Holiday Stress Traps: How To Prepare and Cope with Holiday Stress

Are you planning a summer holiday? Often the summer can be an exciting time with trips planned to wonderful places, and with the world opening up this year there are plenty of great places to explore. That being said, however exciting our plans are, sometimes not everything goes exactly as we expect it to – airport delays, bored kids on journeys, everyone being hangry and irritated, expired passports, losing luggage – there are plenty of little (and big) stresses that can start to creep in. In today’s article, we’ll be sharing some tips to help you prepare for and cope with those unexpected holiday stresses, so that you can enjoy your holiday with a little less worry.


What could you prepare in advance to reduce your holiday stress? Here’s a checklist for you to try:

  • Write a packing list in advance, and make sure you know what you might need to buy or borrow
  • If you’re travelling by plane, check the airport website for any tips on arrival times or likely delays getting through security. This way you can plan your trip so that you’re not running to the gate
  • Do your research on the destination: is there a restaurant you’d like to go to, and do you need to book a table in advance? If you’re planning an activity with the kids, are there any age restrictions? Knowing this in advance can save the tantrums and stress versus finding out when you get there.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of spending your holiday worrying about what’s happening back home – make sure all colleagues are aware you’ll be away, when you’ll be back and who is responsible for your workload in the meantime. Ask someone else to check your emails if necessary. When you return, give yourself a couple of days to get back up to speed rather than rushing to catch up.
  • What little tricks could you have up your sleeve? If you know that someone in the group (and it could be you!) gets particularly irritable when they’re hungry, pack some easy healthy snacks to keep ‘hanger’ at bay. You could pack some mixed nuts, cereal bars or perhaps some homemade protein balls – take a look at the zeno Meals section for recipe inspiration!

Coping With Holiday Stress

With the best will in the world, your holiday probably won’t go perfectly to plan. But if something goes wrong, the way you react to it can really impact your enjoyment of the trip. Here are some tips to help you cope in a stressful situation:

  • Take a breath before you respond: if you can feel frustration rising, pause for a moment, take a deep breath in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Give yourself time to process what might be going on around you, before you rush to respond.
  • Practise positive thinking: Your power lies in how you react to the situation you’re facing. Be aware of any negative thoughts, and see if you can replace them with more encouraging words. If something hasn’t quite gone to plan, it doesn’t mean that the whole day is ruined – perhaps a cancelled plan could be an opportunity to explore something new instead.
  • Know what works for you, and communicate this to the people you’re travelling with. For example, if you get overwhelmed in busy places, let the people around you know that that’s how you feel and accept help from them if they suggest that you all find somewhere quieter to stop for a few minutes or an hour. Sometimes we can put pressure on ourselves to make sure that everyone else is having a good time, but if you’re in a situation which you find stressful, it’s important to acknowledge this and get the support you need.


Let us know how you get on, we hope you have a wonderful holiday!

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