You’re going on vacation, awesome! Don’t let a stressful travel experience get you down. Here’s how to start your trip off right:
Have Your Visa Sorted
Customs agents can be intimidating. Don’t let your first experience of your vacation destination be a tense one: get your visa well sorted! Each country will have their own visa policies, but for millions entering The States each year, the ESTA Visa Waiver Program is the simplest way to get your holiday started. The process is easy, and it can be done online at ESTA Gov.
Start Out Rested
It’s always best to start your trip with a good night’s sleep. Night flights don’t lend themselves to the deepest sleep, and even if you’re headed out on a quick daytime flight, the truth is that delays happen, and they happen pretty often. Unfortunately you never really know if your short flight will turn into an overnight journey.
Plan For Delays
When traveling, all kinds of things can come up that slow you down, and nothing is more stressful than running late for a flight! Even if you consider yourself a fast and efficient person, you can’t control everything. From traffic jams, to being stuck in line behind someone with fifteen bags they’re trying to check in, to strikes at the airport, to last minute gate changes – life happens!
Plan to arrive at the airport well in advanced. A good rule of thumb is 2.5 hours in advance for a domestic flight, and 3.5 hours for an international flight. If you end up with time to kill, you can always kick back at the gate with a magazine and a cup of coffee – trust me when I say this is better than arriving to your flight frazzled and sweaty because you had to run to make it.
When going through the several security checks at the airport, you’re going to need to be able to show several documents. You’re also going to have a line of other travelers behind you. If you need to dig through a disorganized bag at each checkpoint trying to find your passport, your boarding pass or other documents you’re probably going to have a bad time. Plus, that heart-stopping feeling you get when you think you may have lost your passport? It’s not fun.
It really is worth it to organize your papers in a designated compartment of your bag. A great tip is to use a plastic file to hold your flight itinerary, passport, boarding pass, luggage tags, visa and any other important documents. This way you have them all in one place, making them easy to find.
Once on board, get comfortable, pull out a good book or a pre-loaded movie on a tablet, and allow yourself to relax. Some deep breathing exercises may help you let go of the stressors you left behind and allow you to enjoy the moment.
Enjoy your trip!
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