Preparing For A Holiday: Tips To Reduce Stress

Packing for a holiday used to be something that really stressed me out, I never knew where to start and I always felt like it took me forever to do. But the more we go away, the more I feel like I'm starting to feel like I know what I'm doing with it and am learning how best to be efficient. 

Despite my Husband being somewhat more organised than I am, packing for holidays has always come down to me. It's probably due to the fact that I like to pick the outfits for the boys and my Husband would have absolutely no clue about what sorts of things to get out for me to wear. His outfit choices are 100 times simpler and include usually a t-shirt and a pair of jeans/pair of shorts, so it's easy for me to get that out for him or for him to do it himself in about 10-15 minutes max. Because of this, Adam can somewhat get away with preparing for our holidays at the very last minute. But for me as the main holiday prep person/packer, I've had to become super organised and have learnt to prepare way in advance. Below are some of the things I like to do in advance to make packing and preparing for our holidays as stress-free as possible. 

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Check the dates on passports and any other documents way in advance

One of the worst things that could happen when preparing for a holiday would be to realise at the very last minute that your or a member of your family's passport has expired, so I always ensure that I check the dates on these way in advance and I also check our travel insurance and any other documents related to travel as a priority to save worrying about them or not realising they're out of date! 

Pack light

Packing light can be difficult if like me, you live somewhere like the UK and are staying here to go on holiday or are travelling somewhere like here that seems to have all different types of weather in the space of just a few days. But even so, I really have learnt that packing as light as possible is often a lot less stressful than over packing and taking too much is. When I first started going away I definitely had a tendency to over pack and just fill my suitcases with things that I *might* need, but sometimes I would end up using just half of what I had packed! I soon started to realise that over packing just took up a lot more of my time, it gave me a lot less space in my suitcase and made it harder to find what I wanted to wear whilst away. So now I have learnt to be a bit more ruthless and I will try and pack only what I am going to actually need and use when I go away. 

Make packing lists

I'll admit that I never used to be one for making lists.. I don't know why I didn't just try it and I still can't understand why I held off for so long because these days my brain would be too clogged up to keep it all in my head and not put things down. I actually use the reminders app on my iPhone a lot for things like holiday packing. I find it so easy as I tend to have my phone on me a lot of the time, so if I think of something I can just add to my list and also when I'm doing the actual packing I can easily tick things off on it. It makes life so. much. easier! 

Remember the little things 

Don't forget to pack things like first aid kits and soothing relief creams for the children. As well as plenty of sun cream, entertainment for the kids if you're going away with your children. Chargers, spare batteries for chargers, sunglasses, sun hats, favourite cuddly bears for the kids all need to be thought of too, basically anything that you think you might not remember unless it's down on a list. Think of the small things that you use every day, but you might not necessarily remember when doing the bulk of the packing and put it down on your list way in advance. 

Arrange pet care in advance

We have a cat sitter come to our house twice a day when we're away to feed our cats and I always try to book her as early as I can, just so that I know that our pets will be taken care of whilst I am away and I don't need to worry. The worst thing would be rushing around at the last minute desperately trying to find someone to take care of your pets because you've forgotten to sort it out beforehand. 

Choose travel times that are easier for your family

Sometimes the times that you travel aren't optional, you might be given a time and you have to work around that. But if you can choose a time then consider what will work best for your family. We have two young children, so travelling in the evening/night works out best for us, as it means the boys can sleep in the car/on the plane. I remember one trip back from the Lake District last year, we actually decided to leave the night before and travel home in the evening time. We got home so much quicker because we didn't need to stop for the boys' lunch/dinner or for extra toilet breaks, as they were asleep in the car. If you can't travel in the evening, think about perhaps timing your travel around your child's nap time. It can make travelling a whole lot less stressful! 

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I hope these tips for preparing for a holiday were helpful to you. Another thing you can do if it all gets too much is to take a moment out and use Rescue Remedy, which is specially blended from five Bach original flower essences and helps with comfort and reassurance. There are also lozenges which aid with clarity and composure as well as soothing pastilles. I took Rescue Remedy drops with me and used them when I travelled to Germany for work last year and I personally found that they really helped to make me feel calmer and less nervous about the travelling. If you haven't tried it yet, I recommended giving Rescue Remedy a go if you get anxious, nervous or you find yourself worrying easily. 

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Are you planning any holidays/travels soon? Where are you going?

Thank you for reading.
Alex xo

*Thank you to Rescue Remedy for partnering with me on this post. 


  1. Great tips we are off on holiday in October so Have taken notes! X

  2. Love a packing list!! I'm the opposite though, I pile eeeeverything in the suitcase "just incase" - doesn't bother me as I'm not the one carrying it haha! xx

  3. This list is great for mum's or dad's who are not clued up on what could happen if these small things are not in place. My hubby almost booked a holiday with our sons passport running out in less then 4 months. Most importantly when you have kids you need to be prepared.