4 Tips for a Less Stressful Vacation
Experts explain ways to leave stress behind when you take off for that much needed holiday.
Smart Air Travel
Get through security lines faster by heeding these Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) tips:
Leave the lighters at home. TSA confiscates more than
30,000 lighters a day. Other items prohibited in carry-on baggage include
knives, sharp objects, firearms, explosives, and flammable liquids. Also
forbidden as carry-on: athletic equipment that could be used as weapons such as
bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks, and ski poles.
Keep valuables with you. Pack jewelry, cash, fragile
items, electronics, medications, and undeveloped
film in your carry-on luggage.
Dress for speediness. To avoid setting off the metal
detector, steer clear of clothing, jewelry, or other accessories containing
excessive metal. Examples include decorative zippers, buttons, large belt
buckles, or underwire bras. Wear easy-to-remove shoes. Suggested footwear
includes flip-flops and thin-soled sandals without metal.
Know what to take in and out. Laptops and video cameras
with cassettes should be taken out of their cases, placed in a bin, and sent
through the X-ray machine on their own. Coats, blazers, and jackets should also
be placed in a bin and screened. Before entering the screening checkpoint,
place cell phones, PDAs, keys, loose change, jewelry, and large metal items in
your carry-on luggage.
Vacation Buster No. 2: Sleep Starvation
In the rush to get trip-related errands, packing, and traveling done, many
people stay up late and/or get up very early before a vacation, figuring
they'll make up the sleep later on. However, it can take one to three days to
recover from a sleep deficit and to unwind from stress.
Jet lag can also add to the problem. So can the "first night effect" -- a
common phenomenon in which travelers find it difficult to snooze the first few
nights in a different place.
To make matters worse, some people hit the sack at odd hours, and forgo good
quality sleep to make the most of their vacation. All the activities replacing
good shut-eye may well be very valuable, but inadequate slumber can curtail
enjoyment of them.
"The reality is that when you don't get enough sleep, it's going to impair
all aspects of what you do," says Mark Rosekind, PhD, president and chief
scientist of Alertness Solutions, a scientific consulting firm. "You will be
irritable, short-tempered, and will be falling asleep in the middle of
get-togethers with family and friends."