I have to confess I am a bit of a worrier especially where travel is involved. My trip to Amsterdam was the very first time I travelled solo on a plane with Pip who was then two years old. Before we left I worried about all types of things happening. Would he get hungry on the plane? How many toys should I bring for him to play with? Would he nap on the plane? What would I do if the plane was delayed? Did I know where I was going when we arrived? In the end things didn’t quite work out perfectly because he was sick on the landing and when we arrived at our hotel the room I had booked looked nothing like the spacious and light online photos. Instead we were allocated a tiny dark basement room, the last room left in the whole hotel. As I complained to the manager, Pip suddenly had a surge of energy and ran around the hotel lobby shouting excitedly. A potentially stressful situation soon resolved itself when the manager offered us a full refund, after a lot of ‘negotiating’ from me. I managed to stop myself bursting into tears and found another hotel online at the very last minute, phew! We got a cab to our new hotel & were greeted by lovely friendly staff in a much better location, right next to Vondelpark and it all turned out well in the end. After going through all of this the flight and holiday to India seemed like a piece of cake and rather than stressing about all the things that could happen I stopped worrying and just went with the flow.
Travelling is one of the most fulfilling experiences yet it can also be one of the most stressful! A recent study by Villa Plus shows that a huge 73% of Brits biggest travel worries are connected to political instability and terrorism. Others worry about whether the accommodation will look different to the photos, losing their luggage and the hotel being far away from the main tourist attractions. With 45% of Brits booking holidays up to six months in advance this only gives way to a longer period of worrying. Leading Psychologist Dr David has stated this phenomenon has given rise of the ‘Fearcation’, where the stress of booking a holiday outweigh the actual holiday itself.
Here are five of my own tips on how to reduce holiday stress.
1. Do your own research and look at reliable sources. Whenever I go abroad I always look at Tripadvisor reviews & photos because I get the impression most of these are genuine. Reading reviews is not only a great way to familiarise yourself with a hotel or location but a way to discover things not mentioned on the booking site. You may discover the best room in the hotel, a nearby historical site you’d love to visit, or a local park great for taking your kids to. I also do an online search, read travel guides and blog posts, search for nearby attractions and amenities and find out as much as possible about the hotel and area before visiting
2. Look up the location on Google Street View. Before I visit a location I look at it on Google Street View. I do this because I like to know more about what the location has to offer. What is the view? Is it next to a main road? What else is nearby? Depending on how recent the images are (they do vary) I once discovered a hotel I was going to book had a huge building site in front of it! I try to avoid looking at Google Street View too much since it can spoil that initial excitement of arriving in a new area & exploring on foot. However, a little research on Google Street View has been really handy for me!
3. Have a Plan B! However much research you do before your trip, sometimes things happen that are outside of your control. I’ve already mention my experience in Amsterdam as something I didn’t expect to happen. When you turn up at a hotel your booking may not be on the system or you may lose your money on holiday (both of these have happened to me before). You may miss your flight and need to change hotels. Whatever happens it’s always a good idea to have a plan B. Have a list of other potential hotels, carry different money options (cards & cash) and put them in different bags, have a list of emergency phone numbers in case you did lose your belongings, always get travel & health insurance and memorize the number of a close friend or family member you could turn to in case you did need to get in touch!
4. Go with the flow. As much as I love planning and having a plan B, sometimes things happen which you could never have envisioned. For example, a company might decide to cancel your whole trip a few days before you leave or it rains every day while you're away on your supposedly ‘tropical’ break. If this happen you have no choice but to go with the flow. I don’t think any getaway is perfect and sometimes you just have to find the positives in a bad situation. The upside of this is you may discover new places, surprise yourself with how you can deal with a stressful situation and actually find a new confidence you didn’t know you had!
5. Finally, don’t listen to horror stories. There has been a lot going on in the world in the last few years, horrific attacks and incidents that I won’t even begin to mention. For a long while I really did wonder if I should just say put in England and not go away anywhere. I kept thinking all the ‘what ifs’. But it’s no way to live. We cannot live in fear. The chances of anything happening are minuscule and the statistics can back me up. So please go and enjoy your holiday!
Villa Plus aims to encourage people to enjoy their holidays as that is the reason for them and as a result offer relaxing breaks without the holiday stress. Villas Plus has amazing villas in fourteen destinations including Spain Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Turkey, all with private pools, a maid service, gardener, pool man and villa managers! That sounds like an amazing stress-free holiday to me!
Do you worry before you go on holiday? Do you have any stress-free tips? Would love to hear your thoughts.
*This is a collaborative post. All words and opinions are my own.