Many people view vacation as a great way to de-stress from everyday life. But how relaxing is it? More than 55% of recent flyers said the process of air travel is actually more stressful than going to work. What?
Planning a vacation can be exciting and fun, but no doubt that much stress accompanies it. Coordinating travel dates, booking tickets, packing bags, and trying to arrive at the airport at the perfect time is exhausting. Plus, these steps don’t even include COVID-19 screening obstacles!
Luckily, unlike most stress-inducing activities, travelers can significantly minimize travel-related stress with a few tips and tricks.
How to Stress Less Ahead of Travel
1. Packing Hacks
Packing is a science, and a well-packed bag can bring peace and calm. Travelers who pack several days beforehand benefit from strategically planning their outfits, folding in a way to optimize space, and feeling confident with their choices. Packing last minute often means both over-packing and forgetting important items.
2. Airline Research
Some airlines are just better suited for your needs. While a bargain of a flight is always attractive, ending up in a tiny aircraft with added fees for every piece of luggage (you know who you are) can add mega stress. Some airlines are even committed to de-stressing the travel lifestyle.
3. Timing, Timing, Timing
Did you know that flights scheduled earlier in the day are less likely to be delayed or canceled? For those who can, booking early and reducing those chances might save a vacation a whole ‘lotta stress.
4. Skip the Line
Does the idea of running late fill you with dread? It might be worth exploring TSA PreCheck or Global Entry to skip to the front of the security checkpoint and carry on your way to the gate with ease.
5. Protect the Trip
Sometimes things go wrong – it’s unavoidable! Book flights and other reservations with a flexible policy to keep peace of mind. Also, many travel insurances can help protect travel plans – some are even included with credit cards.
6. Ask for Help
Airports are big and can be exhausting for cancer patients and non-patients alike. For those who might struggle to navigate the airport – or who may feel overwhelmed trying to locate their gate – avoid stress by asking for help early. Never be shy to ask for directions or assistance, as there are plenty of services in place to support travelers.
7. Destination Research
Whether you are a cancer patient or not, knowing the lay of the land at your destination will help derail stress. Such as knowing how to travel from the airport to your accommodation, learning the currency conversion, if applicable, and locating healthcare providers and hospitals (including addresses and phone numbers) before you depart.
8. Engage your Medical Team
If you have any health concerns, speak to a doctor well before planning a trip as a precaution. Some people with cancer may not be able to fly because oxygen levels and air pressure changes at high altitudes can be dangerous. Others are at risk for increased swelling. Your doctor may recommend wearing a compression garment or have other suggestions to help you travel safely.
9. Know Your Bag’s Weight
Have you ever tried to check in an overweight bag and been asked to reshuffle your items between your checked luggage and carry-on to accommodate the weight limits? Between not having adequate room in your luggage and holding up a long line of people behind you, this may be one of the most common stressful travel situations. Avoid this by purchasing a handheld luggage scale and knowing the weight of your luggage before transiting to the airport.
10. Use Points
Airline points can easily change the mood of your travels from stressed to refreshed. Free upgrades to comfier seats and priority boarding are just some of the perks of airline points. You can accrue Airline points in many ways, including supporting cancer research via Fly to Find a Cure.
Fly to Find a Cure allows frequent flyers, travel enthusiasts, and most importantly, those passionate about supporting cancer research to make a real impact while receiving airline miles. Visit the Fly to Find a Cure webpage to view NFCR’s airline partners and make a donation.