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How to Plan Relaxing, Stress-Free Travel
If you’ve ever felt like traveling is stressful, you’re not alone. There’s so much to plan and do! Plus, the idea of travel can cause some anxiety. This can be compounded if you’re in a leadership position at work that makes it tough to even think about taking time off. It’s enough to make you want to scrap the idea of a getaway altogether. But it’s these types of extremes that keep people from using up those precious and well-deserved vacation days. That’s why The Joy of Cruising is sharing some tips for easing your mind and truly enjoying your next vacation.
Taking a Real Break
When you’re overdue for an escape, it’s time to make time off a priority. And there are ways to limit the overwhelm. For example, if you want a simple, affordable getaway somewhere secluded, look for a cabin on a lake. Or if you want some time at the beach, find an amenity-laden vacation rental smack dab on your favorite coastline. If work is the underlying issue, all you need is a vacation strategy to prepare yourself and your team for your absence. They just need enough guidance so that you can fully unplug and immerse yourself in whatever adventure awaits. Vacation and work are incompatible, so you’ll need to make an effort to set business aside until your return.
On the other hand, you can save money and turn a business trip into a real vacation. Ideally, you won’t cram vacation activities between work commitments. Instead, try to extend your stay and dedicate those extra days to relaxing. But if you’re self-employed or a business owner, you can expense many costs on a trip where you will do some business. Things like hotel rooms, car rentals, and even airfare can be expensed, which cuts out a lot of the financial hit of a personal or family vacation.
Traveling with Pets
There are a few extra considerations you’ll want to make as a pet owner. The biggest decision is whether to bring your pet. This might come down to whether or not your vacation destination is pet-friendly. Not all major airlines, hotels, or vacation rentals allow pets. Bringing your pet can be a lot of fun, but it also dictates a lot of what you can and cannot do, so consider these options before you decide to bring Fido along.
If you make the difficult decision to leave your pet home, you might consider getting a pet sitter (whether you ask a friend or hire a professional) or place your pet in a boarding kennel. That way, you can relax on vacation while knowing your beloved pet is in good hands back home.
Coping with Stress While Traveling
Of course, there are never any guarantees that you won’t encounter unexpected stressors while on vacation. One way to deal with stress while also enjoying a quick mental health boost is by spending some time in nature. Nature has been proven to reduce stress and promote mental health. Try enjoying local hiking trails, ski slopes, visiting a nearby park or having a picnic. If you’re unable to go outside, bring a book or crochet supplies with you wherever you go. That way, you can still take your mind off of any stressful events and gift yourself a few minutes of self-care.
If money is a major concern, you can find ways to tuck away money before your trip. Start by cutting down on unnecessary expenses, such as trips to the movies or fancy lattes. Put the money you’ll save toward your travel. Depending upon how disciplined you are, you should be able to save enough funds to cover at least a small trip or weekend getaway. That way you won’t feel guilty about the cost of your time away.
Traveling with Chronic Illness
Chronic illness is a vicious cycle. It has been shown to trigger depression in many people, notes the National Institute of Mental Health, which itself has been linked to a variety of additional health conditions. Luckily, it’s possible to travel with chronic illness. In fact, some forms of travel may actually help those with chronic illness by improving brain function and mood while decreasing stress and anxiety. As it turns out, taking a vacation could be just what the doctor ordered!
Once you’ve decided where to go, the fun begins. When packing for a trip, there are some considerations you should make if you have chronic illness. For instance, you may need to call your insurance company ahead of time for prior authorization of medications if you’ll be traveling for more than a couple of weeks. This is especially true if you’re traveling overseas, as pharmacies typically will not fill foreign prescriptions. Any liquid or gel medications will need to be properly packed according to security regulations, and you may need a signed note from your doctor before bringing medications aboard an aircraft.
Take all these considerations to heart and watch the anxiety about traveling melt away. Once you’re at your destination, remember that this is “you” time, so maximize your self-care whenever possible, from the time your feet hit the floor in the morning until you’re under the covers at night. All the planning is worth it!