Here’s a page ripped from our Summer Survival Guide. How to stay sane and happy when you’re on vacation with every other person on the planet. This is from travel columnist Christopher Elliot, who says that travel in the Summer of 2008 is more costly. Gas is pricier, so you’ll be paying extra not just for your ticket, but for every checked bag. So here’s how to keep from freaking out.
- Take care of yourself. The unspoken rule of summer travel is that the moment you leave home, you’ve agreed to be hungry, tired, lost, dirty and disappointed. Psychologist Leslie Beth Wish says you can reduce the negativity and beat the travel blues by planning ahead. Like packing a lunch, getting plenty of rest, and printing out directions before you leave home.
- Lower your expectations. You used to be able to depend on certain things on a trip. Like, the hotel room rate you were quoted would be what you actually paid. Today, there are a lot of hidden charges and unfair resort fees. Like for the golf course - or the safe in your room - whether you use them or not. Bottom line: You’ll stay saner if you expect to be taken advantage of - and let it go when it happens.
- Another way to stay happy on your next trip: Build in an extra cushion of time whether you’re headed for the airport, or to an amusement park. That way you can relax, and find a way to enjoy the delays and long lines – say, by people-watching, or reading the book you were smart enough to toss in your bag.
- Look for the things that go RIGHT, instead of those that go WRONG. For example, the fact that your plane took off on time, your luggage actually arrived when you did, and your hotel room was ready and waiting when you checked in.
- Pack your sense of humor. Since travel has gotten so absurdly difficult, it’s actually funny. Like the fact you have to take off your shoes at airport security. Or pay extra to check your suitcase, or pay to get earbuds for the in-flight movie or a bag of snacks. The ability to laugh at absurdities can reduce your own negativity, even if those around you don’t get the joke.