How to de-stress travel

photo-3It’s 12:05 p on a Friday. I’m sitting at O’Hare’s G3 with an Apple in my lap, contemplating an email I received from Real Simple magazine this week.

“We want to hear from you – and feature you in your words.”

A writer’s dream. And I’m sure I’m the only one who got it.

“This month we want to know, how do you make travel less stressful?”

(When people answer, “Good question,” is it because the question makes us think? Or because we don’t know the answer? Or maybe it’s a question no one’s asked. All of the above?)

Good question!

How do you make travel less stressful? Let me think.

My first flight in 1966. Cousin Bob sent 200 birthday bucks with instructions to visit the American Airlines office on Michigan Avenue and purchase a round-trip ticket to Los Angeles.

I was nervous about the whole idea until he told me what it’s like to fly.

“It’s like walking into your living room, sitting a chair and then arriving in a different place.”

Bob knew how to take the stress out of travel. Wish I could ask him Real Simple’s question of the month but about 15 years ago he took a tram to Judgment City.

De-stressing travel has not been goal; my MO is making the best of it. Make a plan and go with the flow.

Travel sounds fun and exciting. Think about where you want or need to go, hop on line and find a flight, pack, get to the airport, board your plane and voila – if you’re lucky – so many hours later you’re in Detroit, or Montreal or Hong Kong.

It’s a snap, until you break it down into steps one must take to get from point A to point B. Par exemple:

Where in the world do you want to go?

What’s the best way to get there?

How much will it cost?

How will you get to the airport?

How will you get from the airport to point b, whether it’s a hotel, a friend’s home or a cabin on a ship?

What currency will you need?

If you use a credit card, will there be foreign transaction fees?

Can you get by with the language/s you speak? Do you need some new phrases?

What will you do when you get there?

What clothes will you need to do that? (AND, do you really need all that?)

My friends hate me for the way I pack. Just enough but in a carry on, if necessary. That goes for two weeks in Europe. I wear the same things with a few change-ups so I don’t get bored with myself.

Oh, I’ve got my answer!

Dear Real Simple: the way I de-stress travel by using a simple color scheme and packing lightly.

In fact, I’m traveling now – Las Cruces, New Mexico. It’s still winter here so I’ve chosen a dark palette. Blue jeans, black cords, red Polartec jacket plus a few black, brown and turquoise pieces.

To test my packing prowess, I borrowed a friend’s carry-on bag. We’re going to Europe this summer and I wanted to see if I still have that old pack light and tight talent. Yup. It worked. Light and tight.

Ugh. I also failed.

I failed to plan for a shoe sale. There’s no room for new shoes, which is kinda stressful.


2 responses to “How to de-stress travel

  1. You are so gifted!…..Heading to Atlanta…..thanks for the tips.

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