THE BLOG
01/16/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

How Happy Is... How To Travel Like a Zen Master

If I could, I would be more than happy to give you a psychological breakdown linking your traveling techniques to your psychological profile, but actually I don't know that it would be so easy to analyze the methods and motives behind anyone's travel style. My husband is a great example: Most of the time he is messy, disorganized and a bit of a scatter brain, but when it comes to traveling he's cool, calm and collected. He packs the night before, manages to get to the airport on time without leaving hours too early and never stresses out about flying.

So, whether you have a habit of over packing, like to get to the airport five hours early or find queuing extremely frustrating, here are some tips to help you make your traveling experience way more chilled.

TIP1: Visualize what you want. Not more than a week before you go, Visualize in your minds eye finding it easier to pack than ever, imagine getting to the airport in a really comfortable amount of time. See yourself effortlessly passing by check in and security and imagine that, even with all the endless queues, you remain calm and in great spirits. Then you get on the plane, hear the click of your seat belt and with nothing more for you to do, you let the holiday begin.

If you take time to do this whole routine in your minds eye first, you are giving your brain an indication of what you want to have happen. Everything you do externally needs to be done internally in your mind first. So, if you are someone who gets extremely stressed, then by going through the entire traveling procedure in a more relaxed manner, it will help you recreate the experience in preparation for when the time comes.

TIP 2: Breaking Patterns. Are you someone who likes to wear the same clothes day after day or do you like to change them round each day? If you look at how you are in your every day life, you will get a really good indication of how you need to pack. Try not to pack a week in advance, it gives you way too much time to stress about it. Instead, imagine what you might need and just make sure everything is clean. A few days before, put everything out on your bed, see what overlaps and remind yourself if you have a tendency to take away too much on trips and, if you do, put a third back in to your closet. Unless you are going to a third world country where you might need to bring your own toilet paper, remember, you can always buy things when you get there.

TIP 3: Travel Light. Airports are generally crazily busy places with a lot of stressed people running around. See if you can walk through the crowds unaffected by the bustling madness. It will really help if you don't carry too much hand luggage and use something that is on wheels, so you don't have a huge weight on your shoulders. The goal is to whisk through the airport unencumbered. Make sure that you charge everything before hand and if you really don't like plane food, bring your own. Pack that, rather than an extra book that you won't read. Put your heavy things in the luggage you've checked in, you don't need to carry you're whole make up case on the plane.

TIP 4: Relax Your Mind. Flying really is the safest way to travel, so stay calm. Thousands and thousands of flights take off each day round the world. Statistically, you are way more likely to get run over by a car than be in a plane accident.

TIP 5: Think ahead. In case of an emergency, send an e-mail to yourself with your traveler's cheque numbers, your bank details and insurance details. Then, if you do find yourself in an emergency situation, all you need to do is find a computer and you have everything there.

That's it for this week, I hope you have a great holiday and a happy and healthy New Year. I am off for 2 weeks and will be back on the 6th January. In the meantime, if you would like to make contact with me you can e-mail me at sophie@howhappyis.com. Sophie.