Monday 21 November 2016

Five Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

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.


  1. Planning a stressfree trip is a big challenge, especially for a careless traveler like me. Thanks for sharing these tips. I am sure I can put some to use! :)

  2. Your advice to look up things on Google Street View before you go is really useful. My travel style is spontaneous and carefree - I just go with the flow, but my boyfriend researches everything. He knows the street view so well that by the time we arrive he can start showing me around - he has probably prevented many travel disasters for me!!

  3. These are all such good tips - I find 4 & 5 to be especially important! Especially with the world as it is right now, it's so easy to get caught up in the news headlines and other people's stories about how so-and-so's auntie got robbed in this place and John's neighbour's cat got murdered in this other place. It's so important not to let fear get in the way of your own enjoyment!

  4. I am also a worrier like you so these tips are useful to me as well!! Thank you for sharing!

  5. I think the best travel memories I have is when I don't plan it. At one time, I went to a certain place without reading anything about it. I just asked the locals for advice. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I guess this is harder when you have a kid, isn't it? Thanks for sharing!

  6. I know how it is to stress about traveling but I think tip no4 is the most important. I learned to stop worrying and I always say "It will work out somehow in the end" and it really does, of course :)

  7. Google Street View is my number one rule for all things travel (which messes up when visiting places like China that don't have street view)! I use it when booking a hotel, planning any activities and itineraries and navigating my way around somewhere new!

  8. Thanks for making me feel better before I even attempt to travel outside my country. I do agree with 4 and 5, it's not like we just ignore the warnings. But focusing on the scary side without doing proper research won't do us any good, anyway. Also, planning is always essential for traveling. However, when you don't know the excitement you will experience when you get there, some of your plans may even change.

  9. I hate it when you book a hotel and then it lets you down upon arrival. My partner and I once booked a place in Paris and after having spent all day trying to get there, they gave our booking away! No call or anything, just were like, sorry we already gave it to someone else. It was just horrendous because it left us scrambling to find somewhere in the middle of Paris at 9pm already! Urgh! Luckily though, we found somewhere, but the stress was a bit much to be sure. Will definitely remember to have a backup plan after this. (:

  10. we are a family traveling from last 5 years, last year my daughter was born, who is now a toddler. many unexpected things occurs, when we travel with kids. we have to be prepared all the time.

  11. I definitely agree with all the points you added here.. i love the last part. As much as possible dont listen to horror stories! It always kill the fun!;)

  12. Just found you on twitter and I'm glad I did. Great post and I agree with the points - A lot of people get caught up in horror stories which I think its just silly. It's also important to go with the flow even if you have a plan there must be some element of just going with it because not everything during travel is within your control. Gonna check out the rest of you content. :)

    Happy travels!

  13. I definately agree with doing Tripadvisor reviews beforehand. Sometimes you can get a mixed bag as what appeals to one person may not appeal to the next but generally you can get a good overall picture as to the hotel is nice or not. I always have a backup plan of things to do in case the weather turns out to be bad, that way the kids don't complain about being bored!

  14. I do a similar thing to you with google street view! I always like to see what kinds of shops and restaurants are around my hotel for example or any place I'm going. I also try not to believe horror stories too, some people will tell you anything to scare you off!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode


© Polly and Pip | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Crafted by pipdig