TIPS FOR GETTING AWAY – AND GETTING ALONG!
Going on holiday can be more stressful than staying at home – and sometimes, it seems, it’s simply not worth it.There’s so much to do – preparation, planning, packing, getting there and getting organised at the destination.What’s more – there’s the cost of the holiday to consider.
Holidays can cost more than money.Many people end up counting the cost on the family, on their relationships and on their own physical and emotional health.Vacations are meant to be good opportunities to wind-down and recharge the batteries, but they don’t always meet our expectations.
The economic uncertainty has forced many people into taking shorter, domestic holidays where budgets are under close scrutiny.This can exacerbate stress levels.
Is there such a thing as the perfect holiday? Here are some suggestions for avoiding some potential pitfalls to give you the best chance at a holiday that’s remembered for all the right reasons!
* Thorough planning.It’s worth putting the effort in upfront – you’ll reap the dividends later.
* Align the type of holiday with your needs.If it’s been an extremely stressful year, then perhaps your family holiday should be at a quiet beach resort rather than coping with a jam-packed tour of Europe.Crammed itineraries can push up stress levels.
* Look at various accommodation options.Serviced apartments can be a better option than a hotel, particularly if there are children involved, as they provide the flexibiilty, comfort and space of ‘home’!
* Start a ‘holiday box’ about a week before you’re due to leave.Place a box in a prominent position in the home.When you see something that needs to be taken on holiday, simply put it in the box (eg. Video cameras, phone chargers, maps, directions, tickets etc). This will help prevent the last-minute rush.
* Spend some time organising your home. Ask neighbours to collect post, water plants etc. Cancel newspaper subscriptions and ensure all bills are paid up.Leave some prepared dinners in the freezer so you can have quick meals when you return.
* Have copies made of all important documents and keep them in your carry on luggage.By doing this, if you lose your tickets, credit cars, passports etc. get mislaid or stolen, you’ll be able to sort things out far more quickly.
* Go away for as long as you can.It takes time to unwind, and you’re far more likely to destress and recharge during a longer holiday.
* Check your insurance.It’s important to read the small print to ensure all your needs are covered (medical, luggage etc).
* Pack some emergency medical supplies eg. Band aids, antiseptic cream, anti inflammatories and nausea medication.These can be expensive (and difficult) to find in a strange location – especially when you need them afterhours.
* Aim to have a plan B – especially with children.Aim to have a fall-back position.This will help alleviate any tension.
* Hide away a few ‘surprises’. When young children are involved, it’s an idea to have some small and easy-to-pack distractions eg. crayons and paper, balloons, DVDs etc that can be hauled out when the time is right.
* Be flexible.Always look for the best way of doing things.Think about doing some independent activities to take the pressure off – ie splitting the parents and kids up to do different things.
Holiday tensions often rise because of money issues, says Simon Barker, who owns luxury accommodation Fremantle.”Choosing a serviced apartment over a hotel can be a good value choice for people.They aren’t forced to eat all their meals in restaurants, and can prepare meals and invite guests in their own space and at their own pace.Because of all the extra space, people have more room to move and are therefore likely to be more relaxed and less likely to look for costly outside entertainment. People should count the benefits of a holiday, not the costs.”
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