Tips for stress-free travel

Traveling is a wonderful opportunity to see the world, but it can come with stress that turns a vacation into an experience you quickly want to forget. Sticking to exhausting itineraries, eating an abundance of rich foods, and even planning a visit with family can turn an enjoyable vacation into a stressful experience.

A little advanced planning can help alleviate some of the traditional stresses travelers experience during holiday visits, winter vacations and spring break trips, allowing everyone in the family to enjoy the journey.

* Be organized – Keep a folder or notebook filled with every detail of information you will – or might – need. These details include important telephone numbers, insurance information, as well as all travel details like flight times, car rental information, hotel reservation, addresses and tickets to any events you might be attending while on your trip. Also pack photo copies of your personal information like driver’s license, passport and credit cards separately from your purse. Create a second set and give them to a friend or family member not traveling with you who would be able to email or fax them if an emergency situation happens. Having the photo copies of the original information will help shorten the time it will take to get official replacements.

* Pack a medicine bag – It’s very easy to catch a traveler’s cold or end up suffering with digestive issues from eating out and indulging in too many sweet or spicy foods. Make certain to include over-the-counter pain killers, cold and allergy medicines and don’t forget about packing di·gel as an all-in-one solution to handle both anti-gas and antacid digestive relief. It’s available in liquid, tablet and on-the-go forms to treat symptoms of heartburn, upset stomach, constipation, indigestion and acid indigestion.

* Use technology – Smartphones and cellphones make travel much easier. Airline and hotel applications can notify you about delay and cancellations, allow you to check-in for your flight before leaving for the airport, select seats on the plane, and confirm your hotel your reservation. Some airlines even allow you to scan a boarding pass directly from your smartphone. A bonus – pack headphones and use your smartphone to carry favorite tunes to help soothe your mind and relax your body while traveling. It will make the long road trip or flight go much quicker.

* Bring snacks – Airport food is expensive and many airlines have done away with in-flight snacks. Dry foods can be taken through airport security, so bring along trail mix, granola bars or sandwich crackers to help keep hunger pains at bay, and save you time and money when at the airport. For longer flights that serve a meal, call the airline ahead to request a special needs meal, like heart healthy or vegetarian. These meals tend to be fresher and lower in sodium than the regular meals and will ensure that you feel great when you land.

* Comfort is king – A long road trip or plane flight can have anyone feeling rumpled and uncomfortable. To make these travels more comfortable, consider wearing slip-on shoes – they’re easy to remove to go through security at an airport and can be kicked off in the car to help relax your feet. Also pack breezy and loose-fitting clothing, because most people tend to indulge in convenience foods and alcohol while traveling, which can cause tight-fitting clothing to feel very uncomfortable later on in the trip.

Traveling for the holidays, or a spring break vacation is meant to be a relaxing and enjoyable time. So plan ahead for any stresses, and when the big day for departure arrives, let the fun begin.

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