5 Tips for Stress Free Travel

Is there really such a thing as a stress free vacation?

We are constantly being challenged every time we travel. Don’t tell me it’s just me. I’m pretty sure some (or all) of you readers can pretty much relate to this article, right? Let me rant for a bit and share with you some of the things that I usually go through whenever we go on vacation.

We have no driver so we have to make sure we book a Grab car waaaaay before our estimated time of departure. Because you know, we have to deal with this situation, alongside the difficulty of booking a car during certain hours.

We have no driver so we have to make sure we book a Grab car waaaaay before our estimated time of departure. Because you know, we have to deal with this situation, alongside the difficulty of booking a car during certain hours.

Planning an itinerary for a big group is a major brain drain although I must admit it’s fun sharing new memories with loved ones. I wrote something about this topic in my  Tokyo post .

Planning an itinerary for a big group is a major brain drain although I must admit it’s fun sharing new memories with loved ones. I wrote something about this topic in my Tokyo post.

I have to pack not just for myself but also for my two kids. Sometimes the hubby needs some prodding or reminding as well on what he should pack for himself. And if we need stuff appropriate for the season and destination, it’s usually a mad rush to buy stuff since a lot of our trips are booked just a few weeks before we plan to leave.

I have to pack not just for myself but also for my two kids. Sometimes the hubby needs some prodding or reminding as well on what he should pack for himself. And if we need stuff appropriate for the season and destination, it’s usually a mad rush to buy stuff since a lot of our trips are booked just a few weeks before we plan to leave.


Let me point you in the right direction . . . .

I can go on and on about how I try to survive when preparing for a trip but what I wrote below are the ones that I think are the most important (to me at least).

TIP #1  - Pack light. Ok, so I must admit I only started following this rule just recently. I have two daughters who like their OOTD photos so they like packing different sets of outfits but my husband had to put his foot down and reminded us that the little humans will not be able to carry heavy stuff. Ok, fine. What’s the upside of this aside from not having too much to lug around? You’ll probably have extra space in your luggage in case you end up shopping, which you’ll probably end up doing, believe me. Worried you’ll run out of clothes to wear? That’s an excuse to shop! Or a lot of places we’ve visited have accessible laundry shops nearby, or even inside the apartment. If you feel like splurging, the hotel staff can do it for you as well.

TIP #1 - Pack light. Ok, so I must admit I only started following this rule just recently. I have two daughters who like their OOTD photos so they like packing different sets of outfits but my husband had to put his foot down and reminded us that the little humans will not be able to carry heavy stuff. Ok, fine. What’s the upside of this aside from not having too much to lug around? You’ll probably have extra space in your luggage in case you end up shopping, which you’ll probably end up doing, believe me. Worried you’ll run out of clothes to wear? That’s an excuse to shop! Or a lot of places we’ve visited have accessible laundry shops nearby, or even inside the apartment. If you feel like splurging, the hotel staff can do it for you as well.

TIP #2  - Make sure your phone has enough space for your photos. Save them in your computer and/or upload them to iCloud or Google Photos. I ran out of phone space during one trip and I didn’t have my camera with me at that time. So many missed opportunities for beautiful photos!

TIP #2 - Make sure your phone has enough space for your photos. Save them in your computer and/or upload them to iCloud or Google Photos. I ran out of phone space during one trip and I didn’t have my camera with me at that time. So many missed opportunities for beautiful photos!

TIP #3  - Download already all the necessary apps that you think you’ll need before you leave. Uber, Google Maps, AccuWeather, subway/train apps, etc. If you think you’ll have a hard time with data connection, make sure you download offline maps to wherever you plan to go.

TIP #3 - Download already all the necessary apps that you think you’ll need before you leave. Uber, Google Maps, AccuWeather, subway/train apps, etc. If you think you’ll have a hard time with data connection, make sure you download offline maps to wherever you plan to go.

TIP #4  - I’m a heavy reader and my Kindle saves me from boredom every long haul flight or when I wake up earlier than everyone else. I prefer the smell and feel of actual books but I can read 2-4 books per trip so an e-book reader is a more practical option. I weighed the items above and it’s 1.20 kg for the books versus 0.35 kg for the Kindle. It saves my back from the added weight plus I can have a whole library in that tiny thing!

TIP #4 - I’m a heavy reader and my Kindle saves me from boredom every long haul flight or when I wake up earlier than everyone else. I prefer the smell and feel of actual books but I can read 2-4 books per trip so an e-book reader is a more practical option. I weighed the items above and it’s 1.20 kg for the books versus 0.35 kg for the Kindle. It saves my back from the added weight plus I can have a whole library in that tiny thing!

TIP #5  - Book and pay for most of your expenses online pre-departure. Don’t just limit it to hotels and plane tickets. You can book and pay for attraction tickets, tours, transportation, and even travel tax waaaay before you go on vacation. Try to get whatever can be done out of the way already so that you’ll have more time to enjoy your trip. And the best part about this is you avoid the long lines.

TIP #5 - Book and pay for most of your expenses online pre-departure. Don’t just limit it to hotels and plane tickets. You can book and pay for attraction tickets, tours, transportation, and even travel tax waaaay before you go on vacation. Try to get whatever can be done out of the way already so that you’ll have more time to enjoy your trip. And the best part about this is you avoid the long lines.

I just want to highlight the online payment of travel tax, which is levied on those leaving the Philippines (more about the travel tax here). Turns out that we can actually skip the long lines at the airport prior to check-in by actually paying for this via the Online Travel Tax Payment System launched by Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) last year. Some airlines offer you the option of incorporating the travel tax when you pay for your tickets but for those who don’t, it’s good to know that there’s a faster and easier way of paying for this even before you go to the airport.

Just create your profile on the website, encode your passport and ticket details, pay via credit card, PayPal, or even at 7-11 stores, then just print the electronic receipt. Make sure you bring the receipt with you along with your other travel documents when you head to the airport! And to make it even more convenient for us overseas travelers, travel tax will eventually be imputed in ALL plane tickets regardless of airline in the near future, as per TIEZA COO, Mr. Pocholo Paragas. Hoping other government agencies will follow suit and make it more convenient for the public by offering online services for various transactions.

Once you have an account, your international travel history will be saved based on the history of your tax payments. Need help tracing when and where you went for the past few years (some visa applications require this information)? Now you have this instead of manually going through your passport pages.

Once you have an account, your international travel history will be saved based on the history of your tax payments. Need help tracing when and where you went for the past few years (some visa applications require this information)? Now you have this instead of manually going through your passport pages.


Now it’s a different matter all together when it comes managing stress during your vacation. And how about post-vacation stress? Oh, don’t get me started on the difficulties of unpacking! Maybe I’ll rant about it soon on another article.

Workaholic and multitasking momma who absolutely enjoys what she does as Executive Producer for OTT.  Has faulty memory so taking photos of almost everything is part of her everyday life.