We’ve all “been there and done that” – come back from holiday and have been so stressed out by the experience that we feel the only option is to have another holiday. Yet with a certain amount of careful planning and a willingness to be flexible, your holiday should be a relaxing and enjoyable time with memories to last forever.
Perhaps one of the most stressful elements about going on holiday is when it’s time to pack and this can manifest itself tenfold, the more people who are going on holiday with you. The secret is to do as much of the packing as possible before the day you leave for your holiday. That way, you are less inclined to forget things and you won’t feel as stressed out before you go. Also, think about where you are going to and what kind of holiday you’re going on. Many of us tend to pack our whole life’s belongings or, at least, our entire wardrobe but the chances are that, even if it rains, the temperatures aren’t going to change too much during our holiday so if you’re going somewhere warm, you’re not going to need those 5 fleeces are you? So, whilst you might want to take a couple of extra items…”just in case”, pack lightly and think about those items you’re likely to most need.
Planning an Itinerary
Some of the most common arguments that occur on holiday, especially within groups of people, including families, are about what you are going to do on any given day of the holiday. People have different thoughts about what constitutes a holiday and opinions can differ widely. Therefore, if you’re going away as a group, come up with an itinerary whereby everybody’s preferences are given precedence in equal measure. For instance, you might plan a beach trip one day and an historic sightseeing day the next etc. And remember, you don’t HAVE to all do the same things on the same day at the same time. Just as it’s fun to all be together in a holiday environment, so it is also good to ‘go it alone’ for a couple of hours here and there too. You wouldn’t live in each other’s pockets 24/7 at home, so why should that be any different just because you’re on holiday?
Although planning and organisation does help to minimise stress that can result on holiday, it’s important to be flexible too. OK, the heavens may open on the day you planned to go to the water park. So what? You were going to get wet anyway! Or perhaps, the corned beef hash on the camping trip is too stodgy and not like Mum makes it at home. Is that going to kill you? Therefore, be willing to keep an open mind, be tolerant and expect the unexpected. Nothing always goes completely to plan but it’s a holiday isn’t it? At least you’re not at work or in school!
Take more than one source of money such as combining travellers’ cheques, cash, bank and credit cards and divide that up between you if you’re travelling as a group. That way, if money is lost or stolen, there’ll always be another source to turn to in the meantime. On that note, make sure you are fully insured and have the relevant details of your travel insurance policy with you, such as emergency telephone numbers.
Probably the worst thing you’ll possibly experience on holiday is catching too much sun or getting eaten alive by mosquitoes but it’s useful to prepare for the unexpected so make a mental note of where the local hospital is. Also, the locations of the police, pharmacy, convenience stores etc., and learn ahead about the customs of a particular place and any locations you might need to take extra care at when visiting or avoid altogether.
Before you even go away on holiday, be sure that whatever type of activities you intend doing and wherever you are going, you are in adequate physical shape. And, whilst away, don’t compromise your health. Many holidays are stressful and end up ruined by people falling sick or even worse because they’ve overdone things. So, go easy on the alcohol, don’t overdo the sunbathing and be careful about what you eat and drink. Although many of us think of a holiday as an opportunity for ‘excess’, recklessness can often lead to a miserable time for all and that would, indeed, be stressful.