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If you travel a lot for work, or you like to enjoy the odd vacation here and there with your friends or family, it can all be quite stressful. Ironic isn’t it? Because going away to new countries and new cities should be exciting. Well, it is, but if you don’t plan properly, it can become a major headache and fire off all sorts of tensions. Here are some ways to make your future travel less stressful.

The work-trip

If you’re heading off on a business trip overseas, then you may well be the envy of your colleagues, but you’ll also be feeling some pressure to deliver a return on your employer’s investment, especially if they are sending you to some far-flung land and plowing a lot of budget into it!

Without thinking ahead, what could seem like a welcome break from the office, can easily turn into a nightmare. So, if you’re heading out for a few days or longer, then make some robust plans.

One of the first things you need to be doing is getting a clear idea of the purpose of the business trip. Why are you going to the country you are visiting? Who will you meet? What is the result that you are aiming for? Are you looking to seal an important sales deal? Find a venue for that big conference you’re planning? Or just to spread the word about your company? It’s really important you, your team and the management above you that you all know what to expect.

To also help ease any stress, you also need to have firm plans in place for meetings, such as, who you will be speaking to and where. How will you get to these places? If you’ve never been to the city or country before, you need to know what kind of transport connections there are and how convenient they are for your schedule.

Speaking of schedules, if you’re only away for a short period of time and have lots of things to pack into your business trip, then make sure you have a clear schedule in place and stick to it religiously. If you don’t, you may end being late for a meeting or, worse still, missing one altogether. And you don’t want to miss the flight home!

The family-holiday

You’ve been saving up all year; now it’s time to take the family on a well-earned summer vacation. Exciting, hey? Well, maybe. It can turn into domestic hell if you don’t plan ahead and think about all the different elements to keep everyone happy. It’s a bit like a business trip, but with more pressure thrown in!

If you’re taking the kids away, then think carefully about the destination you choose for your vacation. You and your partner may like mountain climbing, but how about the younger ones? Chances are, they won’t. So, have a good look around at different destinations for somewhere where you can all enjoy a bit of culture and adventure, without getting bored or frustrated! When picking accommodation, you may want to have your own private villa or house. However, if you’re staying in a hotel, then think about what kind of facilities are on offer. If it’s a summer vacation, is there a swimming pool for the kids? Are they any child-friendly activities?

You’ll also want to think about how you get to your holiday destination, minimizing as much stress as possible. If it’s going to be a long flight away, is that really going to work for your one-year-old? If it involves a long ferry ride, how are you going to keep the children entertained? By thinking ahead about all of these things, you can help minimize the stress – and get down to enjoying your time away from home!

Don’t get short on cash

Whatever your reason for travel, whether it’s a business trip or a vacation, make sure you think about your finances before you head off. After all, anything could happen. Yes, you may have budgeted, but what do you do if there are some unforeseen circumstances? For example, your flight is delayed, and you have to incur all sorts of extra expenses including transport and accommodation. Alternatively, if you have to have crucial medical treatment, which you have to pay out for before you can claim it back from your insurance company. You should make sure those medical insurance policies are in place for you and any others in your group. You may want to also factor in life insurance cost.

Therefore, have access to some spare resources, just in case. It could even be a credit card, but it will give you peace of mind. You will also need to think about getting some local currency for usual spending. Is it cheaper to buy it home and take it with you? Or should you buy it in the country your visiting?

Chill out before you go

Make sure you’ve done all of your packing and paperwork in advance of your trip, so that in the days and hours before you head off, you are not running around like crazy getting stressed and losing sight of reality! Make a list of things you need to do in advance and tick them off, everything from packing your bag to checking your travel arrangements, to buying currency.

Arrive at the airport, port or railway station in good time ahead of your departure. You don’t want to find yourself stuck in a traffic jam on the highway with minutes to spare before your flight takes off! Give yourself plenty of time, factoring in any last-minute hold-ups or delays.

If you’re flying somewhere, try and make use of the pampering services at the airport. If you’re a frequent business traveler, maybe you have access to the VIP lounges. Make the most of them; they can put you in a calm state of mind. You can eat, drink and even get a massage at some of them!

If you don’t have access to a lounge, find a relaxing spot in the terminal and unwind with a meal and a drink, de-stressing and getting ready for the journey ahead!

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