as to set a proper foundation. Note down the places you want to visit, where they are, how to get there, and what you can do, and agree on it with your travel buddies before you go on the trip. Whether you call yourself a free spirit or like to follow the book closely, nobody likes compounding unnecessary frustration and losing precious time and money -- a written-down plan is always helpful to gauge a rough idea as to what to anticipate, and itís always good to have something to fall back on.
Acquaint yourself with where you are going - and get excited!
One of the most enjoyable part of planning is getting to know where you are headed - even if you are not there yet. You can get those endorphins (a.k.a. happiness hormones, or happy hormones as I call it) pumping through you while you are at it! Going through destination guides allows you to have picture where you are headed, as well as to note the key points such as specific city or town, attractions and distinct local customs. Surely it is no chore to get pumped up your anticipation for your travels whilst relieving unneeded stress and anxiety due to travel ignorance! Creating connections with the locals can also aid in understanding a location well.
So go take a breather. Vacation well, and cement your travel fortress against the stress monster.