There are people that always seem chilled and relaxed when they go on a trip. And then, there’s the rest of us… We’ve asked around for some tips from frequent travelling folks surrounding us at the Amstel House Hostel Berlin and here are their top 10 stress free travel tips.
1. One designated place for ALL travel documents
Travel stress can start before you even leave your home. To avoid this ALWAYS keep your travel documents in one place. Your ID card, your passport, your local sim card, your emergency credit card. Keep them in one (safe!) place and put them back there as soon as you come back from a trip. When booking a ticket or accommodation you often need your passport number. Again don’t forget to put the passport back after using it for this. Ow and remember to take a picture of all travel documents and e-mail them to yourself. Just in case they do get lost on the road…
2. Check in online
Queues cause stress. So avoid long queues and check in beforehand. Another advantage is that you often get to pick a seat of your preference as well. If you only travel with hand luggage, you can skip all queues and walk right through if you checked in online. Keep your boarding pass on your phone to eliminate one more travel document you can loose. Otherwise see #4.
3. Arrive on time!
Avoid last minute stress and take enough time to arrive at your point of departure. Airlines are super strict and we lost count of the number of times we’ve seen people refused to even enter the departure hall of a plane that is still on the ground because they didn’t arrive at check-in on time. Or because they didn’t take into account the waiting lines. So aim to arrive at least 90 minutes before your flight leaves. It allows for plenty of stress free time and with the wifi on practically every airport and train station nowadays, you can finish those last e-mails, update your facebook status to #smellyalater and buy those last holiday items. All while waiting in totally relaxed Namaste zen mode. No stress!
4. Prepare a travel pouch
Yikes! “Where did I leave my passport?” “Where’s my boarding pass?” “I just had it a moment ago…” Recognise this? Take a small pouch with you that ONLY carries your travel documents. You can put the pouch in a larger handbag or backpack but that way you keep everything sorted and ready to show at the countless checks you encounter on your way to the airplane / train / bus.
5. Wear a comfortable outfit
Wear your stress free travel clothes. First of all, it’s practical; avoid wearing belts, bulky jewellery, hats, jackets and high shoes. Cause you have to take all of these off at the check points. And there will be a minimum of two of those, sometimes 3 or more. No good for your stress levels… Second of all, wearing a loose, light (but warm) and comfortable outfit will make you feel at ease before and during your travels.
6. Book your first night
We’re all for spontaneity in travel but even the most adventurous travellers we met at the Amstel House Hostel Berlin advise to always book at least the first night at a nice hostel. Chances are you arrive tired and it’s a nice idea to have that sorted. The hostel is also going to be your stepping stone to further adventures. If you pick a nice place, there will be nice people staying there with nice travel tips. So it’s the best investment in a stress free holiday to book your first night at a great hostel!
7. Charge your devices
Always make sure you have enough battery for all devices when you leave for travel. Preferably take a power bank for your mobile phone. Again, there’s wifi on almost every airport and you need your devices to kill waiting time, to work, to watch movies, and to look up itinerary and routes upon arrival.
8. Stay germ free
Germs are 100 times more likely to spread in the air than on the ground. 100 times! Starting your holiday with the flue is not our idea of stress free travel… So clean your arm rests and tray table with alcohol wipes. Aim the overhead airco vent away to keep bacteria from entering your nose or mouth. Wash your hands regularly or wipe with a anti bacterial cloth. And bring your own magazines, germs love the in-flight magazines ^_*
9. Bring some currency
If you have a chance before you leave, take a little foreign currency with you. Banks may not work when you arrive or the ATM doesn’t accept your card. It’s safe and stress free to bring a little cash just in case.
10. Sit back & enjoy the down time!
Put your seat back, watch a few movies or read a good book. Enjoy the down time! A recent tip we got from an experiences stewardess is to always carry a mini pot of Vicks or lavender oil that you can rub on. Helps you relax and they protect you from funny odours from fellow travellers or yucky airplane food.
And you might want to get one of these global stress balls to stay stress free through out your travels. NOT to be thrown at fellow travellers who stress you out 😉
Amstel House Hostel Berlin crew