Michael Taylor has put together a three-week trip to Bali. And it took him about four months of careful planning to organize. But just as he is almost ready to leave, he discovers that there are a few things he forgot to take care of. And he starts to panic. Before he knows it, he is suffering from full-blown pre-departure travel stress.
Why Is Travel Planning Stressful?
Is there such a thing as stress-free travel planning? You’d think that by now I’d have it all down pat. My bills would be paid, my bags would be packed, and my documents would be in order.
But – as I entered into my final 24 hours until takeoff – I was suffering from a severe case of PDTS, otherwise known as “pre-departure travel stress ”.
First, I realized that I had forgotten to renew my travel insurance. Not that I’m a pessimist. But I DID suffer that accident on a trip to Phuket a couple of years back. And I’m sure glad I was insured! Otherwise, I would have been seriously out of pocket!
Then I discovered an unpaid bill for my credit card. That sent me into a tizzy.
“How could I have forgotten to pay my bill – AGAIN!!!” I asked myself.
Worst of all, I didn’t think I had enough money in my current account to pay it. So I couldn’t just write a cheque. It might BOUNCE!!! Then I’d have to figure out a way to transfer funds. And I was TIRED!!! This was the LAST thing I wanted to deal with on the night before an extended trip.
Wasn’t travel supposed to be about relieving stress? I was starting to wonder if there was such a thing as stress free travel planning. Talk about stress before travel!
Dealing with Pre-departure Travel Stress
As if traveling wasn’t stressful enough already! So I decided it was time to get organized.
First, I gathered up all of the papers I had not had time to sort through. Then I went through them one by one. And I separated them into two piles: “deal with these tonight” and “worry about these when you get back”.
At the very bottom of the pile, I discovered my most recent credit card bill. And It had already been paid IN FULL! Knowing that I might forget, I had decided to pay it ahead of schedule! And then I forgot that I did it. Check!
Then there were those four newspaper articles that I wanted to submit before I left. In fact, I hadn’t accumulated all of the information I needed to finish writing them. And time was running out.
Where were the answers to those questions I had sent out one full week ago? Don’t people understand what a deadline is?
When Push Comes to Shove
“Calm down!” I said to myself. “Things always work out. Just CALM DOWN!!!”
A couple of phone calls later, and things were starting to fall into place – as they always do. Re-thinking things, I managed to re-angle two of my newspaper stories. And – voila! I had just what I needed, one hour before deadline. No need to await those answers after all!
In fact, I sent off all four pieces – two of them, if truth be told, AHEAD of schedule (only two of them were actually due today). I hope that I don’t forget that I’ve already sent those other two stories off!
Just as I was starting to calm down, thinking that – bit by bit – I was getting things under control, I got an email from the sumptuous resort in Bali that I was scheduled to check into the following night.
It read, in part, “I am delighted to inform you that we have upgraded your accommodation”.
Bali calls. I’m starting to relax. And I can hardly wait to embark on my 21-journey through the Island of the Gods!