A great vacation can be a perfect event that you, your spouse, and your children will remember for the rest of your lives. The expectation of perfection, though – coupled with the fact that traveling is often very expensive and something that most people can’t just do at the drop of a hat – can tend to make planning a vacation a fairly stressful experience.

Thankfully, the best way to eliminate almost any form of stress is with thorough planning. Yes, Yoga can always help you out of that stress buildup, but it’s not the only way. If you know where you’re going, what you’re doing there, and how you’re going to pay for it, everything else will fall into place – and you can just concentrate on having a great time. 

Eliminate your travel stress with these simple tips.

1. Set Your Budget in Advance

As expensive as it is to buy plane tickets, book a hotel room and live on restaurant food, it should come as no surprise that money is the primary source of travel stress for many people. To alleviate that source of stress, you need to have a firm budget in place before you go. 

Make sure that you have room in your budget for the things that you want to do. It’s also a good idea to have a buffer in place for unexpected expenses. After all, things like meals and taxi rides always end up being more expensive than you expect. 

When you plan your travel budget, it’s a good idea to involve the whole family and set everyone’s expectations accordingly. It’s important for children to know, for instance, what their limits are where souvenir requests are concerned.

2. Read About the Area

Before you travel to a new city for the first time, it’s a good idea to learn as much as you can about the area. Grab a few travel books or spend some time reading blogs authored by people who live there. Reading about the area will help you learn about the most interesting things to do there. 

It’s also a good way to find out where the locals eat, which can help you avoid overpriced tourist traps. It might also help you discover unusual activities that you may not have found on your own. Most importantly, reading about an area before going there is a good way to find money-saving opportunities that can help you stretch your travel budget.

3. Plan Your Activities Before You Go

The last thing that you want to do during an expensive vacation is to spend your time cooped up in a hotel room scrolling through lists on your phone and wondering what you should do that day. The way to avoid unwanted downtime is by planning your itinerary before you go. Gather input from everyone in the family to ensure that everyone’s expectations will be met as fully as possible. 

When you plan your vacation, remember to leave things a little loose. Don’t try to plan the whole vacation down to the last minute because you won’t want to spend the entire time feeling like you’re just shuffling the group from one activity to the next. 

You might want to spend a little extra time at some places, and you may want to cut other activities a little short. You should also have some backup activities in mind in case the weather doesn’t cooperate, or an attraction is unexpectedly closed.

4. Pack the Most Important Items in Your Carry-on Bag

When it’s nearly time to depart, you might find that packing your bags is a bit stressful because it’s difficult to know what should go where – and you definitely don’t want to forget something important when you’re going to be away from home for a while. 

When you pack your bags for a vacation, one of the key things to remember is that your most important items should always go in your carry-on bag. That way, you won’t be without those items if your checked bags are delayed. 

To name a few examples, you’ll want to make sure that any required medications are in your carry-on bag. If you use nicotine, you should bring an extra pack of cigarettes or some vape juice

It’s a good idea to put a change of clothes in your carry-on bag. You should also consider bringing some snacks. That way, you’ll have something to eat if you arrive at your destination late and are nervous about driving around in an unfamiliar place at night.

5. Leave Room for Your Souvenirs

When you pack your bags, don’t forget that you need to have a plan in place for how you’re going to get your souvenirs back home. One way to do that is by devoting some luggage space to snacks. 

It’s always a good idea to bring some food when you travel because you won’t want to eat expensive restaurant and vending machine food every time you get hungry. Hotel and resort restaurants in particular are notoriously expensive. 

You’ll eat the snacks during your trip, leaving plenty of room in your luggage for the souvenirs that you want to bring home. Alternatively, look for a local company that can pack the items and ship them back home for you.

6. Bring Something Comforting from Home

Some people have difficulty sleeping soundly in unfamiliar locations – and if that’s true for you, it can be a source of stress. No matter how comfortable a hotel bed might be, you might find it difficult to fall asleep because it just doesn’t feel like home. 

Many people who sometimes have trouble falling asleep have certain items in their bedrooms that help to provide a sense of comfort and safety. For you, that might be something like a white noise generator, a battery-operated candle or even a favorite pillow. 

Whatever that item might be, you’ll want to bring it with you when you travel. For many people who have difficulty falling asleep in hotel beds, a single item from home can be all that’s necessary to provide the sense of comfort needed to help you get some rest.