6 countries, 10 states, over 24 years I think I might have learned a thing or two about how to travel with as little stress as possible! So, I came up with a list and I’ve managed to condense it down to 10 things.
1) “Always have a positive attitude because anything can happen. Honesty, you never know the circumstances surrounding any problem that you may run into, so be ready for whatever God will do, or will allow to happen. We can’t shape it or choose so we need to be ready.” -Anita Coppin. Be ready to face it with prayer and a positive attitude!
2) Look at the weather before you go. You can Google weather averages for any destination you choose. Trying to figure out what to wear and what to pack is only a small part of a vacation, but it will go a lot easier if you know what to expect.
3) Eat healthy and drink water. Please don’t eat junk food before you go on vacation. You could possibly end up with an upset stomach and need a bathroom throughout the entire trip. It’s not fair to you or those with whom you are vacationing. Vacations should not be surprise events. If you know a specific food causes problems don’t eat it. Along the same lines, drink water! Water is how your body keeps going! Vacations can be stressful even if you do all of the prep work. Water. Water. Water. Not Coke, not alcohol, not juice, water.
4) Carry a personal bag. This is for men and for women. I don’t carry an on-the-shoulder bag when I travel, I carry a backpack. I do pack a purse in my luggage, but I do not carry it when I’m traveling. In my backpack I carry all the normal stuff lika a tablet, book, charger cords, a portable charger, a condensed makeup bag, and if I’ll be on an airplane I also carry an empty water bottle. Further, carry a small bag on my wrist that holds my passport, boarding passes, cell phone, and cash or cards. I carry the wristlet as I walk from place to place but as soon as I get on the airplane or in the car it goes inside of my backpack. It surves as a wallet and is big enough to carry other essentials.
5) A travel routine. Everyone should have a plan they can follow. My routine starts the day before I leave and it involves double checking my luggage, making lists, ensuring the house is clean, and chores are done. If somebody will be watching the house I go over the schedule with them one more time. The morning that I leave I follow my usual routine which involves washing my face, braiding my hair, brushing my teeth, and having a cup of coffee. I know that I need to be ready for anything that may happen but having a routine helps make sure that I’m not over stressed about the things that I can control.
6) Stress Management. Some people let traveling stress them out and they get short tempered, rude, and ruin the trip for everyone involved. Don’t let a vacation control you like that. If you have a regular routine stick to it. Traveling is stressful for everyone; so, don’t think that you’re the only one that is feeling overwhelmed. Do your prep work, have a routine, and remember have a positive attitude.
7) Have a budget. Most of us save up money so that we can take a vacation. I encourage you to go on your vacation with a written budget, so that you don’t overspend! As you get ready for your vacation begin to write down how much you want to spend on shopping, how much your hotel will cost, and arrangements for grocery shopping or meal planning. With the budget will allow you to stay within your boundaries.
8) Carry cash. I know this goes along with having a budget, but its above and beyond. With a debit or credit card it’s hard to see where exactly your money is going; so, caring cash really helps you monitor how much money you have spent already. I’m not suggesting that you carry thousands in cash but having a hundred or so while has been beneficial for me. Remember that everywhere you use your card you open yourself up for someone to steal your card number. Pay in cash, tip in cash, and only use your card at trusted locations.
9) Packing. Statistically, women bring more than necessary.It helps to look up the weather and only pack what you need. Also don’t pack your bag so that you have to sit on it in order to close it. I try to leave some extra room so if I want to do some shopping or bring something home I have the space.
10) Jesus Time. I’m writing this one last because it is so important. Make time for Jesus on your vacation. Most of us use social media the entire time, talk to your significant other, message our friends, and possibly make time for extra sleeping. Don’t skip Jesus time! You probably need a vacation from life, work, or even family, but you should never take a break from Jesus. This might be common knowledge but I would like to you to remind you, the purpose of vacation is not to put your relationship with God on pause.