There really is nothing quite like getting away to recharge your batteries, but that long anticipated holiday can turn out to be stressful and exhausting if you don’t take the time to tie up those loose ends; so, here’s my top tips for ensuring that your holiday really is a holiday and not like a stressful day at work.

Do your admin first

It’s easy to get excited once you’ve booked your holiday but before you start packing your clothes and booking restaurants do your admin! Always check entry requirements for countries, book an appointment at your doctors for necessary jabs, check passport expiry (remember you need a minimum of 6 months for some countries) and take out cash in the appropriate currency. If you can’t change until you’re there take USD as these are mostly universally accepted. Take a credit card as a backup and also for things like car hire where you have to have a credit card to book. You can easily compare the best card for you here.

Always allow yourself more than enough time

Don’t take for granted your trip to the airport/railway station or seaport.  Missing your scheduled departure is the worst way to start a holiday so make sure that you’ve allowed plenty of time for the initial journey.  Check out possible traffic delays and be sure you know exactly which car park you’re booked into.  Getting there, parking, shuttle bus, check-in, it always takes longer than you planned and if you do get through with time to spare then reward yourself with a cup of coffee and a pastry and watch with smug satisfaction as perspiring passengers go hurtling by.

Make the most of your phone

Download airline apps for speedy check in and any notifications such as delays and make plenty of memory space for photos and videos. Unless you’re a photography enthusiast, nowadays a good smartphone takes pretty awesome photos. It means you don’t have to worry about carrying lots of expensive lenses/equipment which not only saves space but avoids worrying about it getting stolen too. You can also buy waterproof cases for your phone which means it doubles up as an underwater camera! Perfect for bringing to the beach or scuba diving/snorkelling. Have a look at suggested water proof cases here, but remember to always check details for how ‘waterproof’ they are.

Plan your outfits

Pack a neutral capsule wardrobe and jazz up outfits with accessories. If you pack neutral, you have far more outfit options than if you pack specific patterns and colours. You can still make your outfits different with jewellery, bright lipstick or hair accessories.

Slim down your toiletries

You don’t need bottles and bottles of different creams and potions. Consider 2 in 1’s like a tinted moisturiser, a hair and shower gel, a moisturising after sun with insect repellent, wet wipes etc. If you’re only taking hand luggage, make sure you’ve packed your small toiletries inside a see through plastic bag in advance. This avoids having to unpack/repack at the airport.

This post is in partnership with journalist Amelia Lawson

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