1. Do your homework
Not all of us are natural-born planners. But making key decisions beforehand can save travellers from wasting precious holiday time – and money. Many hotels dish out discount prices for advanced reservations and, with a little insider knowledge, travellers can book flights at their cheapest. Browsing through user reviews can prevent unpleasant surprises down the road and, for the commitment-phobe, keep an eye out for free cancellation policies.
2. Refine the packing system
Packing can feel like cruel and unusual punishment, but all travellers need is some know-how. To avoid the usual blunders, make a checklist. And if travellers live in fear of the ‘lost luggage’ scenario, they should photograph the contents of their suitcase to keep a record of what they are taking. Plus take a picture of their travel documents too – just in case.
3. Take your time
Spare the headache and arrive early at the airport. Avoid rush hour and check traffic conditions beforehand. Worried about exceeding the weight limit on luggage? Travellers should double-check at home by getting on the scale with the suitcase and then subtracting their own weight.
4. Less is more
The golden rule for a stress-free holiday is managing expectations. Travellers should consider not only what is important but what is feasible. It’s easy to get caught up in checking every sight, museum and restaurant off the to-do list, but absorbing new things can be exhausting. Be realistic about energy levels – prioritise activities and know when to say ‘taxi’.
Holidays are also an opportunity to catch up on things you don’t have time for at home. Read a book. Take a bath. Binge on bad T.V. – it’s okay to take some time off from your time off.
We all know it can be hard switch off work mode, but the brain needs a break too… don’t bring the office. Consider the timing when booking plans, give bosses/colleagues a subtle countdown to departure and finalise anything time-sensitive before leaving. If travellers must catch up with work, they should try scheduling a designated time to go online – and stick to it.
6. Agree to disagree
Kids getting cranky, a friend that takes forever to get ready, a partner dragging you along to something you don’t have the slightest interest in seeing… plain old discord might just be the leading cause of holiday stress. And plain old compromise is the way to avoid it. Identify differences and negotiate a peaceful resolution.
7. Ease back in
As tempting as it may be to book that last return flight on a Sunday evening and head straight into work the next day, rushing back into “real life” can quickly do away with the positive, relaxing impact the holiday may have had. Travellers should take an extra day at home to readjust, giving time to unpack, do laundry and restock the fridge. This can prove more valuable in the long run
8. Think ahead
Finally, a tried-and-tested recipe for warding off those post-holiday blues… start planning the next one!