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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Travel Stress Tips

This isn't directly a Minnesota trip post, but it kind of ties into it and I thought I'd share.

I was listening to a podcast the other week and one of the tips given on the episode was to take bookend days around your travel. Basically, that means take the day off before you leave and the day off after you come back to reduce your stress level when you travel.

This is something I heartily endorse. When it's been possible, I've always taken an extra day off from work so that I have a day or two home after my trip. This gives me time to unpack, do laundry, and unwind from the hassle of either driving or flying. I learned this years ago and have done it ever since. It's the difference between going back to work exhausted (a lot of my vacations were to writing conferences, and as an introvert, those things left me drained) and going back to work relaxed. Or at least mostly relaxed. :-)

What I hadn't done in the past was take the day off before I traveled. Until this trip to Minnesota and that was an accident. I'd taken the Friday off before we left because my dad had a doctor's appointment. I didn't know then when, exactly, we'd be headed to Minnesota, but when everything fell into place, it turned out we were leaving that Saturday.

OMG! It was fabulous! I wasn't up until 2am packing for the first time in like forever. (I hate packing and tend to put it off until the last minute.) So we went to the doctor, stopped at the grocery store to get drinks and snacks for the trip, and had time to pack, and load the car and do the million other things a person needs to do before a car trip.

From now on, I am definitely (if I have the vacation time) taking off the day before. It was the best thing I'd done to ease travel stress in a long time.

It was after I came home that I heard the podcast and I had to laugh. Why couldn't I have heard that travel tip years ago? I'd been doing half of the bookending for years, but taking the day before had never dawned on me. Lesson learned.