How to Decrease Stress While Traveling

You go on a trip to relax and get a break from the daily hustle and bustle of home, right?  Well, sometimes this ideal is not the case while traveling, especially if you are taking a trip and not a vacation. Here are some tricks we have learned on how to decrease stress while traveling. 

How to Stop Stressing While Traveling

1. Under-schedule

Under-scheduling helps you actually enjoy the things you are doing. You don’t want to feel like you are rushing from one place to another and have no time to do any spontaneous activities.  We find that once we arrive at our destination, we usually get tips from locals or other travelers on things to do we may not have known about before getting there. We always allow some wiggle room in our itinerary to add these things on spontaneously. 

2. Be flexible with your schedule, especially the first day

You likely will be fighting jet-lag or may have gotten delayed/missed a flight (all have happened to us) so you want to make the first day of your trip flexible depending on what happens during your travels. For example, the first day we got to Athens on our first Europe trip, we were quite jet lagged.  We powered through the morning exploring the city but in the afternoon, we planned to lay down for only 10 minutes and before we knew it, hours had passed and it was time for dinner. Thankfully we had not planned anything more than what we did in that morning, and this allowed us time to rest up before continuing on our 3-week Europe trip. 

3. Schedule a rest day in the middle of a long trip

On our first trip to Europe, we were there for 3 weeks.  Halfway through the trip, in Cinque Terre, we had a “rest day” where we hiked in the morning on the trails but then spent the majority of the day relaxing at our Airbnb on the balcony and then watched a movie.  We believe this “rest day” was very key to the success of this trip.  It allowed us time to unwind and reset for a day while still taking advantage of the beautiful place we were visiting.  

4. Do NOT switch accommodations every night

Switching where you are staying every night on a trip, can be draining.  To unpack and repack everyday gets old very quickly.  While traveling, we try to spend at least 2 nights in several places, even if we are moving frequently.  Can you leave early the next morning for your next destination so you can stay in the same place two nights?  The less moving around you do, the more relaxing the trip will be. 

A great way to maximize what you see while not moving is going on a Avalon European River Cruise (not a large cruise ship, less than 100 passengers).  We highly recommend the Danube river cruise we did in November 2018.  Everyday we woke up in a new destination without changing accommodations and it was one of the most relaxing Europe trips we have had (Coming soon…Why you should go on a European River Cruise). 

5. Treat yourself to a massage

One of our favorite ways to unwind on a trip is to get a massage.  Maybe even make it a full spa day!  Spa and massage experiences are different all over the world so it is a fun way to get another view into a culture in addition to relaxing.  One of the most interesting spa/massage experiences Natalie ever had (Sam sat this one out) was at a Hammam Bath in Morocco.  That experience is a post all on it’s own (see Hamman Bath: Not Your Average Bath).

We hope this post helps you to stop stressing while traveling.  Any tips you’d add to our list on ways to decrease stress while traveling?  We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

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