Holidays are designed to give us a break from the stressors of daily life – a chance to relax, unwind and immerse ourselves in a different locale. Unfortunately, holidays have a tendency of adding their own forms of stress to the mix, whether it’s anxiety about being on time or concern over missing out on a great experience. We think holidays should be stress-free from start to finish. While our hotels have the services and facilities to take the stress out of any stay, we know that a lot of holiday-related stress starts in the planning process. With that in mind, here are our five best tips for avoiding holiday stress, right from the get-go.
1. Know your baggage limits
There’s nothing like getting slugged with an excess luggage fee at the airport to put a dampener on the start of your holiday. Excess fees apply to both checked-in and carry-on baggage and usually start at around $50 per overweight bag. Many airlines have tightened up their policing of carry-on recently and it’s now commonplace to have your items weighed at the gate, meaning that $30 you saved by booking the cheaper fare is about to go down the drain. Make sure you check your airline’s website for limits and if necessary, book extra kilos in advance to avoid inflated on-the-day fees.
2. Know your must-dos
There’s a reason you’ve chosen your destination, whether it be an art gallery you can’t wait to check out, a restaurant you’re dying to eat at or a hike you’re itching to take. Whatever your must-dos are for the trip, make sure you plan for these in advance, booking any that aren’t weather dependant. This way, unforeseen circumstances aside, you’re guaranteed to tick off your travel bucket list.
3. Avoid the crowds
Where possible, book breaks outside of peak season or to destinations that are a little off the radar (check out this article for some suggestions). There are few things more stressful than whittling away your hard-earned holiday time waiting in long queues. As an added bonus, if you travel off-peak you’re also likely to save a few dollars on big ticket items like flights and accommodation.
4. Enlist the help of a travel planning app
Planning a trip can often feel like creating a giant puzzle, arranging lots of little pieces so they fit together just right. It’s a tricky process and pieces of the puzzle often get lost, forgotten about or don’t sit together as neatly as they could. Give yourself a helping hand and try TripIt, a free app which will keep all your booking info, itineraries and confirmation emails in one handy place, allow you to share it with others and – importantly for those travelling overseas – let you access it all offline.
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5. Roll with the punches
Chances are every single thing won’t go exactly to plan on your holiday. But that’s ok: if you accept this before you set off you’re likely to handle it better. Take the glass half full approach – a delayed flight means more time to enjoy that book you’ve been waiting to read, a rainy day gives you the chance to enjoy a sleep in and a long lunch, and a forgotten pair of shoes gives you a great excuse to go shopping.