This has been a summer unlike any other and I know many people who took only one trip versus their usual two or three. Some have decided car trips are the best way to travel this summer, but what about those of us that cannot resist travel and are willing to take the risks associated with travel under Covid?
Pre-travel is often the most stressful as you are preparing, packing and trying to get work done. I have spoken to friends over the years and have learned some great tips to keep travel going smoothly.
Planning: If you are going on your own versus an escorted bus tour, I recommend starting to plan several months prior to your summer trip. That means exploring routes, hotels and the activities. You don’t want to feel the added stress of last-minute decisions regarding your itinerary. Leave extra time to get to and be at the airport as well as making sure your itinerary isn’t packed too tightly.
Money: If you are going with a significant other or a friend who has a very different budget than you do, discuss this before you decide to take a trip together and decide what you will splurge on and where you will spend less. Some people stay in smaller hotels and do simple restaurants with an affordable menu and then do a nice dinner on the last night of the trip. Decide if you want to splurge daily on tourist attractions or if you prefer to have 1-2 special events on your trip.
It is easy to get swept away by a friend’s photos of their fancy trip or pictures posted on social media. Make sure you plan a trip that is affordable for you.
Preparation This depends on where you are going and the length of time. For an international trip that is 1-2 weeks, starting a month ahead of time is a good idea. That
Gives you 4 weekends to get ready. You can make a list of what has to be done each weekend as well as any purchases for your trip. This includes getting foreign currency, purchasing items that you cannot get oversees, having the right reading material and activities to occupy your time during the long flight oversees.
Your Home: Try to clean, straighten and organize before you leave as it will be nice to come home to an organized home.
The Office: It is easy to spend your final days on vacation worrying about the voicemails, emails and work you are coming back to. Many people have asked that colleagues or outside vendors not call or email while they are away.
**Children: Make sure that everyone has a say whenever decisions have to be made or adjustments to the itinerary. If it is fun for children they can help pack, help plan and help pick restaurants. Have some coloring books, stories and devices to help them with long hours on a plane or in a car.
The most important reasons that we travel are to relax, experience a new place and to make new memories. Try to focus on your reasons for traveling in the first place. This will keep things in perspective if the weather or some of the destinations are not what you had planned.
**More info on traveling as a family or with children can be found on the blog Ytravelblog.com
Kay Gimmestad, LCSW-C is a business coach and clinician in New York City with 20 years of experience working in the profit and not for profit sectors of Human Resources, Health and Human Services. She has built a reputation for being highly skilled in facilitating behavior change while working with employees, both individually and in groups, on matters relating to performance management, substance abuse, crisis intervention, and stress/wellness.