We all know that holidays are supposed to be relaxing, but sometimes they can be pretty stressful. All that planning and organisation, being in a new place where you’re not sure of the customs, sleeping in a bed that’s not your own – all of these things can lead to an altogether stressful experience if you’re not on top of the situation. To help you on your way, we’ve put together a list of the best ways that you can help to reduce your stress levels when you’re heading off on holiday.
Maybe you’re the one who likes to be in control. You’re the one who knows the flight times, what the three restaurants in your hotel are serving each day, and where to get the best beach action. If that’s the case, it’s time to delegate. You don’t need to be the person who carries the holiday on its shoulders. Share the load, decide who takes care of what, and be open about what you expect from each other – and make sure you include the kids in this chat, too.
2. Know your limits
Perhaps the days of trekking to far and distant lands with little more than a backpack are over – at least for now. If you’re travelling with kids, it’s important to have an idea about what’s going to work and what’s not. Holidaying with young kids can be particularly tricky, and that’s why all inclusive family holidays in 2019 are so popular.
When you opt to go all inclusive the initial outlay may seem more, but if you break it down and work out what you’d be spending each day on food to feed your brood, it’s likely you’ll actually be saving some cash. What’s more, is it even possible to put a price on childcare that’s onsite, gives you a break, and means the kids have a barrel load of fun, too?
3. Take treats
If you’ve experienced the school run, you know that going on holiday with kids isn’t going to be plain sailing. Getting a kid – or kids – out of the door on time is hard work at the best of times. But this is a holiday – it should be fun. Let the rules about treats slide for a bit. Give them a biscuit at 8am, let them have an hour of screen time at the airport – do whatever you need to do to get through the tricky travel bit and cut yourself some slack while you’re at it.
4. Ignore other people
A lot of the time stress happens when you’re worrying about what other people think. If you feel that emotion rising, ignore it. If you can’t ignore it, try something to sidetrack your brain so that it focuses on something else. While it may be tricky to whip out your yoga mat and practise your downward dog, you could try some breathing exercises.
5. Travel with friends/family
When the kids have ready-made playmates and you’ve got ready-made babysitters, holidays have a tendency to go smoothly. There are more sets of eyes to keep a look out for what the kids are doing and you’ll find it easier to switch off.
6. Get some alone time
When you’re on holiday, you spend a huge amount of time with other people – albeit ones you love. Still, for the benefit of your mental health, it’s wise to get a slice of alone time. A walk on the beach in the morning, a 15-minute yoga session while everyone else gets breakfast, whatever it is – make sure you sneak in some alone time and do something you know helps you keep stress at bay.
7. Embrace boredom
We’re used to living our lives by routine but holidays are meant for switching off. It may take a couple of days to get used to, but try and enjoy the downtime and slow pace. Laze by the pool, read a book, go for a walk without knowing where you’ll end up. Holidays don’t come with a set of rules, so just go with the flow.
8. Be prepared
Stress can come about when you feel like everything’s out of control. Help yourself by planning ahead. Buy that travel insurance, take photocopies of your important documents, and write down emergency phone numbers should you need them.
Don’t let stress ruin your holiday – just know what you can do to beat it down and put it in its place. With these tips in mind, hopefully once you reach your destination you’ll be stress-free, calm and relaxed in no time. Enjoy it, because before you know it it will be time to come home again.