‘A feeling of mental strain and pressure related to travelling’.
That’s the definition of travel stress, and the chances are if you’re travelling with kids in tow, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
There’s nothing quite like a 3am wake-up call, getting small people out of the house and into the car, driving to the airport, unloading them and all your luggage before walking half a mile (or more) to check in to bring out the worst in people – and you haven’t even gone anywhere yet. Just the thought of it is enough to bring me out in a cold sweat!
There’s nothing worse than being that family when you get to the airport either (I know because I’ve been there, done it and got the t-shirt!) So, how can you make holiday travel less stressful and ensure you get on the plane in a sea of calm? Here are 5 top tips!
5 simple ways to make holiday travel less stressful
1. Take photos or screen shots of all your boarding passes and travel documents
That way they show up as the last photos taken on your phone, so you can pull them up straight away without having to rummage in the bottom of a bag or try logging in to an app while your phone is thinking you want to join the airport wi-fi, all while trying to keep tabs on the kids.
2. Don’t pack sun screen
I don’t mean don’t use sun screen, I mean don’t use up valuable space in a paid checked bag by taking it with you. There’s a notion that sun cream is always expensive on holiday, but when you factor in currency conversion and having to pack it in a paid checked bag there’s little – if any – difference in price. Find the biggest local supermarket when you get there and look for own brand creams and sprays.
3. Consider hiring instead of buying
Avoid additional bagging charges by hiring instead of buying and taking your own holiday gear. For example, most UK ski holiday companies work with resorts that stock clothes and essentials you can hire for a week. Mark Warner family ski holidays have resorts in the Alps where you can get the right sized boots and helmets for kids when you’re there. It’s one less thing to pack and saves you a shopping trip, or the faff of ordering and buying online. The same goes for beach equipment like wet suits and surf boards.
4. Don’t bother taking any food with you
Other than a few teabags tucked away in the suitcase on the off-chance there’s a rainy day, taking anything more than that is a waste of space and money. The chances are you’re not flying to the moon where you can’t find the same, or similar, bits and pieces you (or they) can’t do without. Think smartly and shop when you get there.
5. Buy holiday insurance before you go – & earn money in the process
There are dozens of comparison sites out there but see if your bank is doing any cashback or reduced rates on travel insurance. For example, Santander recently ran a cashback and 10% off travel insurance offer for customers with its 123 account. It’s also worth checking on cashback sites to see if you can get money back when choosing a certain insurance company (Top Cashback have some great rates here). And don’t forget to let your bank know the exact dates you’ll be away – it’s one little thing that could prevent the nightmare of a card being declined on holiday and having to phone up at a ridiculous price to unblock your card.
Are you off anywhere nice this year? Do you have any other top tips for reducing travel stress? I’d love to know what they are!
This is a collaborative post.