Even with the Fourth of July in the rear-view mirror, there’s still plenty of summer left to be enjoyed; and plenty more time to go on trips with family and friends. While not every vacation requires a drive, flight or other vehicle to escape, ones that require travel arrangements tend to be more involved as far as planning goes. After taking a trip of my own up to Canada over the weekend, I decided to give a few tips for a stress-free travel.

First, pack light. While you may want to bring everything for every eventuality, packing just the essentials with just a couple extra clothes will help keep your luggage easy to manage, and give you more space to bring back souvenirs.

Second, make sure you know your plan in advance. This includes travel routes, activities at your destination, when you’re planning to leave the house and return, and so on. Even a quick glance can save you extra time and stress by helping you space your time properly and not overbook yourself.

Third, pay incredibly close attention to your travel route. Know where there are stops, how bad traffic is at certain times of day, whether you need to take toll roads or ferries, how long alternate routes are compared to the one your GPS recommends, and so on. Even knowing about unavoidable high traffic areas helps, as you’ll tend to be able to relax more when you’re expecting it. Nothing is more stressful than getting in an unforeseen traffic jam at 1:30 am (Canadian highways get backed up all the time, no matter what part of the day it is in my experience).

Of course, everyone has their own ways they like to prepare to take their vacations, and maybe this all won’t be for you. You may even find it less stressful to just stay in town for your vacation. Whatever the case, I hope this helps those planning grand adventures and getaways over the summer. Stay safe, have fun and enjoy your summer!​