How to prepare for a trip to reduce stress

10 Tips for Stress-Free Travel

As much as we love to go on vacation and explore new places, traveling can be stressful. Potentially missing your flight, losing your things, and being in unfamiliar territory are just a few of the things that can make your vacation problematic. 

My parents live in different states so I travel as often as I can to see them. 

As someone prone to anxiety, I quickly had to learn how to reduce stress on my trips. 

Today I’m sharing with you the specific things I do every time I travel that makes my trips easy, fun, and stress-free. 

What to bring and what to do to reduce stress when you traveling

Here are 10 tips to feel stress-free while you travel:

Chew gum on your flight

This helps you get through stressful turbulence as well as helps your ears pop when changing altitudes (no headaches or earaches). 

This has become a ritual for me. I always pop my first piece in right when the plane is leaving the gate. I chew it until we are at cruising altitude, and then I chew another piece when the pilot announces that we are making our final descent. 

Tip: Buy a family pack of gum from the store before you go to the airport. You don’t want to get stuck buying a $3 single pack of Extra Spearmint from a shop in the airport (trust me, I’ve been there)

Bring granola bars

It’s always good to have a snack with you. Whether it’s a treat while you’re on the plane or a mid-day pick-me-up on your busy vacation days, it’s important to have something to tide you over.

That’s why I always pack a few granola bars with me. 

No need to refrigerate and still edible even if it gets crushed in your bag. 

Try to continue your usual morning/night routine

Of course you’ve got exciting days planned. You have tons of places to explore and people to see. But being in a new place AND having a completely new schedule can throw you off your rhythm and cause you to feel more stress throughout your trip.

It’s clear you won’t be able to keep your entire routine the same, but if there are certain things you can do in the morning and the evening that you usually do on your normal days, you’ll find it’ll make your trip much easier.

Here are a few things you can try:

  • Wake up at the same time every morning
  • Have a drink of water right when you wake up
  • Read a book before you go to bed

Turn off your phone on the plane

In today’s digital age, one of the most stressful situations you could face would be if you got to your destination and your phone died. What if you weren’t able to charge it and weren’t able to contact someone?

This might be catastrophic thinking, but I ensure that I avoid this situation by leaving my phone powered off when I’m on my flight.

Trust me, you don’t NEED to be on your phone for those couple hours. You’re not going to miss anything.

Being away from social media during the duration of the flight will also help you stay in the moment and allow you to focus on yourself and your exciting plans.

Saving battery and saving your peace of mind. Done and done.

Bring two books and a different activity

I hate being bored on planes (or when I have to wait for my flight). 

That’s why I love to bring options when it comes to entertainment on the go. 

I like to bring things that don’t require electricity or wifi (you never know when you won’t have it). 

And sometimes you might not be in the mood to read- that’s why I like to bring a book of crosswords or sudoku puzzles or a sketchbook to doodle in.

Wear a cardigan or light sweater to the airport

Traveling stress-free is also about comfort.

When I start to feel stressed or anxious, I find it comforting to touch something soft.

That’s why I always try to bring a comfy cardigan or sweater on my flights. 

It can protect you through chilly flight or you can use it as a pillow or a blanket.  

Bring an empty water bottle in your carry-on

I’m actually surprised by how many people don’t do this.

Sure, you can’t bring a drink through airport security. But if you pack an empty bottle, you can fill it up at the water fountain right after you get through security. 

Staying hydrated is known to reduce stress.

Not to mention how easy it is to become dehydrated in dry airplane cabins (those shot-glass sized complimentary drinks just aren’t enough).

Write down your flight info and put it in your carry-on

Okay, with this tip and the “don’t rely on wifi for entertainment” tip, you might see me as an old lady. 

But hey, you never know if you’re going to lose your phone or if you won’t have access to wifi. 

You don’t have to worry about not being able to get your boarding pass or finding your flight if you WRITE everything down.

Here is the list of the travel information I always jot down and keep with me when I travel:

  • Flight Number
  • Confirmation Number (if applicable)
  • Dates, times, and locations of flights
  • Name and phone number of the person I’m visiting

Bring extra when it comes to essentials

Overpackers rejoice! Bringing extra necessities can be a life-saver when you travel.

However, you’ve got to be particular about which items you double-down on and which ones you don’t- you don’t want to lug around an over-stuffed suitcase your whole trip.

Here’s a list of the items I always bring a couple more of:

  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • T-shirts
  • phone charger (one in my carry-on and one in my suitcase)

Journal

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I think journaling is the best stress-reliever on the market.

If you’re concerned about your flight or overwhelmed about your plans going wrong, journal about it.

It feels therapeutic to write out how you feel.

Plus you’ll be able to look back on it after your trip and feel great that everything turned out okay. 

Psst: I’m sharing 50 journal prompts for my e-newsletter subscribers, 10 of which are specifically for reducing stress. Join below to get your hands on a copy:

50 Free Journaling Prompts

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Now you’re ready for your stress-free vacation! Make sure you’re prepared, comfortable, and ready to go and you’re guaranteed to have a great trip. Happy traveling!


Do you have any tips for stress-free traveling? Please share them in the comments below!

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3 Comments

  1. I made somehow a similar post about travel hacks. These are really great insights whenever getting anxious about the flights. Thank you for these great tips! 🙂

  2. Excellent tips. I always chew gum when flying just to help pop my ears, plus it helps with the nerves too. I also have a variety of activities with me to keep me entertained on board, seeing as I’m unable to sleep. Even if I have everything in place i still manage to be anxious though!

  3. Great tips and travel information. I will refer back to these when I plan my next vacation. Thanks!

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