21 Top Travel Tips to Enjoy a Stress Free Vacation

by Julia on November 22, 2018

Vacations should be the most relaxing time of the year and not the most stressful. I am lucky enough to travel all over the world for our company Exceptional Villas and I am pleased to present my top 21 travel tips to ensure you have the most stress-free vacation possible.

  1. As soon as you have booked your vacation, book your travel insurance. Nine times out of ten you won’t need it, but for that occasion when one of your party may not be able to travel, or there is a force majeur at your destination which prevents you from travelling, or your luggage gets lost, then you might just need it.  A good travel policy will sort all these issues out. The small investment is so worth it for the peace of mind you get.

  1. The week before you travel, make sure you have everything in order. Finish the project you have been working on. Make sure all your bills and paperwork are up to date. Tell people you are going to be away and will be offline. Let people know your return date.

  1. Relax and enjoy the journey. There is nothing worse than feeling stressed at airports, train stations and waiting for buses. Take a few deep breaths and enjoy the journey you are on. Don’t think about when you get there. Think about enjoying yourself right now. Have a great book, a movie downloaded on your phone or iPad, a podcast or simply chat with the people around you.  You might well meet some interesting new friends.
  1. Be flexible as sometimes things do go wrong, and there is little point in getting upset and ruining the rest of your vacation.

  1. If your flights delayed, stay calm.  There is nothing you can do, and it is out of your control. Take out your book, iPad, podcast and enjoy! You will get to your destination albeit a bit late. In the overall scheme of things that can stress you in life, it is a very small one. Afterall life is short, and something on this level is not worth getting upset about.

  1. If you have checked in luggage, bring some essentials in your hand luggage so that if your bag doesn’t arrive, you can manage for 24 hours. 99.9 per cent of the time, your bag will arrive within 24 hours, and it would be such a pity to not enjoy the first day of your vacation as a result of a delayed bag.

  1. Make sure you have everything on your laptop and phone backed up.  If you do lose them, they will be covered by your travel insurance and they are easy enough to replace once you can retrieve all your data quickly.

  1. Call your bank and let them know both where you are going and for how long.  There is nothing worse than going to pay your hotel bill or your restaurant bill, and your credit card has been stopped because your bank is covering their backs!

  1. Stash a bit of cash when you are travelling. If you lose your wallet, it is always good to have some cash hidden in different areas. Your credit cards can be easily stopped so if you have some cash to keep you going, you can avoid a lot of stress.

  1. Relax and don’t be anxious. The world is not nearly as dangerous as you might think. The media tends to blow crime out of all proportion and make some places look much worse than they are. Of course, you should use common sense but being more relaxed will help to bring a new destination to life. You are more likely to chat to locals for example. Make eye contact with people. Smile and engage with them. You will be amazed what an impact this can have on your vacation experience.

  1. If you are booking a villa and travelling somewhere like Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic, use a company that has a great concierge service such as Exceptional Villas. They will organize everything for you in advance.  Things like car hire, ground transportation, excursions, restaurants, boat cruises, fishing, golf and airport fast tracks may all be sorted in advance of your trip making it much more carefree and relaxed.

  1. Avoid going in the peak of the season. There is always extra stress when a destination is very busy. Car parking, roads and restaurants are all under pressure and getting a good table can be hard or even getting a restaurant booking.  And if you do, the service can be less than good. But if the peak times are the only time you can travel, then my best advice is to book really early and book all your concierge details at the same time such as your car hire, restaurants and excursions.

  1. Wake up early when you’re on vacation.  It can be the best time to enjoy a new country.

  1. Take your time when on vacation. Don’t try and do seven cities in seven days. You are much better to really get to know one place and be able to relax and enjoy it as opposed to running from place to place and only seeing the surface and touristy areas.

  1. Look after your body when you are travelling. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat really healthy foods, exercise and keep really well hydrated. If you are in anyway worried about the water, don’t drink it and use bottled water instead. Don’t eat salads or anything that might have been washed in the local water. Avoid ice in drinks. There is nothing that will destroy a vacation more than being unwell for all or part of your trip and a lot of illness may be avoided by being careful.
  1. Pack less rather than more. You will be amazed at how liberating it is to have less stuff around you when you are travelling.  I will often pack a bag and then take half of what I have packed out.

  1. Make a list of all the essential things you will need for your vacation about a week in advance. This way you can avoid a lot of stress trying to replace essential items.

  1. Keep copies of all your important items such as passport and driving licence.  It is so much easier to get a replacement document if you have a photocopy of the original one.
  1. Bring a portable power bank battery. If you are travelling for a long time and can’t get to a power socket, it will ensure you have access to your phone and things like google maps for much longer.

  1. When you first arrive at your new hotel or villa, put the address and phone number in your phone. Some cab drivers may not know where you are staying, and this can really save you if you also can’t remember the specific address.

  1. Last but not least, why not consider leaving all your devices and technology behind you. At first, you might think you cannot cope without being connected but just imagine if it was like the old days where people could only reach you by the traditional route of landline and how relaxed you might be when you can’t check what’s happening at the office or look at your emails.

Alexandra Baradi is the owner and CEO of Exceptional Villas who are one of the worlds most trusted villa vacation rental companies.   The only feature personally inspected and 100 per cent vetted villas. Their top markets include Barbados, Turks and Caicos,  St Barts, Cayman Islands, Antigua, Italy and Greece.


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