Beach chair, sunshine, the gentle lapping of waves. Doesn’t that sound good? Vacations are the highlights of our year and it’s those images that keep us going. Travel has never been easier but we (sadly) still can’t teleport. To plan a vacation we can’t just close our eyes and be on that beach chair. We need to research, book, check passports, and travel to our destination.
Ironically, a vacation is often filled with stress and anxiety. But it doesn’t have to be. By taking certain steps to plan a trip, you can help ensure that your break goes as well as possible.
Wouldn’t that be blissful?
There’s no need to feel stressed when planning a vacation if you follow the steps below. Travel anxiety is normal but when you’re well-prepared, you can reduce it and enjoy your trip.
How to Plan a Vacation Without the Stress
Vacation stress builds up if you don’t plan well. Not everything will be within your control but traveling is a lot calmer when you’ve planned your side of it.
If the very idea of going on vacation makes you feel anxious and tired, it’s time to turn that around. Everyone deserves time off in a beautiful place! Read our 8 tips to stress-free holiday planning and soon you’ll be in that beach chair without a care in the world.
1. Use Your Time Wisely
It’s tempting to try to pack in as much as possible to your vacation time but remember, this is your chance to relax. If you’re off for two weeks, planning activities for every morning, afternoon, and night will exhaust you.
Always try to plan an easy day when you first arrive. This will allow you to transition from normal life to vacation life. Flying and driving in a new place can be tiring too, so make sure you add in extra time for these.
If you are having an action-packed vacation, plan the days in advance.
2. Think About Who You’re Travelling With
Going solo? You’re free to do what you like! But add in children or friends and you need to think about it a lot more.
Depending on their ages, kids will have a different set of needs than adults. Will there be ample food they like at the destination? Is there enough to keep them entertained? Is it better to fly rather than drive for a whole day?
Taking a vacation with your partner, your parents or your friends needs considering too. It’s best to ask everybody what they’re hoping to get out of the vacation. This way, you can make a plan that suits everyone.
3. Plan How You’re Getting There (and Back)
Traveling to your destination can be one of the most stressful parts of a vacation. But remember, by planning ahead you can limit any difficulty.
If you’re flying, plan a relaxing way of getting to the flight. This airport shuttle service is a great example of a stress-free service. The chauffeur arrives early and helps you with your luggage.
Plan and book transfers at your destination as well as those on the return journey. If you’re driving, check your car is in good shape or arrange a shuttle to the hire car company.
4. Check Your Vacation Cover
One of the most important steps to planning a trip that’s stress-free is to know you’re covered. Sometimes you’ll get obstacles that are outside of your control, like airline strikes or lost luggage.
There’s no reason to worry about these things though if you’ve got great travel insurance. Make sure your insurance is appropriate for the destination as well as the activities you’ll be doing. Check if it includes flight delays and curtailments.
5. Create a Budget
Money is a big cause of anxiety for a lot of people and vacation costs can build up.
Breaks are so good for us and with a proper vacation budget, money doesn’t have to make your time off stressful. Start with a maximum figure for how much you want this vacation to cost.
To get your vacation to fit your budget, you can shop around for deals, opt for self-catering, and use public transport to get around.
6. Think About Activities and Meals
When thinking about how to plan trips in a stress-free way, having a good idea about what you’ll do is a great way to minimize anxiety.
Draw up a list of activities you definitely want to do on your vacation. Then, another list of activities you’d do if you find the time. Look up opening hours, booking and pricing, and start thinking about which days to do them on.
There’s nothing worse than being hungry with no idea where to go. If you’re not booking all-inclusive, search online for the best restaurants and cafes in your price range. Add them to your trip planner and you’ll already know where to go for a bite.
7. Check Your Documents
We all dread arriving at the airport to find we’ve forgotten our passports. Online check-ins make life a lot easier but it’s still important to check your documents long before your vacation.
Top things to check are passport expiry dates. If you have annual travel insurance, check it’s still in date too. Credit cards also expire so make sure yours are fine for the duration and if you need a visa, always apply in good time.
8. Tie Up Loose Ends at Home
Tying up loose ends at home is a great way to reduce travel stress. Book the pets into a kennel, take the trash out, and switch off all non-essential electrics.
Work can be the biggest weight on your mind. Let your colleagues and clients know you’ll be away and won’t be checking emails. You deserve a real break!
Breathe a Sigh of Relief
When you plan a vacation, you’re taking control. By using a trip planner and creating a vacation budget, you’ll be well on your way to a stress-free adventure.
Planning on how you’ll get to your destination and get home again is one of the most important steps to plan a trip. With that taken care of, you can enjoy packing your suitcase and finally feel excited.
Now you know you can minimize your travel anxiety, it’s time to start planning! Follow us for more travel tips and inspiration for your next stress-free vacation.