Keeping your holiday travel free of stress

Ask anyone who travels frequently for business or even pleasure what is the most stressful part of a trip and the answer will be making arrangements for the travel! As far as making arrangements for accommodation go, things have certainly improved with the facility of online reservations being available. In fact with world businesses becoming increasingly interlinked, business travel is on the rise.

The hospitality industry has quickly recognised the enormous potential of providing its services to such travellers. As a result, hotels now offer great promotional offers and discounts to business travellers. For example, if you are travelling to London you could find a variety of London stay deals at most of the top hotels websites. Another way to look for the best London stay deals is to check with a well known travel agency, which has information about the latest offers and deals in the hotel industry.

As far as travel goes there are a few basics that you need to keep in mind, which will help to make your travel more convenient and reduce stress levels considerably. Some of these simple tips are:

- If you are going on a holiday you need to be flexible and willing to compromise about your destination. This could be due to a variety of factors ranging from budget constraints or other external factors.  If the family is involved all the members (adults) should be comfortable with the choice of location, so that everyone is happy on the trip.

- When to go on a trip also pose a challenge? Going in the holiday season means higher costs, being travel peak season and at others parts of the year means the kids will have to skip school. You will need to choose a time that is both cost-effective as well as convenient for the kids to travel.

- Having all your travel arrangements done in advance will take most of the stress and burden away from your trip. Knowing you destination, choice of hotel, duration of stay and even having your tour itinerary planned in advance, means you just need to get there.

Avoid the hassle of last minute arrangements. Do not bank on getting any last minute deals as there is no guarantee of them. When you are travelling with the family you cannot take any chances as you might not be able to find suitable arrangements, which could ruin the prospects of an enjoyable family holiday.

- All you travel documents which include passports, visas and medical insurance papers etc. should be processed and arranged in advance. Don’t forget to make extra photocopies of them for the entire family, as they will come in handy.

- An extremely important area to cover is health insurance. This could save you a packet if you need to consult a physician on your trip. Going to doctor or hospital charges can cost you a fortune in a foreign country, so it is better to be well prepared for any eventuality. Also get travel insurance to cover any losses in case of theft, luggage loss or damage etc

- Carrying adequate money in the form of the currency used at your destination is vital. Get whatever cash you feel is required converted back home. For the rest of the payments use credit or debit cards, as  using non-official currency exchanges in a foreign country can be very expensive, as well as a hassle at times.

- Always make it a point to leave home well before time, so you reach the airport in time. You would not want to be caught up in peak traffic, when you are running short of time to check in at the airport.  Instead of leaving at the last minute and running the risk of being further delayed, leave at least 2 hours before your check-in time (depending on the distance from the airport and traffic). Similarly complete your packing the night before instead of waiting for the last minute. It will help to reduce stress considerably if you pack earlier and arrive on time.

- Also try to avoid travelling if possible during peak hours. Even if you have a midnight flight it would be easier to travel with less traffic and you will have a more relaxed journey to the airport. Besides catching a night flight might get you cheaper tickets, especially if you get a “Red-Eye” flight.

- With safety being a major concern these days security at airports and on flights has been beefed up.  As a result passengers on both domestic and foreign flights undergo a strict screening process, with a list of items being prohibited by the FAA. In such a situation you need to be careful about what you pack as per the given guidelines. By ensuring that you carry only those things permitted getting through security will be a hassle free process.

- In case you are travelling overseas there is always the likelihood of delays in an international flight. In such a situation you need to have something to keep you occupied until the flight arrives. It could be a good book to read or anything which diverts our mind, so that the long wait does not make us impatient or increase our stress levels. It becomes all the more important if you are travelling with kids to have something to keep them busy. This would also help to keep them entertained if it is a long flight.

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