Traveling to visit family is a means to an end for most of us. We long to see friends and family, enjoy a home cooked meal, and form fond memories. We accept the crowds, delays, and congested highways as the price we must pay. But what if you could enjoy the journey as well as the destination? Would that take some of the stress out of travel? Stick with us as we present five tips for traveling stress-free, presented below by Savor Our City.
First Tip: Bring Ear Plugs
Do you enjoy spending time in an airport? If so, then you’re part of a rare and exceptional breed. Most of us would rather do almost anything else. Still, air travel is the fastest way to get where you’re going. So here’s a tip for making the trip a bit more pleasant: plug your ears. A pair of foam earplugs can take the edge off all the cacophonous caterwauling and help you to find your happy place even if you’re stuck in the terminal. This tip comes courtesy of the good people at the Travel Channel.
Second Tip: Give Yourself a Buffer
Leaving for your trip at the last minute is no way to promote peace of mind. You run the risk of working yourself into a tizzy well before you ever reach your destination. Do yourself a solid and allow as much buffer time as possible. That way you’ll stay calm, cool, and collected.
Third Tip: Secure Your Home
Arranging some common sense deterrences prior to your trip can help you to focus on having a good time. Here are some suggestions:
Avoid leaving keys under potted plants, in your mailbox, or anywhere else that thieves are likely to look. If you need to hide a key, be smart about it. If you need to change your locks before you leave, or you’d like a professional to see if your locks are in good working order, use sites like Angi to find a locksmith in my area.
Set up a webcam to monitor the inside of your home. You can check the images just by going online.
Place high visibility signs in prominent spots around your home advising would-be trespassers that you have an active electronic security system. You can find the appropriate signage online or by checking your local hardware or home improvement store.
Arrange for a trustworthy person to check your mail, pick up the paper, and take a poke around the premises while you’re away.
Leave a car parked in the driveway if possible.
Use light timers so that they come on in the evenings to make your home look occupied.
Fourth Tip: Stay Connected
What’s the number one item left behind in hotel rooms? The phone charger. We really rely on our phones for pretty much everything these days, especially while away. And you do not want to be unable to use it. As simple as it sounds, packing an extra charger will put you at ease, even if you never have a need for it.
Fifth Tip: Schedule a Post-Vacation Vacation
Let’s face it: traveling to see family can be stressful. Why not schedule a little break for yourself between the family togetherness time and when you go back to work? For example, you could rent a cabin in a peaceful lakefront setting, where you and perhaps a special someone can spend a day or two to unwind. Think of it as a well-deserved gift to yourself.
Or let the family know you’re going into the city for a day just to explore, to see a museum you’re excited about, or to just have a coffee somewhere and relax.
Pack your bags and get ready for a great time with those you love. But take a moment to appreciate all that you have before you head out the door, and make sure you’re prepared in all regards.
Today’s post is from our guest contributor Jesse Clark
Going on a great trip away from home comes with many benefits. It’s a chance to take a break from the demands of business, relax, broaden your perspective, learn more about yourself, and so much more. However, while many people struggle with whether it will be beneficial or being too busy to travel, one of the top reasons people don’t travel is due to a tight budget. It’s true, travel can be expensive. But if you plan ahead and use money-saving strategies, you can go on a magnificent, rejuvenating trip without draining your bank account.
For those who want to travel without abandoning their budget and business responsibilities, consider these tips from Savor Our City.
Be open-minded and flexible.
When you book your trip, be flexible. Keep an open mind about your destination and travel dates. You can often find special deals on flights to certain vacation spots, and even if it’s a place you weren’t considering before, it might turn out to be the perfect getaway.
Also, spend some time on booking sites to observe the price differences on roundtrip flights regarding the days of the week. For instance, flying Tuesday to Tuesday — or even Saturday to Saturday — is typically much cheaper than flying Friday to Sunday. Moreover, you can save a significant amount of money by traveling during the off-season or shoulder season.
Opt for a vacation rental.
Unless you know people who live at your destination and they’ve opened their home to you, you will need to book a place to stay. While hotels come with many different perks, vacation rentals are simply a better all-around option for extended stays.
When you go through a hosting service like Airbnb, you can expect to have nice, clean accommodations. Plus, there will probably be more space to spread out, you’ll be able to comfortably cook your own meals, and you’ll have exceptional privacy. Oh, yes, and it’s a lot less expensive than staying at a hotel.
Lighten your workload.
One obvious way to reduce stress levels and ensure you can enjoy your downtime is to reduce your work obligations. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. These days, though, there are terrific services popping up that can help you with all sorts of business tasks.
Take a routine chore like filing the annual report for a business. Any entrepreneur can tell you that this is a must-do, yet nobody relishes the day they need to pull together all their data, then organize it and file a report with the state. You can simply pass this project on, though, through affordable services like ZenBusiness.com. They offer personalized dashboards to tend all the details your state requires of your company, will compile the data, and then file the report on your behalf. By leaning on a service that has all the bells and whistles to take care of chores like these, you can focus your time, money, and energy on your relaxing getaway.
Change your wireless plan.
This one is essential because it can save you hundreds of dollars: get an international wireless plan before you leave for your trip. Roaming charges can do a number on your budget, and a good long-distance plan will enable you to talk to friends and family while protecting you from unexpected hikes in your monthly bill. Also, consider switching to unlimited data, which will save you from steep overage charges while allowing you to use your phone for navigation, web browsing, social media, and other tasks.
You don’t have to empty your savings to take an awesome trip. Use savings opportunities and rent a car so that you can go where you want, when you want. Opt for an unlimited data plan to protect yourself from hefty fees, and be flexible with your destination and travel dates. Finally, ditch the hotels and go for a vacation rental for a more cost-effective stay.
Think about the food just in your state. It probably differs from one spot to another, based on who settled where and when, what they grew, where they originally came from, and what resources they had. History, people, preferences, and culture all play into regional food, and that’s what makes exploring it so interesting and diverse. And with road trips on the rise, digging into the food scene wherever you’re going, or wherever you live, can be a rewarding and delicious reward.
If you want to learn more about food, wherever you go, there are a couple of steps you can take. For starters, you can always contact your favorite food gurus here at Savor Our City. Additional resources are local eats apps or local bloggers, who may also have a presence on social media sites such as Instagram. Many food magazines also have good regional recommendations. Want more tips? This graphic offers some ideas to get you traveling, eating, and enjoying what food has to offer.