One of the pleasures of travelling is that it brings us into contact with the unfamiliar, but the unfamiliar can be stressful. Stress free travel requires organisation, so that you can deal with the unfamiliar and the unexpected without stress. You may be travelling for pleasure or you may be travelling for business, but either way you are going to need to be at certain places at certain times and those places are usually unfamiliar, very busy and potentially stressful. Some careful forward planning will enable you to enjoy the experience of travelling rather than simply enduring it.

Have a packing list

Have a packing list, which you use before you leave the country and before you make your return journey, that way you can be sure that you haven’t left anything behind. Keep your packing list as the starting point for future journeys. Apps like Triplist can help you organise your packing, and can be better than keeping a list on a piece of paper which you could easily lose.

Make digital copies of important documents

In most cases you’ll never need to use these copies but it’s a wise precaution that will only take a few minutes and could save you hours of stressful negotiation. It will ensure that you can still access your documents should all your baggage go missing.

Allow plenty of time to make your connections

One thing that is guaranteed to send the stress levels soaring is having to race to make your travel connections. If your journey begins by car it is likely that you will be travelling on unfamiliar roads at unfamiliar times, so don’t assume that your journey will be straightforward. Arriving late to the airport or railway station is the most stressful way to start your journey. Always allow plenty of time to park your car, use the shuttle bus, get through the baggage control and walk to the gate. At a railway station give yourself time to find the right platform and the right train. Having a spare twenty minutes is not stressful but being twenty minutes late is, as I’m sure you’re aware, very stressful.

Get appropriate travel insurance

Search online to get the best travel insurance deal and the appropriate level of cover. If anything goes wrong on your trip, travel insurance can cover trip cancellation, medical expenses, lost or stolen baggage, delays and personal liability.

Do some research on your destination

If you are unfamiliar with your destination, ensure that you are aware of cultural differences and the laws of the country. A little research will prevent you from causing unintended offence or getting yourself into trouble with the law.

Wear comfortable clothing

It’s easy to get ‘hot and bothered’ when travelling. Wear clothing that you know to be comfortable. It’s certainly not the time to break in that new pair of shoes. Layer your clothing so that you don’t get too hot or too cold.

Make sure that your passport is up to date

It sounds blindingly obvious but thousands of travellers each year find themselves turned away because they have not checked their passport. Check your passport in advance of travel and be aware that many countries require you to have a minimum of sixth months before your passport is due for renewal.