A friend called me this morning. We talked yeaterday, and he wanted me to help him find a cheap vacation on a short notice. I found one for him, and he bought it for himself and the wife. Departure is tomorrow morning at 7 a.m.
Today he called me, mildly stressed, to say the least. Upon printing out the tickets, he realized that his wife passport expires in a month. He called the destination, and they calmed him down. "Relax, we are a tourist destionation, and this will be okay. No need for six months validity, just as long as her passport is valid until you return." He called the charter operator, and they confirm this. He still calls the destination, and they calmed him down - again.
He decided, on a hunch, to go home an check his own passport and his wife's. After half an hour on the subway, and ten minutes walk, he was outside his home - with the keys to the house still at work...
He called me and said "This is why I never travel on short notice!". Hehe - I believe him.
When you travel, do you plan everything on the go, or do you spend a lot of time planning everything? I am a little of both, but mostly a planner. On the other hand, I once was able to visit Russia with a passport that expired 4 months after I got back. A real miracle!
In Norwegian, we have the saying: "Pass, penger, papirer". Meaning "Passport, Money, Papers". Yes, this is a good rhyme to help you remember everything for your sun-baked holiday, but my point is that in general, the opposite of stress is planning.
This was true concerning the trip I am doing with my daughter this summer. I planned to purchase tickets one way, and the spent the time studying prices and alternative routes on our return. That was not stressful.
I have taken trips abroad as a spir-of-the-moment decision, and some of them quite memorable, but a decent amount of general planning goes a long way anyway.
What type of stress can you avoid with a little more planning?