We travel to experience new culture, meet different people, collect vibrant photos, build sharable memories or simply to fulfill life-long dreams. On that first day you will also feel tired, excited, and a little bit anxious. Here are 6 ways to reduce travel stress. It’s natural to feel this way due to jet-lag and an unfamiliar environment. Your Blue Danube Holidays travel advisor can offer help. Airport transfers, are planned to lower any anxiety and increase your enjoyment from the start. It’s comforting to be met by a friendly local at the airport. Centrally located hotels allow you to drop your bags and head out on foot straight away. As a veteran traveler, here are some tips to help alleviate travel nerves & culture shock.
Get out on foot
When you arrive feeling tired anxious it is tempting to curl up in bed and sleep off the jet-lag. You are much better off to you align yourself with the local time zone as quickly as possible. If you arrive early, leave your bags at reception, ask for directions and head out to explore on foot. A local café will give you a chance to sit and watch the ebb and flow of local life. Even if you don’t speak the language a smile and some gesturing will get you started. Coffee shops in Europe are places to relax and stay awhile. Order a drink and you won’t be hurried along. If you keep a travel journal or blog whilst on vacation, this is a great time to jot down your thoughts and feelings. Your senses will be at their most heightened.
Dress in Good Quality and Comfortable Layers
There is no travel uniform, but a great way to reduce travel stress is to be well turned out. You need to be comfortable enough to focus on your surroundings, yet presentable so you will be well treated. Travel often involves walking, waiting or riding on transport so you need loose fitting and comfortable layers. Take good quality clothes to help you feel more confident and you might find that the locals react in kind. Remember, we all judge each other on appearances. By the same token, you need to be comfortable for a long day and you might get four seasons in one day. Dress modestly in places of worship, with your knees and shoulders covered at a minimum. Layering is highly recommended for adjustable style, temperature and comfort.
Learn a little of the Language
Attempt to speak the language even just a little. It tells the hosts that you are respectful, interested in them and their culture. Being able to say: “Hello”, “Please”, “Thank you” and “Excuse me, do you speak English?” will take you a lot farther and you’ll be treated better in Europe than those who don’t bother.
Learn About Your Destinations
Learn a little of the local history, geography, culture and customs. You will know what you want to see, be more confident and more motivated to get out there. Researching your destination will increase your anticipation and boost your enjoyment during the journey and your memories after. Your local library is a great place to start. Travel is a significant investment, so putting effort in beforehand will increase your enjoyment and confidence.
Create a balanced Itinerary
We all want to see as much as possible in a short time frame. You will enjoy your vacation more and suffer less agitation, if you leave some down time to recover and regroup. Be flexible enough to take advantage if you find something really interesting and want to explore more. A morning panoramic tour is a great way to get familiar with a destination and see the key sites. Then go back in the afternoon to the places you really like and explore them in more detail.
Take a Guided Tour, River Cruise or Coastal Cruise
The most efficient way to reduce travel stress is to take a guided tour or cruise. You will see the best destinations without the concern and stress of renting cars, booking hotel rooms, standing in queues and worrying about missing the hidden gems each place has to offer. Take advantage of the detailed planning that goes into small ship cruises. Most interesting places were historically built by water so go into destinations, not just to them. Great cities are also built on coastlines and small boat coastal cruises are the best way to access them and see the beautiful and rugged coastlines around them. Small ships give you a unique perspective and you access all the great sites in your boutique floating hotel. Tours and small ships work especially hard to give you a balance of rest, recreation and insight into the local history, culture and of course food.
Prepare well or go on a Cruise where it is done for you
In closing, do a little research to know where to go, where to avoid, and how to engage with the locals. If you want a more organized way to enjoy your vacation, take a small ship cruise or tour. Be respectful, interested and remain open to new experiences. Try to learn about the local history and culture. After all, you are traveling to be somewhere different, immerse yourself in a new culture and meet new people. Step out of your comfort zone a little and you will come home with a richer appreciation for this beautiful, interesting and diverse world we share.
So…nerves are normal, let the adventure begin and remember a smile is universal!
Here are some top of the line river cruises, that have every little detail planned out for you:0