Sun, sea, sand… and stress. Lots of stress. For as much as we all look forward to our holidays, the reality of packing seemingly every personal belonging into a seam-splitting suitcase, encountering delayed flights and arguing with those closest to us is often anything but relaxing.
The holiday season is upon us and you’ve worked tirelessly for this break, so it’s time to make the most of it. But, how?
All that’s required is a little bit of pre-planning and good old common sense.
In this post, I’ve got 7 tips for planning a stress-free holiday. Before you grab your passports, grab a pen and paper and dive in…
1. Set A Purpose
This might sound odd. You’re going on holiday, right? That’s the purpose! Not quite. Holidays take many forms; they can be for relaxation, adventure, education or pure indulgence. Work out the reason you’re packing you bags to help you organise and prioritise your time when you arrive.
2. Keep The Kid’s Routine
If you’ve got kids, you’ll know how important routine is when it comes to keeping them happy and healthy. Things can obviously relax a little while you’re away, but try and keep meal times and other family routines in their usual place.
3. Don’t Do A ‘McCallister’
If you’ve seen Home Alone, you’ll know the perils of leaving your house in a hurry and making it obvious you’re heading off on holiday. Remove one source of holiday stress by avoiding negligence; most home insurers simply won’t pay out in the event of a burglary if you haven’t taken the necessary precautions.
4. Switch Work Off
The last thing you want to be thinking about while on holiday is your work inbox or that impending, awkward conversation with a customer, so plan with military-like precision up to the time you finish for leave. Tell everyone you’ll be unavailable and tie up all loose ends. You’ll be left with a work-free mind.
5. Don’t Over-Plan
You’re reading a guide to planning a holiday, yes, but avoiding over-planning is just as important. You don’t need to script every day while you’re away. Where’s the fun or adventure in that? Mark out three or four ‘must-dos’, but leave it at that.
6. Make Use Of Google Maps
Remember those huge, physical maps which no-one could re-fold once opened? Thankfully, those days are pretty much behind us thanks to the advances in modern mapping technology. Use Google Maps liberally both before and while you’re away. Check travel distances and use the fantastic built-in navigation tool.
7. Only Take One Mobile Phone
Now, this may not make you that popular, but if you can manage it, you’ll end up having the most stress-free holiday ever. Having one mobile on you is advisable for emergencies and Google Maps, but leave every other connected device at home. The less connected you all are, the less stressed you’ll be.
That’s it! You’ve successfully prepared for a stress-free holiday. Enjoy it.
Still feeling a little anxious? Just remember: everything will still be here when you return.