5 Travel Tips That'll Keep You Organized and Reduce Your Stress
This guest blog post was curated for Bucky by Kacey Bradley.
As relaxing as travel can be, it requires that we pack and prepare — a stressful task. Organizing before we depart doesn't have to be a complicated process, though. Many people have mastered the art of pre-travel preparation, and they've shared their best tips for getting yourself together in the least stressful way possible. Here are five tips to help you keep your cool as you prepare for your next getaway.
1. Do Your Research
We're not suggesting that you write up a by-the-minute itinerary for your trip — no one likes to travel with such a rigorous schedule to follow. However, you shouldn't show up at your destination without a plan, either. What's there to see? Where do you want to eat? Do any landmarks close on certain days? Knowing such information can make your trip a whole lot less stressful once you arrive.
If your trip takes you to an international destination, your research should also include the local customs and culture of the country to which you're traveling. For instance, in many countries, you wouldn't greet new people with a handshake, as you would in the U.S. In Spain or Italy you would kiss someone on both cheeks, and you'd bow in Japan or Thailand. Knowing little cultural gestures can mean a lot to the locals — and it will make you feel more confident and comfortable knowing what to do before you arrive.
2. Make a List — and Keep Adding To It
We all have those epiphany-type moments where we think to ourselves, "I have to remember to pack that." Rather than letting that thought drift away, write it down. Keep a note in your phone if you have to. Then, mark off each item as you put it in your suitcase so you don't forget anything. Of course, this tip sounds pretty basic, but you'd be surprised how many people skip the packing list — and how much more stressful the process becomes without a guide. To that end, if you need help to prep for your trip, seek out a packing list from a seasoned pro and adapt the basics to match the weather in your destination.
3. Rely on Packing Aids
Nowadays, there's plenty of help available for travelers who want to make the most out of their luggage. So, peruse packing aids on a site like Amazon to see which options suit your next journey. For instance, if you hope to stuff a full wardrobe of sweaters into a bag, then vacuum bags could be beneficial. You can remove all of the air from the bag so puffy items take up less space.
Packing cubes are another popular option. Many seasoned travelers swear by them, as they can place a full outfit into a cube, put the cube into the bag, and then pull it out when it's time to get dressed — no need to dig through a suitcase to find every article of clothing they need. Plus, because the cubes have a simple geometric shape, they're easy to pack, unpack and re-pack as the trip goes on.
Don't forget about organizing your smaller items as well. A jewelry roll, for instance, contains pockets into which you can slip your accessories and safely transport them. Of course, you shouldn't bring your most expensive pieces with you when traveling, but a jewelry roll or other accessory-centric organizer can make it simpler to transport your collection without damage, tangling, etc.
4. Unpack Upon Arrival
Perhaps you're going on a more extended trip, and you haven't used packing cubes to organize your suitcase. In this case, you should unpack as soon as you get to your destination. Otherwise, you'll have to rifle through your bag each day to find what you want to wear. If you don't re-fold everything and place it back into the suitcase, then it'll get wrinkled and disorganized, thus causing you stress in the midst of your vacation. Plus, you'll probably feel a bit more settled and comfortable having your clothes in place.
5. Keep Important Documents and Information Handy
Smartphones give us access to a wealth of information, which makes them a great travel accessory. However, once you reach an international destination, your phone might not work. And, regardless of where you go, your device could lose battery, too. What happens if all of your trip-related information is on that phone? You'll stress yourself out, for one thing.
For added peace of mind, print out the most vital information about your trip before your departure. Include paper copies of boarding passes, your hotel address and directions from the airport to where you're staying. That should be enough to get you checked in safely so you can charge your phone and start relying on it again, but having a paper-based safety net can help put your mind at ease.
Now that you know how to travel stress-free — or, with a lot less anxiety than you've had in the past — it's time to hit the road. With the right planning and organization, you can get there without feeling anything but excitement for the adventure ahead.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more!
*Bucky does not endorse any products or practices suggested by guest bloggers. All ideas and opinions are their own and do not reflect the opinions of Bucky.