There’s nothing quite like taking a great vacation. It gives you the chance to explore new and exciting places, it gives you a break from the monotony of the everyday routine, and it allows you to have some fun and relax. That being said, if you don’t know how to alleviate it, traveling can be a pretty big source of stress as well. Between booking your flights, securing your accommodations, planning your activities, packing, and ensuring that everything stays covered at home, there are quite a few things to worry about when you’re going on a trip. Whether you’re traveling for pleasure or business, consider trying out these helpful tips to minimize the hassle and stress that accompanies it.

Tips for Taking the Hassle Out of Travel - travel, luggage, hassle out, essentials, dress comfortably, book early

1. Get the Right Luggage

Anyone who travels often knows their luggage makes all the difference. It’s essential to find a durable travel bag and hard-side luggage set. The former makes for a great carry-on, while the latter is ideal for checked bags. Some travelers may prefer luggage with all the bells and whistles, while others stick to more traditional options. Whichever type you choose, the important thing is that it’s easy to carry, simple to pack, and capable of withstanding the gauntlet of security checks and miles of airport conveyor belts.

2. Remember the Essentials

One thing you certainly want to avoid when traveling is reaching your destination, looking through your luggage, and realizing that you’ve forgotten one or more of the essentials. To avoid this, make a habit of doing a full check for the most important things to pack before you leave home for your trip. Make sure you have your toiletries, any needed medication, travel documents, whatever currency you’ll be using, chargers for your electronics, and anything else that you can’t go without while traveling.

3. Give Yourself Extra Time

One of the most effective ways to remove the hassle and stress from traveling is to avoid waiting until the last minute to prepare or get to the airport. This means packing several days ahead of time, giving yourself an extra day off or two before the trip (if possible), and finally, giving yourself a few extra hours to get to the airport in time for your flight. Nothing is more stressful than trying to rush to get ready for a trip or catch a flight, and it’s worth a bit of extra effort to avoid.

4. Dress Comfortably

When getting ready for a flight, many people feel the need to dress somewhat formally. Not only does this make the preparation phase of the trip more time-consuming and stressful, but it also makes the entire experience, including the flight itself, much less pleasant. Particularly if you’ve got a long day of travel ahead of you, consider dressing for comfort over style. Ultimately, everyone else at the airport and on the plane will be wrapped up in their own traveling stresses and concerns, and no one will care how anybody else looks. Go with an outfit that’s presentable but cozy, and you’ll probably be significantly more at ease throughout the journey.

5. Book Everything Early

Whether it be your hotel, rental car, or even tours that you plan on taking after you’ve arrived at your destination, book them as far ahead of time as you’re able to. In addition to being stressful and anxiety-inducing, waiting until the last minute to lock down any reservations you’ll need can result in you having to settle for your second or third choice with things, or worst-case scenario, simply being out of luck completely. If you know that you already have everything you’ll need secured and confirmed, the time leading up to your trip will be much more pleasant and relaxing. It’s always a good idea to do this. Still, it’s vital around the holidays or any other time where the place you’re traveling might be a popular, busy destination.

Vacations should be about pleasure and relaxing, not rushing, being stressed, and dealing with hassles and inconveniences. You owe it to yourself to do everything you can to ensure that your next trip is a pleasant one, and these tips can help you make that happen.