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9 Great Tips for a Stress Free Holiday

From checking in with the office to worrying about the cost and from trying to keep up with local news to worrying about fights between the children; it seems that many of us just cannot relax while we are on vacation, struggling to switch off from our everyday lives. The truth is, a break away from our usual routine can be hugely beneficial and a stress free holiday is a possibility.

  • Plan ahead: The best way to avoid stress and the disappointment of not being able to go when and where you so desire is to be organised about it. There is a lot to do when planning a holiday so you should start discussions with your family about potential destinations and book time off work long in advance to ensure your plans have plenty of time to come together.
  • Involve everyone: Arguments can be avoided by agreeing on sights to see and activities to do before you reach your destination. By pooling everyone’s ideas together, you can make sure the agreed itinerary includes something that everyone will enjoy. The same principle works when agreeing upon the actual destination itself. If planning a family vacation, your best bet is to narrow down the possible locations to a shortlist of suitable locations before allowing the children to have an input on the final decision. This way everyone feels their opinion has been valued.
  • Check deals: Sites like Holiday Hypermarket compare prices from all of the major tour operators so you can be sure you get the best possible deal.
  • Have a budget: There is no avoiding the fact that holidays are expensive but that does not mean you cannot stick to a budget. Everything from flights and accommodation to food and spending money can be factored in to make sure you stay within your means while you are away and don’t suddenly find yourself panicking as money begins to run low.
  • Have a checklist: Whether you make your own or look for existing ones online, a checklist is a great way to make sure you don’t forget something important. This list should not only be what you need to pack but also often overlooked details like checking that your passport is still valid or organising any necessary visas if your destination requires them.
  • Have backup plans: Even gloriously good weathered countries can have rainy days and it is important you check in advance that there are indoor activities or sights that can still be enjoyed so that poor weather cannot literally put a dampener on your time away.
  • Remain healthy: While trying new cuisine should be an exciting part of your trip, you should still try and stick to regular meal times and fit in some exercise; be it walking along the beach or swimming in the hotel’s pool. This way you don’t upset your usual routine too much, which can throw your body out of balance and make you feel unwell and lethargic, tainting your whole experience.
  • Leave the office behind: Sometimes it is best not to even take smartphones and laptops with you if they will act as too much of a temptation to worry about work. Emails and phone calls can be seen to once your vacation is over; holidays are your time to unwind.
  • Have down time: Trying to fit every possible site and activity into your vacation plans will likely end up making you feeling stressed and washed out Being lazy by the pool is just as much a part of a holiday as immersing yourself in all the fun.

Bev and Henk's Cottage, Lake Joseph, Muskoka, Ontario, July 15-17, 2010