Top 10 Tips For Having A Perfect, Stress-Free Holiday

Top 10 Tips For Having A Perfect, Stress-Free Holiday

The whole point of a holiday is to relax and relieve stress, but all too often, you need a holiday after your holiday to recover from your time off. Here are ten tips to make your holiday the stress-buster it really should be.

Photo by Transia Design (Shutterstock).

10. Know Why Holidays Are So Stressful

If you only take a holiday once in a while, it puts a lot of pressure on that time period for everything to be perfect. Try taking breaks every quarter or twice a year and keep your holiday itinerary flexible so you don’t end up stressing out on your vacation.

9. Take a Ten-Day Holiday

A three-day getaway is nice and a week-long one is quite common, but 10 could be the magic holiday number. You’ve got enough time to travel to where you’re going, maybe with multiple stops, and you’re away long enough that you’re forced to off-load your duties at work.

8. Travel with Your Kids While Keeping Everyone Happy (Somehow)

Travelling with kids adds unique challenges, especially when you have to schedule around nap and feeding times. Don’t let having young kids (or kids of any age) keep you from travelling, though. All you need is some extra planning and preparation for a smooth trip. Even flying with kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare, especially if you travel on a kid-friendly airline.

7. Let Someone Else Plan Your Trip

Most of us go the DIY route when booking our trips, but a travel agent can save you time and stress when you have a complex holiday planned, such as travelling with a group or you have health issues that need to be accommodated. You can also save a lot of money by using a travel agent if you’re planning an international trip.

6. Head to an Underrated Holiday Destination

If you like crowds and long lines, visit a popular destination in prime tourist season. Otherwise, you might enjoy your holiday more if you head somewhere less popular, or take a staycation. Similarly, the summer might not be the best time for a holiday, depending on where you go.

5. Streamline Your Holiday Planning

Sometimes holidays are stressful just because you have to make a ton of decisions and coordinate with other people. There are lots of travel planning apps that can simplify your plans. You can plan a trip itinerary using your own custom Google Map or this simple spreadsheet too.

4. Set Guidelines When Travelling with a Group of Friends

Travelling with friends is a lot of fun, but it can also drive you crazy, since you’ll be together constantly and probably won’t agree on everything all the time. Keep your cool by making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to accommodations and planned activities.

3. Work on Holiday (Without Going Crazy)

Sometimes you have to take work with you on holiday, it can’t be helped. If that’s the case, try setting aside small blocks of time that you’ll use to catch up on work and save the rest of the time for enjoying your holiday.

2. But Don’t Let Work Ruin Your Holiday Time

If you don’t really have to work while on holiday, though, don’t. You can force yourself not to get sucked into work mode with a holiday email address. Schedule your holiday well in advance and block those dates as “out of office” so you avoid having regular work conflicting with your holiday desires. If the thought of going back to work stresses you out while you’re on holiday (or before you leave), plan to hit the ground running when you return with a few simple tricks like cleaning your home and desk before you leave and starting your day a little earlier so you have some alone time.

1. Take a Holiday, Already

Taking a holiday shouldn’t make you feel guilty. Too many of us don’t use our holiday time, perhaps thinking that we look like we’re harder workers when we don’t go on holiday. That’s silly. Go relax. Here’s our start-to-finish guide to a perfect, stress-free holiday.


  • For us, the biggest problem was that crazy notion of getting “money’s worth” out of a holiday. So we’d rush around seeing or doing lots of things. Which is great at the start of a trip but winds up with burn out and less enjoyment at the end. And the inevitable need to take time off to recover after the holiday.

    So now we factor in rest days. Usually one or two on arrival (depending on number of time zones crossed) and then at least one or two a week (depending on length away). These are agenda-less, which doesn’t just mean having to mooch by the hotel pool all day, but mustn’t have us on our feet all day or involve sightseeing.

    The next biggest stress reducer is deliberately having some alone time. As Dave Lister, paraphrasing Sartre, said “hell is spending eternity with your friends”. This also defies the other crazy notion that you have to spend the entire time with the person/people you are on holiday with.

    So we tend to find at least a half-day (or so) a week to go off and do separate things. It comes in useful especially if different people like different activities. That way, there is none of the forced pretence of enjoyment despite internal indifference. Or worse the overt resignation that undermines the others’ enjoyment.

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