Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog


Tips To Avoid Travel Stress - Guest Post

My friend and fellow blogger also from Wales, Mellissa from Fly Drive Explore has put together this really useful post about how to avoid travel stress - and believe me it's useful. We are currently coming to the end of our adventures in Helsinki and I can agree with all the tips in this post so do check it out.

I love holidays but I hate travelling. Here are some quick tips to avoid travel stress and make things so much easier and more relaxing for you when you are on your next trip.


Keep all your documentation in one place. Make sure you have print outs of all your travel plans just in case, and read over these to make sure you are in the right place at the right time. It's all too easy to get the date wrong! If you are going abroad don't forget to check if your passport is in date in plenty of time, in case you need to apply for another one. If you haven't been to a country before, check if you need any Visas or Estas and apply for them well in advance. You don't want to turn up and not be allowed into a country.

If you are flying, print out your boarding card in advance if you can. Although many airlines accept mobile boarding cards, and apps such as Tripit allow you to organise everything in one place, it's all to easy to get to the airport and find your phone is flat.

Travelling With Family Or Friends

Before the journey talk about what you all want to do on the holiday so you have realistic expectations. Encourage independence as much as possible, you don't want to be with each other every second on the day as this is when the arguments start.

If your children are young, consider booking a kids club, or babysitting service to give yourself a break. If you are travelling with your parents and your children, ask nicely as the grandparents may volunteer to babysit!


Really think about what you are going to do on holiday. When in doubt pack for the weather, sightseeing and any special occasions. Almost all hotels will have toiletries, but if you need any why don't you buy them in the country you are going to? This will reduce luggage weight too. Photocopy relevant pages of guidebooks or use apps to avoid packing the heavy travel guides.

Think - do you really need 7 pairs of shoes and 7 handbags for 7 days? Minimise your clothing and accessories as it is rare you will wear different clothing every day of your trip. I find packing for a long haul trip with a week to go really useful, so I don't forget things. Keep a list of all the items you normally take on holiday and refer back to this when organising and packing.

Airport Security

Always arrive in plenty of time for your flight. I often stay at an airport hotel the night before to avoid roadworks and travel chaos.

Airport lounges are great to start the journey in a relaxed way. Most have a selection of food and drink including alcohol as well as comfortable chairs and power points for an entry charge. When you consider how much you pay for something to eat and drink in the airport anyway, this isn't as expensive as you first think. Don't forget the small clear sealable bag for your hand luggage, check with the airline beforehand to see the size of bag and what this can contain. Remove valuables like jewellery before security or leave them at home to avoid the security stress.

On The Plane

This is the time to bring out the goody bags. This works well with both kids and adults alike. A favourite magazine, notebook and pen/crayons, gadgets/toys, snacks and electronic games/tablet will all help the journey go more smoothly.

If you are a nervous flyer load your Ipod with your favourite relaxing music. I always carry a mini fan in case I get too hot. Noise cancelling headphones can help drown out the sound of background noise including annoying children or adults. I once sat in front of a woman who talked about her guinea pigs for the whole flight!

It's important to be comfortable on the plane, particularly if its a long journey so dress for comfort by avoiding tight fitting clothes. I always dress in layers and carry a cardigan/hoody and spare socks, as air conditioning can be fierce especially on a long haul flight

Plane Health

Sitting for long periods of time on an aeroplane is known to cause deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in a small minority of travellers. If you think you are at risk of a DVT go to your doctor beforehand for travel advice. You maybe prescribed blood-thinning drugs to lessen the risk of your blood clotting, or flight socks. Every 2 to 3 hours it is also important to get up and stretch your legs, drink plenty of water and if at risk avoid alcohol and sleeping tablets.

Keep essentials like travel sickness tablets, painkillers, tissues, wet wipes and antibacterial gel in your bag for convenience.

The Car Journey

If you have landed the other side or are going on a driving holiday and have just got in the car, there are things you can do to make the journey more pleasurable.

If you are not sure where you are going consider hiring or buying a SatNav in advance, especially if you are not confident with map reading. Alternatively the Navmii app is free to download and use as a navigation system for your smart phone. Plan the trip in advance so you know the length of the journey and potential stop offs to stretch your legs and stop for food.

Have some healthy snacks and drinks for the journey as well as well as a number of games for the kids planned. Traditional games such as Eye Spy and 20 Questions are great fun for all the family. If you have a smart phone, tablet or computer ensure you have a selection of games to keep you and your family entertained.

These are just some of my ideas to avoid travel stress, for more ideas on airport tips for a stress free experience read my post here.

Tell me, how do you avoid travel stress?


  1. These are some great tips Melissa! I'd definitely agree that organisation is the key, I feel so much better when I know everything that is going on!

    Musings & More

    1. Hi Emily, thanks for your kind comment. Organisation is certainly key!

  2. Excellent post. Travelling can be stressful and there are some great tips here. Thanks for sharing x

  3. Great tips. Travelling is stressful, especially when you have kids and you're taking a trip as a sole adult (as happens to me on occassion). A kids club is a great idea - they've been a life saver for me in the past. Tx

    1. They can be, I remember my son going to one in Italy. No one could speak much English and he couldn't speak Italian but he loved it with all the activities!

  4. Some great tips here, I always forget something so this will be useful to refer back to. Xx

  5. All great advice! I too love hols but hate the travelling part. Paring down your clothes in particular is a great one, It's revolutionised my packing style!

  6. Love this! Need to bookmark this post ready for my first ever flight in June eeeek!

  7. We're going to be doing a lot more travelling in the future and it's going to get a slight bit more complicated so this is really useful. Will be bookmarking this to keep for the future too xx

    1. We do a lot of long haul travel and these tips can help for sure.

  8. These are all great tips. I think organisation is key along with staying relaxed x

  9. great tips! anything that can be done to reduce stress is always a plus on my book!

  10. I'm SO with you on arriving at the airport in plenty of time. I've had a few near-misses with plane gates shutting and me not being there! So I'm always super early - means more time for coffee and duty free shopping, right? :)

    1. I could never leave home last minute, I'd worry about delays. Also as you say more time for coffee, cake and shopping ;)

  11. Having just driven down to cambridge for the weekend I'm reminded yet again how tricky long car journeys with 3 kids can be. Being organised with the snacks, drinks and in-car entertainment can be a sanity-saver! xx


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