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When my daughter, Nicole Brinkley, was traveling from New York to Denver, Colorado to attend a writing conference, the airlines temporarily lost her luggage. “I felt inconvenienced, but never stressed about it,” she said.
Later that night, her luggage arrived intact at her hotel.
If the idea of being without her clothes doesn’t stress Nicole out about traveling, what does? “It’s silly, but losing my phone in the airport even though I’m holding it and never put it down stresses me out,” she said. “You have no idea how many times I check to see if I have my phone while I’m holding it.”
It might sound silly, but it’s the little things that can stress a traveler out and ruin a vacation.
Justin Wolfson, Independent Travel Consultant at Chubit Travel, can understand Brinkley’s stress over her phone. “I stress out that I can’t get cell service,” he said.
While some people might welcome the ability to be unplugged from the outside world, Wolfson said that’s not him. “Not when I work off commission and if I don’t sell I don’t get paid,” he said.
Packing might seem like an easy thing to do for someone like Lillie West who travels a lot, but the idea of fitting everything into the suitcase and making sure she has it all sure does stress her out.
“Packing is my top stressful thing about travel,” said West, an Independent Vacation Specialist with Cruises Inc. in Largo, Maryland. “I have traveled a countless number of times and I still cannot get the packing down to a science. Oh, I have a list of the items and the things that I need to take. I even include on the list the number of everything I need down to the number of socks, but it still seems like I am always under the gun when it comes to getting everything into the suitcase.”
READ MORE: Avoiding Travel Stress: Travel Agents Share Their Secrets
West says she second-guesses herself when she’s under pressure to get out the door and get to the airport. “There is the suitcase of items that always travel with me and then there is even a list of items that I need to grab the morning of,” she said. “What should I take and not take this time? Is it a cruise? Am I just visiting relatives? I usually end up with more luggage than anyone else in my group.”
She admits that packing becomes a race against time no matter how early she starts the process. “Lately I have just taken the ‘oh well it is what it is’ attitude because in the end I wear most of the clothes and there are always those items that I'm so glad that I thought to pack,” she said.
Paula Kaisner, Dream Vacations Franchise Owner and Vacation Specialist in Austin, Texas, has the packing thing down. She travels a lot for business and pleasure but prefers a smooth ride once she’s on the plane.
“As a travel agent I have the opportunity to go on several trips every year,” said Kaisner. “I am a frequent flyer on several airlines and as much as I do fly, I still get stressed out about airplane turbulence. I find myself anticipating bumps and even the smallest airplane dips make me nervous and anticipating bigger ones to come.”
Kaisner said that it’s only after she lands that her stress of flying finally subsides.
What stresses you out? (Editorial note: What stresses the writer of this article out about travel? “Not being at the airport early enough. Much to the chagrin of anyone I’m traveling with, I’d rather sit and wait for two hours than get the anxiety of running late or getting stuck in traffic.”)