Friday, 17 June 2016

4 TIPS FOR A STRESS-FREE TRIP

There's no denying that going on holiday or taking a short trip way somewhere new is always an exciting time for anyone..However, it can also be quite a stressful experience too!
One of the main reasons we all look forward to our holidays, is because we see it as our time to just get away from everything, to relax, unwind and relieve ourselves of the stress that we carry around with us on a daily basis, both at home and at work..But, all too often our 'care-free' holidays can actually end up creating more unnecessary stress, and not be as relaxing as they may seem. Sometimes you even find yourself needing another holiday after your holiday just to recover from it all! From the planning, to the booking, to the arranging and even to the travelling itself, there is a lot to think about and a lot to take into consideration before you leave, and sometimes it can all be just a little bit too overwhelming for some of us. Regardless of whether your destination is overseas or just a few hours car journey away from home, there is still so much to pre-plan, and while we all love the idea of jetting off on holiday, we often dread the thought of planning it all!
Usually the answer to everything, is to just take a step back, and think about one thing at a time rather than thinking about everything that needs doing as a whole..Prioritise your agenda and work through it task by task to prevent any unneeded, added pressure.
As of now, I feel that personally I have learnt how to cope with the stress of travelling quite well, and even though I do still have little niggles and worries each time I go away, I know I can deal with the situation and keep myself pretty calm throughout the entire experience. I remember I used to think of all kinds of excuses as to why I should not go on a trip away whenever the opportunity presented itself..'Who will look after the dog?', 'I have too much work going on at the moment', or a typical one for me, 'I get too home sick!'. It is not that I did not want to go anywhere, I just figured it was less stressful for me to stay at home for the week, than to plan out a week long relaxing break. Crazy, I know..Looking back now I sometimes feel foolish that I gave up on some great opportunities of seeing different parts of the world just to save myself a few days of stress. I mean, I wanted to see the world, but it always felt as if there was a mountain of preparation that stood in my way, when eventually, I realised that the only thing that stood in the way of my next adventure, was in fact me!
Each time you travel out on a new adventure, it gets that little bit easier, as you do inadvertently discover your own routine which you will subconsciously stick to, and it will include a variety of steps to make the holiday process as smooth and fuss-free as possible!  
Prepare || One of the biggest favours you can do for yourself when you are going away somewhere, is to ensure that you are fully prepared for your trip. I know it may sound a little bit generic, but honestly, do not leave everything until the last minute. Whether it is arranging a dog sitter, booking a hotel, booking your transport or just gathering together all of your holiday essentials, make sure you get it all done in good time..Never risk leaving it too late! I cannot deny that I have always been a bit guilty of being a last-minute person, but I am learning, and I do realise that it is not for the best. In particular, it is my last-minute-packing days that I am putting behind me, and I am actually beginning to plan out everything that I need with me well in advance. As well as making things run a bit more smoother, doing this also gives you the opportunity to check that you have all of your travel essentials, and figure out what you may still need to get. If you are running low on shampoo or sun cream, you will still have plenty of time to get to your local shop and pick some up before setting off, rather than panic rushing the night before, running around every shop trying to locate exactly what it is you need. Preparing everything in depth and planning ahead in good time will help the whole holiday lead-up process by eliminating any unwanted stress, and it certainly cushions the blow when certain, unexpected curve balls are thrown your way to try and trip you up. 

Organise || Around four days before I am due to travel is when I usually start my packing. I know this may seem a little early for some, but it definitely helps to keep me calm and keep me feeling organised. In advance to starting my packing, I always ensure that I take the time to sit down, and think carefully about absolutely everything that I need to take with me..Clothes, Beauty Products, Chargers and so on! I then like to write it all down on one big list, so that I can tick each item off, one by one as I put it in my suitcase. This is a great way of checking that I have everything with me, as I it gives me the chance to figure out what I still need to get (if anything!), and I can be positive that I have not left anything behind that I am going to need..The goal is to have everything ticked off the list and in the suitcase the day before travelling! I find this list to be my most useful tool when packing and ensuring that nothing important is forgotten, and to be honest, if I ever miss this step out of my travel routine, something always seems to get left behind!  

Equip || One of the most exciting aspects of going away somewhere new, is that you never know where you might end up on one of the days. A boat trip across to another Island? A quad bike tour across the dunes and white beaches? One thing is for sure, it is always a good idea to fully equip yourself for anything you may face! ..Unlike I did on my last escape to the beautiful, Cape Verde, where I found myself aboard a catamaran without any travel pills. Usually, I do not really suffer from any travel sickness, so this thought never even crossed my mind, but quite soon into this particular day trip, it became apparent that I do in fact suffer from sea sickness! It was a bit of a school-girl error on my behalf, but at least is was a lesson well learned..Always expect the unexpected, and be prepared for it! It is safe to say that I will not be letting something like that happen again, so I have decided to make myself a little list of travel essentials..Yes, I live for lists! If I think of something that is not on the list, then it is a swift stop off at Boots for me to pick it up and add it on..You can never be too cautious after all!

Rationalise || Sometimes, the fear and anxiety that comes with travelling can be completely illogical, and that is absolutely fine and absolutely normal. It can creep up on anyone and any time and it is something that can be extremely difficult to just push to one side and over see. Albeit, my anxiety is not as bad as what it has been in the past, I do still suffer from it..Only now, when it happens, I almost know how to control it. When I can sense a feeling of panic or anxiety coming over me, what I like to do is quietly talk to myself. Yes, I may look insane and it may sound totally daft, but it really does work for me. I take myself to one side, away from everybody, be in my bedroom or in the kitchen, and I just have a little chat about what I am doing, what I am feeling, why I am feeling that way and what the reality of it all is. Doing this is a way of talking myself down, keeping myself calm and making me realise that the reality of traveling really is not that scary at all..it is exciting! I also find that looking at pictures of all of the incredible destinations that other people travel to really helps too..I'll tell myself, "Stop being such a big wimp Alicia..People do this phenomenal thing called travelling all the time, and they don't excessively freak out over it..You've got this!" ..A self pep talk to reassure yourself is always the answer in my book!        

Getting yourself into a regular routine that works well for you when preparing for either travelling, holidays, or just a short break away is, as always, a work in progress and it will take time. My advise is to just try out different tactics and see what works for you and what does't..Trail and error is key! Once you have your preparation techniques down to a T, you will notice that the build up to your holiday can actually be one of the best parts..When the anxiety has been replaced with butterflies, and the excitement has replaced the fear, it actually becomes quite exhilarating! Just remember to leave any worries at the door step..Do not over think things too much, take one thing at a time, and just enjoy every aspect of your holiday..Do not stress about the little things, especially the things that should not be stressful!
Are you a nervous or stressed-out traveller? What do you do to keep yourself calm? 


Thank you all so much for reading. Do not forget to follow me on Blogloin' to make sure you do not miss out on any future posts, and in that case, I will speak to you soon! 

Lots of Love,
ALICIA
XO
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