Holidays should be delightful, dreamy and adventurous. You’re not going away to constantly think of what’s happening at home or be endlessly worried about your safety. To have worry free vacations, you should take care of some issues before leaving and then, during the holidays, keep several rules in mind. If you do it, you’ll, first of all, lower the risk of bad things happening, but also do a favor to your mind. When you know everything’s taken care of; it’s easier to relax.
Get things done before you start traveling
To forget about work, get things done before you hit the road. Make a list of the tasks you should complete and then take care of them one after another. Thinking about some open work issues can ruin your holidays, especially if they’re problematic. Of course, it’s not always possible to fix everything perfectly but do as much as you can and accept the rest must wait for your return.
Prepare your home
Ask trusted neighbors or family members to pick your post. You can also ask the post office to hold your mail and then collect when you get back. It’s especially important if you’re expecting some important letters. Put all precious things in a secure place. This applies not only to the most obvious things, such as physical valuables but also documents, so don’t forget about them. Look around your house to remind yourself of all the things you keep there. People tend to forget what they have at home. A sneaky robber can take something you don’t use daily and might overlook. Leaving the lights on is a good and straightforward practice, it often scares away potential intruders.
Be reasonable when planning your holidays
Don’t trust the offers that seem too good to be true – they probably are. If a rental home or hotel room looks fabulous and is suspiciously cheap, look for another accommodation, it might be a scam. The same applies to flights etc. Use reliable, experienced companies; don’t book your tickets through strange agencies. That’s about safety, but you should keep one more thing in mind if you want to have worry-free vacations. Don’t plan too many activities. Running from one place to another isn’t pleasant at all. Many people, especially if they rarely go on holidays, want to experience as much as possible during these few free days. Then, unfortunately, then end up stressed and tired. Give yourself a chance to be spontaneous and relaxed.
Don’t share too much
It feels great to let friends know about your travel plans, but don’t forget social media is not only used by friendly people. Hold yourself from posting status updates before the departure. Someone unfriendly might notice it and take advantage of your absence. Sharing pictures from holidays before coming back isn’t a good idea either. People will know you’re away and your home is empty. You might have strict privacy settings, and these posts will only be visible to people from your friend list, but it still doesn’t guarantee safety, unless this list is very short and carefully composed. People often add each other even if they aren’t actual friends, but only acquaintances. Unfortunately, many robberies are done by individuals who know the property’s owner. It’s a very unpleasant thought, and we prefer to ignore it, but it’s not a good idea to be overly trustful towards all the people you’ve ever met.
Let your best friends know
Don’t overreact with the point three. Somebody should be aware where you are and how you’re doing. Inform closest friends about your plans and once in a while give them a call or send an email. This way they won’t have to worry, and you’ll know that in case something unexpected happens to you, someone back home will notice the lack of communication. That’s especially important if you’re traveling alone.
Take copies of documents
You should have photocopies of the most significant documents, such as credit cards, ATM cards, the passport, ID and driving license. In case you lose your wallet, or it gets stolen, these will come in handy. Besides, you actually shouldn’t have all the documents in one place. If you’ve got both passport and ID, keep them separately. Same with cards, if you have a few, don’t place them in the same pocket.
Be careful when sharing information via phone or the internet
You might need to use internet cafés or public hot spots during your travels. You can’t be sure those connections are secure, so avoid entering passwords to your bank and other financial accounts. Another critical rule: always log off when you’re done. Never stay logged in, this concerns not only the type of accounts mentioned above but also email, social media, etc. The reports contain your personal information, history of conversations and lots of data nobody but you should be able to see. As for the phones, they also might be tricky sometimes. Don’t share too much information over the phone. If you’ve booked a hotel room and the staff calls you to confirm your credit number, refuse and say you’ll do it in person, that’s always a safer option.
Avoid carrying many credit cards or a lot of cash
Don’t walk around the city with a wallet full of money. Always have with you only the amount you’ll need. You can always use an ATM or a bank to withdraw more cash. Carrying several sensitive cards is risky too. If you’ve got more than one, leave the second in the hotel safe. It’s always good to have the emergency numbers for your bank accounts and cards so that in a case of trouble you can quickly have them blocked.
Carry a phonebook
One small, helpful act to settle your mind is to carry a phonebook. Before you leave, just write down significant numbers in the back of a notebook or diary. This way, you avoid always depending on your phone, which can be a constant source of stress. Plus, if you lose your phone, you have access to anyone you might need. Phone booths still exist some places in the world. And, you can always find a phone for an emergency at an internet café or hotel.
Also, write down addresses – this can also be useful for postcards! Want a worry free vacation? These small acts keep you organized and look out for future you.
Give yourself time
Giving yourself time is an important one: take it slow. Things are barely ever stressful if you give yourself enough time. If you are in a rush, you end up leaving things behind; you nearly miss your flight, or you miss an experience. Give yourself time to embrace the moment fully. You will also find that you don’t worry when you look back on your day in a place. You will know you made the most out of it.
Know your bag
Know your bag is a small and particular piece of advice, but it can be very useful. Especially for the natural chaotic traveler. Simply organize your bag. Pack wisely. Rather than throwing everything in, give things a set place. This way, you will know where everything is.
How does this help reduce stress? It will save you from frantically rummaging around when looking for a train ticket or passport. This is the last thing you want in a busy situation. It is especially the last thing you want in a big city when you might become a target. There is no better way to stand out as a tourist than crawling through a huge backpack trying to find something.
Instead, know your bag – know where everything is. That way, you can travel smoothly through stressful situations.
An overflowing, heavy bag is a recipe for disaster. You won’t feel organized or free. Instead, your bag will be clumsy and cumbersome on your back. This can lead to some stressful situations. Things might fall out or get left behind if your bag is too full. Our advice – don’t pack what you don’t need.
You don’t need all the comforts of home when you are traveling, especially if these amenities are big or expensive items. You will worry more about keeping them safe, and it simply won’t be worth the hassle of bringing them along. Pack light, and you’ll be less likely to forget stuff. And if you do forget something, it won’t be the most important thing in the world.
Turn off your phone
What’s the point of getting far away if you’re still mentally stuck at work or home? Turn off your phone, and shut down that part of your brain. That goes for laptops too. Use the quality time of travel to completely separate yourself from the sources of stress in everyday life. Ignore the work emails. Turn off your calendar. Don’t think about the to-do list waiting at home. Just be – and enjoy the rest.
Number 4 is something I tell people all the time. Do not let people know you are away! I know plenty of people who share way too much information on social media and it isn’t a good idea. Not to mention, when you are out on a vacation, it kind of steals the moment. You aren’t fully in it when you are worried about getting the best picture to post on Instagram and having to fuss with a bad connection.