Going on holiday is meant to be one of the most relaxing and stress relieving times of the year, after all, most of us go on holiday to get away from the pressures and worries of every day life, and sit by the pool and recharge your batteries.
However, many of us find booking a holiday, and the process of travelling, quite stressful and then we struggle to switch off when we get away and can allow ourselves to become distracted by home and work life when we’re away.
Here are our top tips for having a stress-free holiday:
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The Most Stressful Bits of Going on Holiday
27% of holiday makers find planning and booking a holiday the most stressful stage of the holidays itself. Travelling is the most stressful part for 33% of people. Whilst 23% of holiday goers find returning home the most stressful part.
Do you need a holiday?
Not only does a holiday allow you to see new places and offer fresh experiences but there are several, proven health benefits of taking a break once in a while.
- Blood pressures drops by 6%
- Sleep quality improves by 17%
- Stress resilience up 29%
- 94% of people have more energy after a holiday
Research and Booking
33% of women and 23% of men find this the most stressful part of the entire holiday, but when is the best time to book? 6% of people save money on flights when they search on Tuesday at Midnight. Avoid Friday at 3am… This is the most expensive time to book.
The Best Time to Leave?
Research from FareCompare suggests that cheapest fares are for flights that leave on a Wednesday.
This might sound obvious, but head to real-world review sites such as Trip Advisor to make sure you don’t get any unpleasant surprises. You can also see people’s pictures that they’ve taken, unphotoshopped and unedited.
Speak to a Real Person
Once you have an idea of where you want to go, visit a travel agent. Even if you still book online, consulting with an experienced travel agent will help ease the nerves as they explain all that you need to know.
Packing and Pre-Flight Preparation
Finish Packing Two Days Before Leaving
Packing is commonly considered one of the most stressful parts of the holiday. Make sure that two days before you’re set to leave that your suit case is packed and ready to go. Write a checklist of items to take if that helps too.
Book a Hotel for the Night Before
If you’re flying from a different city to where you live, book a hotel and travel the day before. If you’re travelling the morning of your flight and you experience delays, this will send your stress levels shooting up.
Have Travel Arrangements to the Airport Booked
Don’t rely on finding a taxi or bus to get you to the airport on the morning of your departure. Have something preplanned, whether it’s a taxi or getting a lift from a friend or family member.
Have Money and Currency Sorted
Don’t wait until you’re at the airport to change your money into the currency of the country you’re visiting. If there’s a queue, or you’re late, you might not have time to get your money. Have it ready before. You won’t get as good of an exchange rate at airport bureaus either.
42% of people feel stressed at airports and 20% said they have had to rush to get to the gate in time with minutes to spare. So here are some tips for making your time in the terminal more relaxing…
Airports are generally busier at weekends, especially on Saturday. The quietest times to fly are between 11am and 4pm during weekdays.
Check in before you arrive at the airport, this is one less thing for you to have to worry about. Checking in in advance also helps secure your seat if the plane is somehow overbooked.
How to Switch Off On Holiday
A massive 20% of us take a laptop on holiday, 70% of people check work emails whilst on holiday, 39% of people will work for up to 3 hours on holiday…
So, Why Can’t We Switch Off?
Here are the top reasons why people feel like they can’t switch off:
- 33% of people work to lessen their workload when they get back
- 29% feel obligated to their job
- 6% say they’re addicted to work
25% of employers said they would call an employee on holiday
The majority of bosses said they would call an employee who is on holiday within the EU.
Tips for Truly Relaxing on Holiday
1: Finish all the work you can before you leave
If you know that you’ve signed off everything that you need to before you leave, this will put your mind at ease when you’re relaxing.
2: Put on an ‘out of office’ message
An out of office message will automatically tell anyone trying to get in touch with you that you’re away and also implies that you don’t want to be disturbed. This will also stop people from chasing you if they haven’t heard from you after a few days.
3: Don’t connect to the hotel WiFi
Resist the immediate urge to connect to the hotel wifi. You’re much less likely to check emails and social media if you’re not connected to wifi.
4: Stay off social media
As tempting as it is to show all your friends what you’ve had for dinner on your holiday, try to keep off social media. Posting online keeps you in the routine of being on your mobile device and you can easily fall into checking work emails.
5: Keep your phone on Airplane Mode
Having a mobile phone with you on holiday can be useful in the case of an emergency or you get lost. But keeping it on Airplane Mode makes sure you’re not bothered by calls and texts should you ever need to get your phone out. This will also help stop you from racking up a nasty surprising phone bill too!
6: Set holiday targets
Set some goals of things that you want to see, do and experience when you’re away. This will give you something to work towards, but also make sure you don’t get bored of lying around all the time.
7: Make a Plan
Have a clear idea of what you’re going to do on certain days. This will keep your mind off work and give you something to look forward to next.
Beat the Blues
Post-holiday stress is a real thing, and most of us will feel some holiday blues as we struggle to get back into our daily routine after time off.
62% of people really aren’t happy returning to work after a holiday and only 1 in 4 are happy returning to work.
Plan to return a few days before you go back to work
Give yourself a few days to re-acclimatise to the weather, normal food and to get over any jet lag that you have.
Manage your workload to your body clock
If you find that you have the most amount of energy in the morning after a holiday, get to work on your bigger jobs rather than admin and email checking. Save that for an energy slump or when you’re missing holiday.
Don’t plan too many meetings
We can easily think that meetings will be a good way of getting back into work life as we won’t be at our desks doing actual work but involved in conversations. Don’t put off getting back into your regular routine.
Don’t overwork to catch up
After a vacation it can be easy to feel swamped by the amount of work you come back to. Don’t overwork to catch up, take your time and take each day as a normal day.
Ask for help if you need it
If you need help catching up, don’t be afraid to let someone know or ask for a hand.
So go on… Book a holiday, relax, switch off and use our tips to reduce the stress of going on holiday. Enjoy!