Your must-have guide to a stress-free holiday in 2022
When you’re getting ready for that long-awaited holiday, the last thing you want is for it to be stressful.
Whether it’s the transport, flights, connections, packing – with a bit of planning you can be sure that your 2022 holiday is the best yet. And after the travel restrictions of the last couple of years, you deserve it!
Read on for some invaluable advice from MSC Cruises on how to make your holiday relaxing from start to finish.
Pick the destination that’s right for you
You love a relaxing beach holiday, he wants to go sightseeing. The kids want to splash in the pool, you want a bit of quiet time for a leisurely lunch. The trouble with family holidays is finding something that suits everyone. Before you rush ahead and book, it’s worth checking that your destination has something to tick all those boxes. And perhaps even having a bit of a family conflab to agree on a rough itinerary – you get your beach day but another day you’ll go and soak up a bit of culture? The kids have a splashing around in the pool day, but on another day they go to kids’ club while you enjoy a bit of couple time. If you make time for everyone to do a bit of what they enjoy, it’ll be a much better experience. And who knows, the kids might love spending time with their peers so much, they want to go again tomorrow…!
Make the journey easy
Travelling can be stressful too, can’t it? Long car journeys or taxi rides to the airport, waiting around in the airport lounge for hours, spending half your holiday money on duty free out of boredom… But had you considered the fact you can visit a host of gorgeous foreign climes without that long wait? For example if you pick a cruise, your holiday starts the moment you set foot on the ship! As soon as you get on board, you can relax and start checking out all the facilities your cruise liner has to offer. And what’s more you relax whilst you travel, so you get on the ship in Southampton – eat, drink and have a great time enjoying all the amazing facilities and wake up two days later in Lisbon feeling refreshed and ready to explore. Or, if you really can’t face travelling abroad yet, why not choose a staycation? Britain is absolutely full of gorgeous places to visit, from coastal towns to rural idylls and stunning city breaks – you could discover a part of the country you’ve never been to before.
Plan that capsule wardrobe
I need those shoes to go with that dress… oh and I’d better take some spare sandals. I want the red pumps because they go best with the navi capris… all my bikinis and a couple of swimsuits. Beach cover-ups, a cardigan if it gets cold in the evening… sound familiar? Most of us are guilty of over-packing but it’s time to be ruthless. MSC Cruises Holiday PREP and pro-cruiser Jeannine Williamson says “Try to stick to two or three main colour schemes. Put them together as ‘whole’ outfits – and take photos of them a reminder – so you can easily see which tops can be worn with different skirts and trousers and how outfits can be mixed and matched.”
Did you know how handy a shower cap can be? You can use it to wrap up costume jewellery to keep it all together, protect electronics from getting wet, put it over shoes to keep your clothes clean…
Also don’t underestimate the usefulness of packing cubes. You can organise in category order, save space inside your case and make unpacking so much easier at the other end. Then on the way home, pack your dirty clothes in colour order inside the cubes, this will make the laundry a lot smoother and less stressful upon your return.
And if you have a fabric suitcase, line the bottom with reusable plastic bags and pop one or two on the top to cover your clothes when you have finished packing. Once you’re aboard and unpacked they can double up as laundry bags for dirty clothes that you bring home and separate them from other items.
MSC Cruises’ crack team of holiday PREPS have loads of great tips to help take the stress out of packing.
Keep the kids entertained
Are we nearly there yet? Words to send shivers down any parent’s spine on a long journey. So be prepared! Make sure devices are fully charged and you’ve got the chargers with you close to hand, download games, movies and even books onto them before you leave and have drinks and snacks too. We all worry about screen time but at least you’ll be saved from endless hours of Eye-Spy with a child who can’t spell…
Once you arrive make sure you’ve chosen a destination that caters to kids and has plenty to keep them occupied. MSC Virtuosa has everything from free of charge kids clubs, to a bowling alley, water park and even an XD cinema so it will be less ‘I’m tired and I want to go home’ and more ‘I love it can we stay longer’ – all whilst you’re sipping your Margarita by the pool – a win-win for everyone.
Life at home can be so busy, work, school, hobbies, keeping up with house and garden – your holiday is a chance to step back from all that rigid structure. So why not challenge yourself to be a bit more flexible while you’re away? Eat when you’re hungry not just because it’s ‘time’. Make plans but be prepared to change them if something else comes up. Try something you’ve never tried before – why not use that time away from home and work to find out something new about yourself. You never know, you might find a new hobby for life!
Unplug – and unwind!
Last of all – you want to relax on holiday, step away from everyday life. So why not unplug the phone, switch it off and only check it periodically for important messages? Research has shown that our dependence on getting that insta-perfect family photo is actually spoiling our enjoyment of the moment, never mind all the time spent checking comments and likes. So yes, take all the photos but leave Facebook til you get home. Take a holiday from life and a holiday from social media – you’ll be amazed how refreshing it feels.
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