We have all been there – red faced, hair a mess, trying to repack a suitcase in the check-in queue whilst digging for our passport. Not only is it not quite the uber-cool woman of the world look we were trying to channel, it is stressful as hell. Truthfully, it’s the last way we want to start the holiday that’s supposed to chill us out for the rest of the year and yet we find ourselves in the same old trauma trip after trip. It doesn’t have to be this way – a little organisation or a change of mind set could make all the difference. Here are our top tips for trips with a little less stress and a little more serenity.
Take the stress out of booking your getaway by using travel comparison sites. They do all the legwork for you, making the bargain hunting process an absolute breeze. Not only that, they can filter your hotels based on criteria set by you, which saves you major scrolling time – Jacuzzis and mini-bars please! Sites like Sky Scanner can get you fantastic deals on your flights by checking thousands of airlines. It can also calculate the cheapest time of year or cheapest time in the month to fly to your chosen destination – check it BEFORE you book time off work and you’re quids in! If you’re truly savvy, make sure you check out your destination on Trip Advisor. You can get top tips from others who have stayed at your hotel or hostel and check out what local sights are must-sees and which aren’t worth the hassle – local vineyard tour…yes please, history of the plasticine museum…yes it’s a real place, but no thanks! Getting a vague idea of what you might want to see makes sure you’re making the most of your time away – beach/culture balance is a wonderful thing!
Make sure you check your airline luggage restrictions before you get your heart set on taking every pair of shoes you own. There is nothing more stressful than arriving at check in and being told your bag is overweight – queue the deliberation: do I pay the excess charge or try and rejig the case by airing my pants for the whole queue to eyeball? Check out our article on ‘The art of the carry on’ to help maximise your space. Investing in a travel wallet might sound like a grannyish thing to do, but having all your important documents in one place can be a life saver – no more rummaging in the bottom of your bag and BONUS it makes double and triple checking that you’ve got everything so much easier.
Even the best laid plans go astray sometimes. Give yourself more time than you need for your journey to the airport to allow for traffic and hiccups along the way. Stick to the advice given by your airline – if they say you need to be there 3 hours before, there’s a reason for it! That way, even if you do face a monumental queue at check in you can still reach your gate fresh as a daisy, latte in hand with time to catch the latest Scriptoeris articles on your tablet. The last thing you need is to get through security just in time to see final call flashing next to your flight number – trust me, that sprint isn’t pretty!
IF YOU’RE FEELING FANCY…
Why not book yourself in to an airport lounge? They don’t cost as much as you might think. As well as the perks of free refreshments and Wifi, some lounges even offer express massages and manicures to set you on your way in style – what could be more serene than that?!
You could channel your inner hippy and decide that stress free travel is a state of mind. So what if you’re late, jogging is good exercise. So what if your case is overweight, you’d been meaning to clear out your wardrobe anyhow. Take a deep breath, roll with the punches, go with the flow – just think of the beach darling!