We tend to forget all we think we know regarding STRESS when it comes to travel, especially now that it’s around the holidays. We all get stress from and at Airports; this from waiting in lines, for checking in, baggage check, security checks, and it may get even worse if your departing flight is delayed. This can and does multiply, if you are traveling with children especially small children. So, how can you de-stress?
If you can sign up for and subscribe to those feeds from the Airlines like their Twitter, Sales Alerts, and so on, for the best ticket deals, do that. Also, Check out @travel_ ticker.
Suggestions for tools and resources to help expedite your process in getting to where you want to go are found below:
Global Entry (Click Here)
No processing lines, No paperwork, Access to faster entry benefits in other countries, Reduced wait times.
NEXUS Program (Click Here)
Cross the border with a minimum of customs and immigration questioning
SENTRI (Click Here)
SENTRI provides expedited CBP processing for pre-approved, low-risk travelers
Book early. This is for both business and holiday travel. Statistics show that the best day to travel on Airlines is a TUESDAY. Also, if possible, try to travel at off-peak times. Most of the Airlines web sites will and do give this information. By booking early you may be able to get the flight of your choice. If possible, it would be advisable to always try to get a non-stop flight to your destination. If this is not possible try to choose a stop over which will allow you plenty of time to connect with your second flight. This will allow for any delays and allow you time to relax and get ready for your second flight.
Pick seats and print out your boarding passes at home. When purchasing your ticket on line, remember you can also check the Aircraft seating arrangement. Therefore, take the opportunity to also choose which seats you want for you and your family. If possible, try to book the outside seating on the Aircraft, this allows you the opportunity to stretch out and relax more. In addition, you can get up and down when you want to have a walk or stretch your legs on a long haul flight. It also means you can get little extra from the cabin crew who will be in the aisles chatting and resting. Speak with them, and get to know them. It will pay off. You may want that extra something later on during the flight. Remember if you are traveling with children you should not choose the seats which are next to the Aircraft exits. This is against the rules and regulations
Getting to the Airport. If at all possible DO NOT drive yourself and or your family to the airport. Ask a friend to drop you off at the departure level of your chosen Airline. This will save time and money for expensive parking fees. How many of us have parked our car on a deck and returned to find that you have forgotten, “was it level 2 or level 4 or level 6…”, and YES, I have done this myself. This can and does happen when you fly out in daylight and return at night. Everything looks different in the darkness.
Hotels. Always remember to negotiate with the Hotel of your choice, especially during holiday periods. The reason for this is that the business travelers are not filling the Hotels, and they will welcome your business. Ask for room upgrades when you arrive at the Hotel of your choice. When doing this be kind, ask politely and empathize with the staff.
Packing. Now this is a very tricky topic. We have all been in Airports both in the USA and around the world, and we see our fellow human beings going off on a one week holiday and you would think they were packing enough belongings for 1 month. If possible, pack light, and pack smart. Really think and question yourself do I really need this? If you are only traveling with an Airline Carry on, remember to put all your electronic gizmos on top of your carry on so you can get quick access to them for the inevitable security checks.
More De-Stressing Techniques. We have all seen our fellow travelers racing into the Airport like, Usain Bolt. You do not have to be like that traveller. Leave your home in plenty of time to make your flight and leave time for all the extra delays you might encounter. Walk slower, breath deeper, take your time, relax, avoid alcohol, drink water, wear comfortable and loose clothing as well as comfortable shoes. Think positively. If you are traveling, listen to soothing music. You can shut out the crazy world of Airports all around you. If you are traveling with family and or friends, share the load. Do NOT take it upon yourself to carry out all the travel arrangements. Be REALISTIC with your planning build in that fudge factor or the JUST IN CASE FACTOR.
Keep these useful de-stressors and advice in mind, and whether it’s for business or leisure, your trip will be one you will enjoy from start to finish.