Start your holiday on the right foot: The simple hack to reduce stress
Relaxing, enjoyable, carefree – this is how we imagine our holidays will be, and more often than not they are. But the reality is that planning and undertaking a trip can also at times be a stressful experience for many of us. The good news is there are some simple tips and hacks you can put in place to ensure your holiday is heavy on the good times and light on the stress and strain. Here are five great tips for reducing your stress while travelling.
1. Plan for smooth sailing
Yes, there are people out there who like to ‘wing it’ when on holidays and fly by the seat of their pants, but this approach greatly increases the likelihood of stressful situations arising, such as long times spent in transit and desperate searches for last-minute accommodation.
One of the easiest ways to minimise stress when travelling is to research thoroughly, plan extensively and confirm regularly. This can involve everything from learning about appropriate customs and dress codes, checking seasonal temperatures and rainfall, ascertaining distances and travel times between destinations, finding out if any special vaccinations, visas or passports are required, and determining what to pack.
There’s so much to consider that it can feel overwhelming, so the best port of call is to approach it in sections and work through each stage with a detailed checklist. If the thought of this makes you want to tear your hair out, consider employing a travel agent or travel planning service to help you out.
Start your planning well in advance and keep all your thoughts, ideas and research in one useful place in a file on your desk or computer. A good current travel guidebook will also be an invaluable tool during the planning process.
2. Take off to a flying start
Often, it’s the start of our holidays that seem to be the most stressful, as we find ourselves battling peak hour traffic or getting up at an ungodly hour to get to the airport on time, tossing up between begging for a ride to the airport or forking out an eye-watering taxi fare. Is it any wonder many of us are quivering wrecks before we’ve even set foot on a plane?
But there’s a simple hack that can completely eliminate all that pre-flight angst and that’s by starting your holiday the day before and spending the night relaxing in a hotel close to the airport.
Holiday Inn Sydney Airport has very thoughtfully devised a range of “Park, Stay & Go” packages for travellers. Drive there in your car, treat yourself to room service, stay the night in one of the hotel’s classy and comfortable rooms, and tuck into an all-included full buffet breakfast. Sound good so far? Park your car there for four, seven or 15 days while you swan off to enjoy your holiday, which will simply involve a complimentary 5-minute shuttle ride to Sydney’s Domestic Terminal, or 10 minutes for International. Offering competitive rates and up to 20% discount for guests aged 55 and over, your only regret will be that you didn’t know about it on your previous holiday!
3. Enjoy your transit time
Delays are inevitable when travelling. That’s why having some entertainment on hand while you’re waiting around in transit can transform those moments from frustrating to an ideal opportunity to start unwinding. So, treat yourself to a book by your favourite author, a great crossword puzzle, a glossy magazine, a phone loaded with fun games, a massage in an airport chair – whatever works for you.
If you know you’ll be entertained during your downtime, you can happily allow for plenty of padding into your travel schedule, so you’re not racing around frantically at the last minute, and you can remain as cool as a cucumber.
4. Leave your financial worries behind
Holidays and travel cost money, there’s no denying it. But how much money you spend, what you spend it on and whether those costs are within your means all equate to the difference between a well-earned break and a holiday ruined by worries over finances. The first step is to only book a trip you can afford – be realistic about what it is your bank balance can handle this year and consider putting off that bigger trip until you can put aside more funds.
Make yourself a rough budget for your holiday – it doesn’t have to be too full on, but you need to know how many fancy dinners, nights out and holiday souvenirs you can splash out on so you don’t get caught with a big hole in your bank balance on your return.
Book your travel in advance as much as possible, which will not only spread out your costs, it’ll mean you pay less in the long run and help you manage your money more successfully. Again, the better you plan ahead and do your research, the more likely you are to save money by finding the best travel deals, comparing prices and taking advantage of early bird offers. That means you’ll be able to avoid a well-deserved splurge here and there – isn’t that what holidays are all about?!
5. Prepare for every eventuality
There’s one thing you can count on when it comes to travel and that is the unexpected will inevitably occur. Whether it’s lost luggage, a delayed flight, a double-booked hotel room, a natural disaster or an unfortunate bout of gastro, there are circumstances which are simply beyond our control. While planning, confirmation of flight details, careful labelling of your belongings and cautious behaviour can prevent some of these occurrences, it’s essential to purchase good travel insurance to protect yourself from expenses or financial losses that could follow an unexpected obstacle. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind while on your travels, allowing you to make the most of every moment.
This is sponsored content brought to you in conjunction with Holiday Inn Sydney Airport.