Barcelona Hotels Articles

May 10, 2010

Tips to take the stress out of traveling

STAY PUT: My favorite thing to do to take the stress out of travel is to stay in one place. Many weekend trips to Las Vegas, a whirlwind trip through the South in two cars with my father and four grown siblings, and finally a two week trip that included Barcelona, Paris and Amsterdam from Los Angeles led me to the firm conviction that staying in one place for your entire vacation substantially diminishes stress.

At first thought, the idea of visiting three cities in two weeks seems reasonable. But when you examine it a more closely you see there are four days of travel which translates to four days (28% of your vacation) committed to travel one day getting to Paris, one from Paris to Amsterdam, one from Amsterdam to Barcelona, and one to get home. It is very difficult to do anything enriching or rewarding on travel days. Pack, eat, check-in and check-out of airports, hotels, train stations, the actual travel, begin orientation, see those sites that time and energy allow, repeat. You have to be a power traveler for the multi-city vacation. Power traveling stresses me out. I find I prefer to stay a while.

APARTMENTS: Vacationing alone, with family, or friends, renting an apartment and diving into the local culture gives you time to do and see all you want in your chosen location, including reading and napping. This is your vacation after all, and if you are reading an article about reduced-stress travel I know you care.

WARDROBE & PACKING: Pick pieces that mix and match with each other in fabric weights that will suit the climate at your destination, tuck in a few toiletries and you are done. Making sure everything you pack can be worn in several ways creates the illusion of a larger wardrobe enabling you to pack less while looking great and being comfortable.

In a small, rolling suitcase pack three pairs of pants or two pants and a skirt, sweaters and blouses with various necklines or lengths, and a variety of lightweight scarves in your favorite colors to create a pleasant wardrobe for a vacation in any city.

Do not forget comfortable walking shoes. Take tried and true shoes, not new shoes. At this point, as a shoe-loving female, I feel compelled to point out that shoes make great souvenirs, so I always buy some new ones while on vacation. I still am unsure how I left Barcelona without new shoes. It’s one of life’s little mysteries.

If your vacation is taking you to a climate that is very unlike your home town you might consider buying

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