Wait, there is a way to travel stress-free? Well, it depends on the situation, but usually, it's possible. I have been a missionary for eight months now and my team travels in a group of 40, and mostly during the night. I'm sure TSA adores us (probably not...). However, being put into this crazy situation that requires us to move to different countries at the end of every month has shown me that I can do just about anything. At first, creating a stress-free travel routine seemed impossible, but realized I honestly don't care what people think has made it a lot easier. Here are five things I do that have made my travel experience *almost* anxiety-free.
1. I stick to a routine.
You know the girl who does a full face mask on the plane after changing into comfy clothes? I am that girl. Before getting comfortable with transforming the plane into my own one-bedroom apartment I would feel weird even just using the bathroom to brush my teeth. Now during night flights I hog that sucker for like 20 minutes and leave in bliss (sorry to the people waiting in line behind me). Once the plane takes off, I go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, wash my face, and do all the things that generally make me less stressed out and comfortable. It really changes the game when you have a routine in place. Jotting down the stuff you'll need on the plane to get comfortable in a list on your phone also helps to make this process more seamless. This works during the day too!
2. I'm strategic when it comes to the things I put in my carry-on.
Prepare your carry-on strategically. I usually have two backpacks, the one I put above me has books, gadgets, and random things I don't need to use in-flight. The one under my feet has my routine needs, a book, my laptop and chargers. Be strategic with your carry-on luggage and make things easily accessible. I pack compression socks so my feet don't swell, light snacks (I don't eat airplane food, it's not good for the digestive system), chargers, a small bag for my nighttime routine, my laptop, a book, my wallet, etc. Also, for the sake of stress-free security, pack your electronics and liquids on the top. I've had to deconstruct my bag numerous times when going through security and I have social anxiety, so making people wait in line after me makes me want to cry.
3. I check the weight of my checked bag ahead of time.
Weighing your luggage before the airport on a regular scale or with a designated luggage scale is always a good idea. Nothing is worse than paying a fee for being one pound over, so make sure you are good to go before you check in at the airport! It relieves a lot of stress. I cannot count the number of times I have played dumb to get out of overweight baggage fees.
4. I plan for those horrid "I'm bored" moments.
Download 10 movies, a few TV shows, a book, an audiobook, some games, bring playing cards, and make sure everything is charged! This might sound dramatic for your two-hour flight, but nothing is better than having options. Don't always try to be productive during these times either. I've purposely opted out of bringing all of these distractions thinking I would use my flight time to blog or work, but when I don't want to do that, I sit there withering away into pure boredom. Bring these and I guarantee you'll thank your past self for being considerate!
5. I know my priorities and plan for them.
What is important to you on a travel day? Coffee? Being early? Getting in a meal? Having time to buy a magazine? Think about it before planning out what time you want to show up at the airport. Coffee is a priority to me, so I give myself enough time to get some and I also plan for enough time to be able to sit and chillax before boarding my flight. It makes me less stressed. I love showing up to the airport 8 years early, Not unlike your typical parent.
What are your favorite stress-free travel tips??