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Going on a trip during winter holidays, Christmas or New Year? Here are 5 tips to travel with peace of mind

Planning and implementing the trip is a daunting task, especially in the case of travelling to a new/unknown city for the first time. To ensure complete peace of mind during your travel this winter break/Christmas/New Year, follow these smart travel tips to avoid minute hiccups.

In the exhausting urban lifestyle with all the hustle-bustle, travel has proven to be a great stress buster for everyone as travelling is an astonishing way to stimulate the mind and body together by discovering various destinations. However choosing a destination and planning the trip is a tough task, considering the time, weather, ticket-hotel booking, etc.

Planning and implementing the trip is a daunting task, especially in the case of travelling to a new/unknown city for the first time.

Harish Khatri, Founder and MD at India Assist, revealed 5 smart travel tips to avoid minute hiccups and to ensure complete peace of mind during your travel during winter holidays or Christmas or New Year trip:

1. Pre-book an airport/railway transport

A major concern while traveling is missing a flight or train thus the best course of action is to pick a right mode of transportation to get to the airport on time. Pick-up and drop-off services make it simple for travellers to arrive on schedule and avoid any distress.

2. Remain calm in case of medical crises

Exploring new destinations during your travel may result in unanticipated circumstances or medical emergencies. Ensure you are travelling with your own medicines/first aid to cover any contingencies. Kids have their own unique requirements, ensure you have taken basic food and other things for them to keep them engaged.

3. Collect verified information

Any journey requires a factual fact check of the weather, road conditions, taxi transportation, food availability, etc. It is preferable to obtain validated information from right source to ensure that you have received real time information and have done your preparation accordingly.

4. Safeguard your luggage and valuable documents

Most travelers have identical travel bags and to eliminate luggage confusion a name card should be added to a suitcase or ensure you have checked your name on the tag attached by the airlines before picking it up from conveyor belt. Also always carry a separate pouch for important documents so that they can be taken out or put back easily and they are always in front of your eyes to avoid losing them.

5. Ask for Travel Assistance Support from tour operator or hotels

Ask your travel agent or hotel to provide you support of mobile assistance app to ensure all the eventualities in new cities are taken care of. A mobile assistance travel app is available through B2B channel and if you push for it, chances are you may get it complementary or at nominal cost from your travel agent or hotel. This kind of app can help you in medical emergencies, in luggage or document lost, in case of theft or any other support you may need in a new city. The mobile assistance app provides the finest services with help of an on-ground support team. The dedicated team manages distress and provides ground assistance support to ensure that you have a better experience and great memories of your vacation.

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Health

7 Travel Anxiety Tips to Ease Stress, According to a Psychiatrist

These seven tips can help calm travel anxiety.

Travel is a gift. It makes us more connected to the world, can inspire us in ways we never imagined, and helps us bond with loved ones along the way. It can also leave us rather frazzled with anxiety.

Travel anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of, and if you have it, you’re far from alone. According to WebMD, some 18% of the U.S. population has an anxiety disorder.

“Travel can be really stress-inducing because so many things are outside of your control,” Dr. Nina Vasan, chief medical officer at Real and professor at Stanford shared some tips. “From weather and mechanical delays to traffic and lost bags, there are a lot of stressors that you can’t necessarily plan for or solve. Things that happen while you’re traveling can also have huge impacts on your day or life.”

There are, however, a few tools you can add to your mental health arsenal to help. Here are seven travel anxiety tips to help ease stress on your next trip.

Pack an item that brings you joy.

If you’re prone to travel anxiety, Vasan suggests packing one item that makes you feel happier, no matter what that is.

“Think of a few things to bring with you to make it a joyful or calming experience. This is different for everyone,” Vasan shared. “For example, think of things you enjoy: a new book, a new TV show you’ve wanted to watch, a podcast, or something to entertain you that will make travel more fun.”

Channel nervous energy.

Feeling out of control? Find something to distract you — specifically, something to distract your hands.

“Find something you can do with your hands to channel nervous energy, like knitting, coloring, needlepoint, writing letters or postcards, and journaling. This allows you to be creative and use the time you’re spending in transit in a way that is fulfilling and can make it feel less stressful,” Vasan said.

Plan your meals.

Vasan said you shouldn’t leave anything up to chance, including your meals.

“Food can be a stressor for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re hungry in transit. Or maybe you don’t see any food options you like,” Vasan said. “Think ahead about what you want to be eating and plan accordingly. Maybe that means packing food for the trip. Or if you’re planning to eat out, think ahead to what you might find satisfying.”

Give yourself extra time.

The last thing you want to do is pile on more stress by being late. So, Vasan said, it’s good to pad in extra time while in transit.

“The travel experience has become much more stressful lately, especially airline travel. Give yourself extra time to plan ahead for any delays or things that might unexpectedly happen. Having the extra buffer time will make your travel feel much less stressful,” Vasan said. If you end up with too much extra time, find something to do – like catching up with a friend or loved one or walking around the train terminal or airport.

Try calming breathing techniques.

What is one thing you can do anywhere, at any time? Take a deep breath.

“Deep breathing, mindfulness, and meditation are absolutely fantastic,” Vasan said. “I like diaphragmatic breathing to ease anxiety and stress. It is a deeper style of breathing, and I think that physical component can be really useful in releasing stress.”

And move your body.

Another way to get your body prepared for stress-free travel is to move a little.

“Physical movement is incredibly helpful in reducing stress. Adding just five minutes here and there can be really helpful,” Vasan shared. “Maybe it is taking the stairs instead of the elevator or power walking around the airport terminal during your layover. Movements can be a game-changer.”

Have a backup plan.

One more way to reduce your chances of running into any travel stress is to always have a backup plan so you’re never left out in the cold.

“Contingency planning ahead of time can be helpful when it comes to work and family responsibilities,” Vasan added. “Before you start traveling, think ahead – if your return flight home gets canceled, what are you going to do? Having a ‘crisis plan’ in place can decrease anxiety because you already know what you’re going to do.”

And don’t be afraid to ask for professional help.

Still feeling overwhelmed? Ask for help.

“If it is at the level where your stress is prohibiting you from traveling, or you notice the stress so much that it is getting in the way of you having a good experience while traveling, I think that means it is hitting the level where a professional can help.” So go ahead and make an appointment with your therapist to get over any hurdles so you can focus on having the best travel experience of your life instead.

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fashion

6 Simple Tips for Better Travel Fashion

Going on a trip starts with planning and prepping, which can quickly become exhausting. Knowing what to pack and how to dress for your trip can be a lifesaver.

We’ll teach you how not to compromise style for comfort. You can look stylish and feel comfy by wearing wrinkle-free clothes and thinking practically.

The following are a few simple tips and tricks to remember for your next travel if you want to look and feel like a million bucks without sacrificing comfort or style.

Ultimate Travel Fashion Tips

If you’re traveling out of the US, say, to Berlin, you’ll need to have your passport in check. So, look for US passport renewal services and go worry-free on your dream trip. After that, you can get your suitcase sorted out!

Now that we’ve got the essentials out of the way, continue reading this article as we reveal six simple tips for the ultimate, worry-free travel fashion.

1. Keep It Simple
Yes, you can be excited about going on that trip you’ve been planning for weeks, but your outfit doesn’t have to scream, “I’m from out of town”! Leave the sequin top at home, and pick a comfy ensemble to make your trip enjoyable.

Forget about flashy colors and choose three color options you can easily mix and match on your trip. If you’re visiting a beachy place, choose white-washed, blue, or khaki color options for your outfit. You’ll be able to spice up your look by mixing and matching other clothing pieces in these three colors.

While in urban cities like Berlin, or any other European travel Mecca, you can’t go wrong with choosing a black, navy, charcoal, or white color palette.

2. Basics Are Your BFF
Even though you have a ton of favorite clothing pieces, you can’t (and shouldn’t) bring all of them on your trip. Most stylists recommend keeping your outfit casual and sustainable while on a trip. A pair of jeans, your most flattering pair of pants, a striped button-down shirt, a blazer, and a comfy tee can go a long way.

Although a flashy, plunging top might seem like something you want to take with you on your trip, if you aren’t going to Ibiza or Buenos Aires, you should take a rain check on that one.

3. Think Holistically
Forget about hauling suitcases packed with shoes and clothes — it will only add to the frustration of arriving at your destination and even become a burden when choosing an outfit.

It’s all about convenience and practicality. Embrace your natural side and think holistically; will you need that pair of wedges? Will you truly get a chance to wear that flashy romper you bought on sale?

More than three pairs of shoes on any trip are just an inconvenience regarding women’s apparel. A pair of sneakers, a comfy pair of loafers, moccasins, or any daytime shoe, and sandals or low boots will be enough to make up a stylish outfit on your trip.

You can replace the sneakers with heels if you’re the type of woman that prefers partying rather than sightseeing, for instance.

Speaking of men, they can go about with just two pairs of shoes, like loafers and sneakers, which they can wear daily and night.

Leave the rhinestone five-inch heels at home — you won’t need them if you’re traveling across the US and not stopping by LA.

4. Fly Smart
In the US, many people that use planes to travel make the mistake of wearing a suit shirt or an easy-creasing dress and end up feeling overdressed and uncomfortable during the flight.

If you’re flying to your destination, choose an outfit considered athleisure. Clothes used for lounging are becoming increasingly popular, and for a good reason: they are lightweight, won’t crease, and easy to fold and store in any bag.

Besides being comfortable, athleisure is also fashionable, so don’t worry about looking like the workout buff you see in movies. Compression leggings, paired with a long-sleeved cotton top and coat, will have you feeling comfy yet fine-looking on your flight to your travel destination.

5. Accessorize Like a Pro
No one said feeling comfortable should look bland. You can bring a few staple accessory pieces with you on your trip and make sure your otherwise coordinated outfit looks impressive and hip.

Your favorite statement necklace or an attention-grabbing ring can spice up the look of an entire outfit. A simple ensemble of black clothing items can immediately become a fashionable outfit by incorporating a single piece of jewelry.

Plus, you can use your evening purse as a makeup pouch and save space in your suitcase.

6. Have an Ace (Fancy Dress) Up Your Sleeve
Yes, you are allowed to feel all glammed up while on your trip, especially if you have planned for a formal evening or a special event to attend. You can pack a slip dress that can double as a high-end piece of clothing should you be planning to stop by Nice.

Leave the bulky, heavy-looking dresses in your closet and choose a flexible dress that will easily fit in your suitcase and are perfect for multiple occasions.

The Final Say
Whatever your reason for traveling is, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed, under, or overdressed. You can feel and look amazing yet comfortable if you follow our six simple tips for travel fashion and ace your trip.

Being crammed in a relatively small seat or going through jet lag can add to your look negatively. Clothes wrinkle and crease, so unless you’re planning on standing the entire trip, avoid making the rookie mistake of wearing linens and cotton items.

You can look fabulous without hauling heavy suitcases worth half your closet, from basics like jeans, pants, and tees to accessories like statement necklaces.

By incorporating these nifty fashion travel tips and tricks, you’ll be packed and on your way in no time!

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travel

8 Ways to Make a Road Trip Your Best Vacation Ever

If you think road-tripping is as easy as hopping in the car and driving, you’re right. That’s exactly why road trips rock. They’re good for basically any budget, any season, and any amount of time.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t level up from road-trip rookie to expert adventurer. We asked three top-notch road-trippers for their best advice for hitting the road with confidence. Here’s who weighed in:

1. Take more trips by keeping them short and simple

Borsuk tries to take 52 mini-vacations per year with her husband, Matt, and their dog, Otto. Most of these getaways are road trips.

It’s easy to get stressed out thinking about how much planning, time, and money can go into vacations. But the great thing about road trips is that they can be as long or short as you want them to be. They also don’t need to be expensive and don’t necessarily require much planning ahead.

For example, this summer Borsuk and her husband took a weeknight road trip. Yep, you read that right. On a weeknight. How’d they do it? They left work at 5 p.m., drove up a nearby mountain (it took about an hour), and pitched a tent in time to watch the sunset. Not only were they able to reconnect and recharge, but they were able to be back at work the next morning.

Mockabee says planning short road trips in between bigger getaways also works well for her family. “This keeps vacation low stress and doable, as all of our energy and funds do not go toward one trip,” she says.

2. Accept that you might forget something

No matter how organized you are, you’re probably going to forget to pack something (like your toothbrush, a phone charger, or enough underwear). In fact, Mockabee says they “always forget something,” but she never lets that hold them back from an adventure. “The beauty of a road trip is that there is usually a drugstore or gas station on the way at some point,” she says.

So you don’t need to worry that you’ll constantly be wondering what you left at home. As Borsuk says, “There’s always somewhere to stop if you forget something.”

3. Theme your playlist

Motamedinia’s favorite way to get into the road-trip spirit is to coordinate her playlist with her route. “Have a soundtrack to your trip,” she says. “It will bring out your emotions, your daydreaming, and your appreciation of the scenery and moment you’re in.”

For example, if you’re driving through the desert, Motamedinia suggests playing Spanish guitar music, Will Smith’s “Wild Wild West,” or Western movie oldies.

4. Bring your own pillows

Even though it’s great to pack as light as possible, pillows are a must. Mockabee says she never goes on a road trip without them. “I think it helps [my kids] settle into any new place fairly easily, [and it] provides them with a comfy spot in the car to rest,” she says.

Even if you aren’t traveling with kids, packing pillows — or a favorite blanket or teddy bear (we won’t judge) — can make you feel at home. It can also make it easier to take naps (or sleep overnight) in your car.

5. Think of your car as a transformer

OK, so your car might not ever be Optimus Prime, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a hotel, a kitchen, and a planetarium all in one. “We not only drive our vehicle to our destination, but we also sleep in it,” Borsuk says. “It allows us to camp in some pretty cool places and helps us afford these mini weekend vacations.”

On their road trip to Crater Lake National Park, Borsuk and her husband threw a mattress in the back of their Subaru Ascent so they could camp out sans tent.

“We parked at a campground at Mt. Hood and watched the stars through the sunroof before we fell asleep,” she says. “We were able to throw our mattress and bikes inside the car and still had plenty more space for extra gear.”

Mockabee and fam eat most of their snacks and meals in the car so they can save money for activities or hotels. “I like making our own type of trail mix with sprouted almonds, cashews, dark chocolate, and dried fruit,” she says.

6. Create your own road-trip traditions

Establishing traditions can generate excitement before the trip even begins and keep everyone entertained during. Mockabee’s family plays the game I Spy and listens to audiobooks on every road trip. Motamedinia always gets breakfast at McDonald’s before she hits the road and belts out “The Sign” by Ace of Base at least once mid-drive.

Whether you prefer singing karaoke (aren’t we all James Corden and J. Lo whenever we get into a vehicle?) or stopping at your favorite diner chain, repeating certain activities will help you and your carmates bond and create lasting memories.

7. Plan active pit stops

You’re gonna have to use the bathroom and stretch your legs at some point, so why not make it count?

Instead of pulling off at a random gas station or truck stop, Mockabee chooses somewhere scenic where she and her family can take a short hike. For their road trip from Sonora, California, to Truckee, California, they found kid-friendly hikes, old mining towns, secluded beaches, and secret swimming holes.

Borsuk also tries to fit in some activity during road trips. “We scope local trails to stop at on the way to our final destination, so we can stretch the legs and mind with a short and fun jog,” she says.

8. Don’t limit yourself to the summer

The phrase “road trip” might give off serious summer vibes, but unlike some vacations, this is the kind you can take any time of year. Road trips are inherently more flexible than other forms of travel, Mockabee says, so there’s no need to limit when and where you go.

“With every season comes a change in natural scenery,” Motamedinia says. “[Think] summer sun against beaches, misty mornings through redwoods, and snowy mountain roads.”

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