Avoid travel stress - 7 healthy habits of happy holiday-makers
Who doesn't love holiday time? For all of us it is a chance to switch off from daily demands, spend quality time with loved ones, unwind and enjoy whatever type of holiday we love, from lying on a beach to trekking in the Himalayas.
It should just be a time of play and pleasure, although according to a recent survey of 1,000 Brits (1), while the majority of holidaymakers felt more relaxed on holiday, stress can still create some chaos and generally affects women more than men.
With the beneﬁt of 16 years employment in the travel industry here are my 7 top tips for planning a stress free holiday.
Know before you go
1. Work Prep
To avoid long days and sleepless nights from managing the pre holiday workload, plan ahead for deadlines, request back up if needs be and discuss essentials with bosses and colleagues before you need to.
Modern technology keeps us available 24/7 which can make it hard to switch off. Leave the ofﬁce in the ofﬁce and remember that your brain needs a holiday too!
Under-packing, over-packing, having to pack for the family, trying to cover every eventuality, leaving it all until the last minute…any of these sound familiar? If so, make life easier:
- Write a check list of all the items you need to take and tick it off as you pack them (useful for reference to in the rare event of lost luggage). To save time try this pre-prepared version.
- Start packing a week or two beforehand.
- Double check facilities and appliances at your destination to avoid taking unnecessary items.
- If the weather is likely to vary, think layers! Pack clothes that can be built up or taken off!
- If you can't choose which clothes to take, pick a simple colour range for a few key outﬁts.
3. Healthy holidays
Stress and lost sleep before you leave, colds from in-ﬂight air systems, mosquito bites and tummy bugs are but a few of the typical health issues that can hinder our holiday happiness.
Luckily, A.Vogel have a team of tinctures to treat you when travelling:
Tormentil Complex - for the healthy function of the lower bowel in case of the dreaded diarrhoea!
Neem insect repellent - a repellent for mosquitoes, midges and ﬂies. And don't forget the must have mini's from the 15ml range, ideal for travelling!
Echinaforce® to help the immune system ﬁght colds and ﬂu and available in a handy 15ml size, great for travelling.
Digestisan for relief of indigestion, fullness and ﬂatulence and available in a handy 15ml size, great for travelling.
Dormeasan® helps restore natural sleep which can be especially useful when travelling in different time zones or after travelling out of our normal hours.
Stress Relief Daytime for mild stress and anxiety. Available in a handy 15ml size, great for travelling.
4. Important Documents
If you booked through a travel agent or a tour operator all necessary information should be provided, and for those of us who book online here are the important things it's easy to forget:
- Do you need a visa or any vaccinations?
- When does your passport expire? (Some countries require at least 6 months validity for entry).
- Have you got adequate travel insurance? Make sure you are looked after in the event of cancellation, illness, accident or lost luggage.
- Are you hiring a car? Check that you have 'excess protection cover’ to avoid significant charges locally, or a huge sum should the car be damaged.
- For added peace of mind, double check with your car hire company about recent changes to UK driving licenses.
- Are you using a mobile app for your boarding pass? Be sure your phone is fully charged or keep a paper copy with you.
5. Manage expectations
The beach dweller? The sightseer? The retreater? The book reader? The intrepid traveller? Whether you are travelling with family, a partner or a group of friends, it is more than likely that you will encounter differing ideas about how to spend time.
My husband and I are a great example. To prevent me becoming a crazy-crammer and him a holiday-hermit, we've made an agreement to sightsee early in the day and rest later. It's useful to manage differing expectations ahead of time and know the ‘must see’ places in advance. Flexibility is name of the game when travelling.
With the combo of boats, planes, trafﬁc, foreign cultures, different climates, young children, not to mention unforeseeable events, things often don't go as planned. Keep a sense of humour, be realistic about what you can and can't ﬁt in and remember to relax. If you can't wind down on holiday, when can you?!
6. Avoid the rush
Leaving work and dashing to the airport or ﬂying back and dashing to work tend to increase the pre or post holiday stress levels.
Give yourself a break if possible and allow a day at the end of your holiday if not at the beginning as well.
It might look like a good idea to maximise holiday time, book that last ﬂight home, then rush into work but that rapid re-entry into everyday life may just banish the beneﬁts of your well earned break. With a day at home to adjust and unpack you are more likely to prolong the positives.
7. Post holiday blues
Home again? Post holiday blues knocking on the door? What was it about the holiday that you enjoyed most? Quality time with family or friends? Time to relax and unwind?
A chance to visit new places? If you can identify the key values that made your holiday special, take time to think about how you could meet these needs more regularly in your day to day life, and if all else fails start planning your next holiday!
What do you find most stressful about going on holiday? (1) Source: Daily Mail Online 'Women find holiday planning and travel to be far more stressful than their male partners (and why it's all down to a perceived lack of control)'