Modern life is busy and often stressful, making the chance to enjoy a holiday all the more important. Taking time to relax can be the best way to keep your mental and physical health on point! Too often though, holidays themselves can become stressful as well, whether it’s due to flight delays, sunburn, unexpected bad weather or even just bad restaurant service.
With a little bit of organisation, these stresses can be avoided or at least made easier. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the hottest holiday tips to ensure you have a stress free trip, for utmost enjoyment and relaxation.
When packing, keep your destination’s weather in mind. Check the forecast before you go so you don’t get caught out by surprise rain or sunshine! Be prepared and pack accordingly. Don’t let the trip be ruined by painful sunburn or other discomfort.
If you’re going somewhere hot remember suncream, light clothing and insect repellant for those pesky mosquitos. Don’t buy suncream when you arrive to your destination, it’s far more expensive. And if you’re heading towards colder climates, bring something waterproof in case of rain and layers, layers, layers!
Wherever possible, take hand luggage. It’ll make travelling much smoother – no wasting time waiting around in baggage claim, plus there’s no chance of a lost luggage disaster if your bags are with you the whole time!
If you do take hand luggage, make sure you check the airlines restrictions before packing to avoid any delays in the airport. Firstly, make sure liquid items are no more than 100 ml. You can buy small containers and decant products to save money, rather than buying minis. Check the maximum size and weight your hand luggage can be online and pack accordingly. If you roll rather than fold your clothes you’ll be able to fit more in! Plus wear your heaviest, bulkiest clothes on the journey – it’s your bag that gets weighed, not you!
On the journey
When it comes to travelling, consider booking a hotel with ByHours to make life a little easier and minimise airport time. If you have a flight at an odd time which leads to waiting time before checking in to your accommodation, book a hotel for a few hours in between where you can sleep and have a bite to eat. Do the same if you’re facing a delayed flight. Relax somewhere comfortable so you can begin the holiday ready for adventure.
When it comes to learning the language of your destination country, a little goes a long way. You don’t have to arrive fluent, just prepare a few useful phrases before you leave like please and thank you, and perhaps bring a phrasebook. Locals will appreciate the effort, which is bound to make your life easier!
Once you’ve started speaking like a local (sort of!), the next thing to do is eat like one. When you first arrive to your destination, it’s easy to just pop into the first restaurant you see – especially when it’s hot outside and you’re hungry! But this can often cause more stress than you bargain for in main touristic sites, where meals can be double the price for half the quality. Plus, if you have special dietary requirements such as meat, gluten or dairy free, you may find that the place you’ve stumbled into doesn’t cater for those needs.
Do some research before you leave so you know where the best grub is at, and keep a list of these places saved on your phone. When hunger strikes, a good meal is practically at your fingertips.
Speaking of restaurants, it’s a good idea to know a little about tipping etiquette in whatever country you’re visiting. In some places a tip isn’t necessary, in some just a few coins will do, and in some it’s as necessary as breathing! Check before you go to avoid any awkward moments.
While you’re at it, it might be useful to check up on some general etiquette rules of your destination country. For example in France it can be considered rude to talk too loudly when in a cafe. Also, in certain Spanish coastal cities it’s considered so impolite to wander the streets in just your swimwear that you could be fined!
Have a varied itinerary
When on holiday, sometimes you can be torn between your desire to discover and explore as much of your destination and just wanting to sleep off the last crazy week of work! So make like a pro and plan both into your schedule.
It’s all about balance. Go for a hike in the mountains and enjoy a delicious meal (plus dessert!) afterwards. Go and see the city sights in the morning and unwind by the pool in the afternoon. If your hotel or apartment doesn’t have a pool, then book a few hours in one which does, or even treat yourself to a spa.
Be a tourist – but not too much
Making like a tourist is fun – why else would millions of people do so every year? It’s a time when you don’t have to think about responsibilities and can enjoy yourself. With a little forethought, you can enjoy the perks of tourism without the downsides.
Firstly, it helps to blend in a little bit. For example, while carrying your backpack on your front can help you keep an eye on your belongings, it will also scream I’m a tourist, increasing your susceptibility to petty crime like pickpocketing.
When you’re planning your sightseeing, be clever. Go at times when you can avoid crowds, such as first thing in the morning and during meal hours. Queues will be shorter, and you’ll get better pictures without other people’s heads in the way!
So, that’s it! All you need to do now is pack your bag and hop on the plane for the ultimate stress free getaway.