We all know holidays are a great way of relieving stress; but sometimes, the planning can cause undue extra pressure.
In order to help you get in the holiday mood without the last minute panic, here are our Top 10 tips to reduce the stress just in time for your get-away.
A worrying survey by APTA suggests that nearly 1 in 4 Brits travel abroad without insurance, but travelling without it can be a costly mistake if anything were to happen; this also includes holidaying in Britain
2. What do you want to do on your holiday?
You’ve seen the pictures, you know a bit about the local area, but what do you WANT out of your holiday, and will it cater for your family? Are you a family that likes to go sightseeing or prefer playing at the beach? Like preparing your own meals, or think holidays are all about being waited on? Do you have children that need entertaining or are they happy in their own or just your company?
3. Find out what’s nearby?
It can be overwhelming arriving to a destination and not knowing what’s worth seeing, especially if you only have a few days in one place; but don’t go overboard, pick a few key places, and then go discover when you’re there. A quick search on the internet is a great way to find out what’s worth seeing.
4. Pack for success!
Look at weather patterns to the region you’re going to, not just forecasts!
If you’ve bought clothes and shoes for the holiday, wear them before going away so you know you feel confident in what you’re wearing and the shoes don’t rub…
Depending on how you are travelling, it’s sometimes easier to pack miniatures of all the essentials, such as shampoo, toothpaste and sun cream and buy full size whilst you’re away.
Clear washbags are an amzing way to store small items and you can see whats in each bag eg- keep all electronics such as chargers, cables and adapters in one bag, pens, pencils and notebooks for little ones in another, and first aid kit in a third
5. Going abroad
It can be daunting going abroad, especially if you don’t know the local lingo. It’s worth learning a few key phrases, and not just hello and goodbye, but also asking where the local hospital is.
Driving Laws are often different in other countries, so it’s definitely worth being aware of any laws that may impact upon your holiday, such as alcohol limits, breakdowns and accidents, and speed limits – it’s worth noting in France on the spot fines are used, so if in doubt always take a credit card with you!
Write down the Emergency Numbers of the country you are going to, and if you can find out the details of the local Doctor- just in case.
Find out what the local currency is, don’t just assume, and take enough cash to get you through the first couple of days; but don’t keep it all in one place. A preloaded currency card is also worth having, and can be loaded at any time, even whilst away.
6. Plan your travel route
Plan how you will get to your destination, ahead of time! As someone who drove to the wrong Frejus from Italy (apparently there are 2, in 2 different countries!) it’s worth taking the time to decide on a route, as well as alternatives.
Although Satnavs are a life saver, an old fashioned map can work wonders when unforessen circumstances arise.
7. Make and take copies of all your documents
Have copies of passports, driving licence, insurance certificate and any tickets. Keep them seperate from the originals, and in a clear plastic wallet.
If you’re driving, take the spare set of keys too!
8. Inform family members
Give family members a copy of your documents, as well as information about where you’re staying and any rough itinerary plans if you will be travelling a lot
If you have a long journey, especially with little ones, it’s worth thinking about how to entertain them. If you have a tablet can you download any programmes or songs.
A seperate bag which contains a few games, toys, colouring in and snacks just for children is also really handy.
It’s worth noting that unless you have a VPN set up on your tablet/ mobile device you won’t be able to watch any British tv on demand such as iPlayer, however Netflix does still work depending on the country you have travelled to.
10. Mobile Phone Safety
Should you lose your phone, or be in an accident whilst away, it’s worth changing your phone lock screen to having your name, emergnecy contact number, alongwith any known allergies, alternatively download the ICE app, available on Apple and Android and allows you to set as your home screen all your emergency information, including blood type.
If your phone has a find my phone function, ensure that it is activated so as long as your phone is switched on, you will be able to locate it in the event it is lost or stolen.
Extra Tip 11. Enjoy!
Holidays are often few and far between, so try and enjoy it!
Acknowledge that you might get lost, the weather not be as good as you’d hoped, you might even have an argument with your family; but whilst all this is happening, you’re making memories, and that’s what holidays are for.