Source: Men’s Health, August 2014, page 34

I am on-site at a conference this week and was browsing through the in-room magazine which happened to be the August 2014 issue of Men’s Health. I do not read Men’s Health on a regular basis and was pleasantly surprised by the article: Travel Bugs, there’s an exact science to making sure your winter break doesn’t leave you broken.

I could not find the article on-line and will therefore just summarize the key points:

49 days, the amount of lead time you need for a good domestic airfare. For international travel they recommend booking 81 days in advance. Closer to the travel date, discounts may apply. Bottom line is that you have to do your homework because booking too early can be as bad as booking too late. Note though that if you want to attend a big international event, you should stick to booking as early as possible.

15%, the portion of your budget you should set aside for unexpected costs. It may be a more expensive cab fare or an additional activity that you did not know of before you travelled. If you have additional money available you can decide on the spur of the moment and not be stressed about your spending

8 days, the minimum amount of time you need to block out for a real holiday. According to research done, they have found that people’s feeling of health and well-being peaked after 8 days of being on holiday. Incorporate activities in your holiday that will increase your energy and decrease your stress levels, e.g. spa, reading, lounging about.

5 milligrams, the dosage of melatonin to take the day before you cross time zones. According to a Greek study taking melatonin as a supplement can help your body to synchronise with the light-dark cycle at your destination. For six or fewer time zones, take one dose the day before travelling. For crossing seven or more time zones, take a daily dose for up to three days before travelling. Take note that caffeine, alcohol and different meal times can play havoc with your body.

2 events, the maximum number of excursions to plan for each day away. If you want to relax then planning every second of every day will just leave you stressed out. Travel is all about the unknown, allow yourself to explore, experience and enjoy at your leisure