Simple Tips to Reduce Travel Stress

by RDU travel experts

While the leading up to traveling are often exciting, there are many things that can put serious travel stress on a person. These simple tips will help reduce travel stress. From the work put into preparing to travel to knowing if the schedule laid out will work, travel stress is inevitable. But, with a little preparedness and a few handy tips, this stress can be put to a minimum so you can hopefully travel stress-free and with enjoyment. Travel stress can be broken down into the following categories, each with some easy tips on how to reduce the stresses: itinerary/plans, what to pack, life back at home and finances.

RDU transportation

Travel plans

The plans for how people travel are often the most stressful. As people rush to put together travel plans from booking flights, cab or shuttle rides to and from the airport and then plans for once they arrive at their destination, one common mistake that travelers make is to not give themselves enough time in between those tasks. Time spent shuffling off the plane, to baggage claim and out of the airport is often underestimated and people find themselves hurrying to get from one place to another on time. Scheduling enough downtime in between such tasks can relieve that stress.

busy airport

Packed airports and security lines can also create stress on a traveler. If the traveler and their family have flexibility in their travel schedule, booking flights mid-week is highly recommended as the airports will be less busy with both business and personal travelers during those days. As well, travelers have the option of signing up for TSA pre-check security clearance. Receiving this clearance can save a lot of time at the airport when the TSA security check lines are long and winding. If this can’t be done, planning to arrive with plenty of time pre-flight is highly recommended.

TSA Pre check in

The last piece that is often forgotten about by travelers when making their travel itineraries is to keep their own health and well-being in mind. A trip or vacation is very easy to be over-burdened with things to do, but it is equally important to plan relaxation time for the traveler. Upon the plane landing, relaxation time should be considered to wind down from the haul through two airports and a flight. Also, upon arrival home, planning for some downtime to get unpacked and settled into home before rushing back to the office to work is highly recommended.

Packing for the trip

How and what to pack for a trip can be stressful for the traveler. Questions of “Do I have enough of this” or “Will I need this” often come up in the traveler’s mind and not knowing the answers causes anxiety. The best plan to reduce this stress is to make lists well ahead of the travel date and start to gather items needed ahead of time as well. Some frequent travelers keep a travel suitcase packed at all time and include items like toiletries in them so they don’t have to be purchased and packed before every trip.


packing a suitcase

When also packing for travel, it is important to think about entertaining yourself during any downtime. Airports and planes don’t offer much in the line of entertainment, so packing a magazine, book or downloading new music or podcasts to a phone can help kill some of the downtime both in the airport and the plane. A person’s phone can also help to reduce stress by using the camera function to snap pictures of packed luggage in the unfortunate case the luggage is tampered with or lost. Also, if parking in a garage during travel, taking a photo of the named section where the vehicle is parked can help alleviate the stress of finding a vehicle upon return.

Back at home

When planning for travel, a common stressor is life back home when the traveler is away. The best way for a traveler to rid themselves of this stress is to create checklists well ahead of time and to get things done as soon ahead of time as possible so the traveler isn’t scrambling the morning of the trip. Things like pet care, lawn care, snow removal and mail pick-up can often be handled by friends, family or neighbors as long as they know ahead of time.


The last area of common travel stressors has to do with finances. Preparing for unfortunate expenses is highly recommended to alleviate stress on a trip. Making sure that a traveler knows their credit card coverage is important prior to travel. Having backup funds available may come in useful when traveling. As well, preparing cash ahead of time is important. Having $1 bills on hand for tipping drivers and attendants should be readily available.

With a little planning and preparation, many of the common stress related issues that can occur during travel can be eliminated by following these helpful tips.