Going on holiday is supposed to be a relaxing experience, but for many people, it can ignite feelings of stress. In fact, one study found that as many as 80% of people suffer from pre-holiday stress that doesn’t diminish until they return home. To ensure as relaxing an experience as possible, follow these stress-busting holiday tips.
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Most people end up feeling stressed on holiday because they haven’t done adequate pre-holiday planning, whether that be not packing the right things, forgetting items or not doing any research. While it’s no big issue if you forget to pack your toothbrush, it could prove more of a headache if you forget to organise your visa or leave prescribed medication at home. Although it sounds obvious, writing a to-do list and not leaving packing to the last minute will ensure you get your holiday off to a stress-free start.
Allow plenty of time
One survey found that 25% of holidaymakers get stressed due to the travel involved with going on holiday. Yet, there are plenty of ways that you can make this a fun and exciting part of the holiday experience.
There’s nothing more stressful than turning up at the airport just as check-in is about to close, so always ensure you leave plenty of time to get to and from your travel destination.
Check the travel reports before you leave your house and keep essential documents to hand so you’re not rummaging around when you need them. If you’ve got the option to check-in online, this can save time and potential stress, while downloading travel documents to your phone ensures you don’t need to worry about losing paper copies – just don’t forget to bring your phone with you!
Travelling with children can also send stress levels soaring, so make sure they’ve got plenty of things to hand to keep them amused throughout the trip.
Have realistic expectations
Holiday brochures and Instagram photos are designed to make destinations look perfect, to lure captive audiences into booking. But, the reality is often different when you arrive, bursting your bubble of a dream vacation. This can leave holidaymakers feeling disappointed and stressed. To prevent this, it’s important that you go away with realistic expectations. Not everything will be perfect. Things will be different from back home and locals may have ways of doing things that you aren’t used to.
Try to embrace the experience and enjoy it for what it is, warts and all. Of course, if there are any aspects of your holiday that you think are unreasonably misrepresented then speak to the relevant staff as soon as possible so that any issues can be rectified early on, without spoiling the rest of your stay.
Some aspects of your holiday will be out of your control, be it a delayed flight, bad weather or a must-visit attraction closed for restoration. This may feel like a letdown and could put your nerves on edge, but remind yourself that there’s nothing you can do to change the situation.
Instead, try to take a flexible approach and find alternative solutions to make the best use of your time. Make a list of activities or options to consider if the weather misbehaves and get yourself lost in a good book instead of fretting about a delayed departure.
Remember that, although you might want to pack in as much as possible on your break, try to factor in time for winding down and relaxation. Getting the balance right ensures you don’t come back from holiday feeling frazzled and in need of a rest!