Avoiding Stress While Planning a Trip

Avoiding Stress While Planning a Trip

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself”

– Danny Kaye

Trips are highly anticipated events in our lives. They bring the promise of adventure, exploration, or just rest and relaxation. What people often forget is the stress and hassles that come along with a trip. These can include entering a new culture and language, different people’s travel styles and/or expectations of the trip itself, and family or individual needs while traveling. By being aware of these pitfalls and taking the time to work them through, you can save yourself much heartache and plan for a much more enjoyable trip.

Vacation Planning

You may have thought that it was just you, but so many people run into problems when they travel. This is because everyone has different hopes and expectations for trips. There is also added stress, sleep deprivation and a myriad of other factors that feed into this ugly soup. Friends, couples and families alike can experience these issues when planning trips together.

The Issue:

Let’s first understand what the source of the problem is: frustration in vacationing comes from different agendas each person may have. Everyone has different agendas when it comes to vacation. There are so many triggers that cause us to get stressed:


  • Money
  • Work/other stress
  • Travel styles
  • Vacation ideals
  • Outside norm local/routine
  • Interaction with others
  • Kids and family
  • Expectations
  • Pre-existing issues
  • Health concerns

Enjoy The Trip

Before you begin your trip planning, take some time to define the following:

  • 3 Goals of the trip
  • 3 Fears
  • Best Case Scenario
  • Worst Case Scenario
  • How to Get Back on Track
  • How to Divide Time

I recommend that you make a simple deal with the other people on your trip that you  switch off who chooses the plans for each day. You can also make requests for your own needs such as- “I just need to know that we will eat lunch between 12-2 PM” or “I want to make sure that there is always a restroom within 30 minutes of wherever we are”.

Take time to discuss:

  • What I want from the others on the trip with me
  • What he/she/they want from me
  • Reset Truce – do we all agree to reset each morning despite whatever happened the day/night before?
  • These discussions will save you a lot of stress and tension later!


Everyone has their own individual needs and preferences, and that’s okay. This guide is not about judgement or imposing. It is meant to facilitate a fast and effective conversation BEFORE the trip and BEFORE any serious run-ins. Many people have used this guide and have emailed me to tell me how different their trip was because of it. I look forward to hearing your story!

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