March Break/Spring Break are some of the busiest travel weeks in the year, next to Christmastime.
I travel. A lot. I would say I'm used to the typical 'travel stress' that creeps up anytime you are flying somewhere, however over the years, I've learned to mitigate the typical travel chaos.
I see it at the airport often....
....Husbands and wives, partners, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends... alll arguing and snapping at each other.
People freaking out at the long line-ups at checkin or security, or getting snippy with the flight attendants.
Before you take off on your travels for Spring Break, let's dig into 4 ways to make your travel time virtually stress-free.
1. Leave more time than you need
Yes. I'd say time pressure causes about 80-90% of the airport stress.
Be prepared to hit traffic en route to the airport. Murphy's law. Also, long travel lines at customs, or check-in.
Typically, Canadian airports suggest arriving 3 hours prior to International flights and I totally agree. I have pre-screen clearance and priority security/check-in and I still arrive a good 2 hours prior.
Missing a flight sucks. Even more so, if you're heading to a destination that only has one flight a day!
2. Get the essential travel apps
There are a zillion articles on travel apps. Just google them! I'm going to give you a few of my MUST-HAVES.
Flightview - FREE flight tracking app. Allows you to see the flight prior to the plane that your flight is using.
WhatsApp Messenger - allows you to connect with loved ones without using cellular data. Wifi messaging.
XE - currency converter
Google Maps - no brainer!
Songza - FREE airport tunes. Runs on Wifi so not good on most flights.
3. Be nice. And breathe.
Remember that airport employees, check-in staff, flight attendants, and yes, even customs and TSA officers are human.
You'd be surprised how delighted they are when you smile, and ask how THEY are.
They deal with uber-stressed travelers ALL day. Can you imagine?
Good manners will go a long way here, and depending on what airline you're flying, you may even score a free upgrade.
Watch for other super-stressed out negative nelly travellers. People are just GENERALLY not nice at airports. I've had men on flights hit me in the head with their suitcases and push me out of the way. Seriously.
People act strangely when they're stressed. The best thing you can do is to control your own emotions, and breathe.
4. Be strategic.
Think. Do you have any travel credit cards or loyalty programs that can help you bypass security or check-in lines?
Often American Express has these benefits on their top tier cards. If you don't, no worries but take this as an opportunity to note a couple of things for next year.
If you're living in the US or Canada, get pre-approved next year for the NEXUS/Global pass program that allows you to go to the often WAY shorter, security line where in many airports you don't need to even take your shoes or jacket off anymore.
Focus on one air carrier. I know. Or a couple that fly in the same 'alliance' (i.e. One World, Star Alliance). Why? Accumulating points to one program will get you to higher tier benefits faster.
Signing up for a loyalty program is SMART. Flying is the fastest way to earn rewards such as free upgrades, free flights, dedicated check-in lines and more.
Do you ever get stressed-out traveling? Why or why not?
Post your stories in the comments below!
Chief Fashionpreneur, encircled