25 terrific travel tips for a stress-free holiday

Holiday season is nearly upon us and soon you’ll be driving / flying / train-tripping to some serious rest and relaxation. Check out these top travel tips to help you before, during and after your trip.

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Before you go

1. Find earplugs & sleep masks

earplugs and sleep masks
Enjoy that sleep, you’ve got a big day tomorrow.

If you’re staying somewhere noisy, or in a room with other travellers then don’t forget to pack ear plugs and eye patches. This will mean you’ll get a good night’s sleep wherever you go, and be well rested for the day’s activities.

2. Pack like a pro

fill suitcase like a pro
Belts in your collar, chargers in your shoe.

Check out Genius Holiday Hacks: for your Suitcase and your suitcase will expertly packed and ready for holiday. You’ll then be able to fit all those special must-have trinkets you’ve found in local shops – fantastic!

3. Scan passport & travel documents

passport and travel docs
Quick – to the photocopier!

Give copies of this important information to your family, friends or neighbours, so if you happen to lose them, you’ll be able to access them easily.

4. Make up a mini medical kit

mini medical kit
Just in case, pack yourself a kit.

Be prepared (as sensible scouts would say) and pack yourself a little kit filled with all the things you might need if there’s a small medical problem. Think plasters, bandages, allergy tablets – whatever you might need. Don’t forget to check the local laws before adding medicines to your kit – thanks to EHT reader Michael for suggesting this in the comments below.

5. Grab a Pashmina scarf

pashmina scarf
It’s up to you what colour you pick.

It’s a good idea to pack a big Pashmina scarf (or sarong) to keep you warm at night, or use as a blanket for sitting and taking in beautiful vistas. You can also be sheltered from the heat of the sun and carry things around in it – there are so many uses for this item of clothing.

6. Learn some useful phrases

learn some phrases
Non! No! Nee!

Don’t worry about learning the whole language – but No, Yes and Thank you are a great start. The locals will appreciate the effort and you will be able to fend away any people who may try to sell you things with ease.

7. Don’t pack new clothes

pack old clothes
Trusty comfy t-shirts – how I love you.

How will you know if those shiny pretty shoes pinch, or if that fancy new dress is too tight? Only pack clothes that you know and love – don’t waste any space in your bag with items that may not be how you want them to be on holiday.

8. Get all the laundry done

laundry basket
An empty basket – a bee-yoo-tiful sight!

As annoying as laundry is, you’re going to have enough items to wash when you come back from your holiday, so make sure that basket is empty before you go!

While you’re there

9. Save money

save money
Try and pry yourself away from tempting stalls.

You don’t need to spend the earth to have a good time on holiday, check out Anushka’s article on Frugal living: 15 secret ways to save money on holiday for some expert tips.

10. Grocery shop

Where are… the CRISPS?

Find local cuisine in local grocery shops. You’ll also save yourself a lot of money on food – and sourcing exciting new snacks for a delicious (and cheap) picnic is a great way to soak up the local food culture.

11. Hide emergency money

emergency money hiding place
Cunning, like a city fox.

Hide some cash somewhere in case you get your purse or wallet stolen. Consider an empty suntan lotion bottle, or under shoe inserts as amazing secret hiding spots. You can even buy special items to hide your things in – but I’m sure you can make them yourself!

12. Learn how much a taxi should cost

taxis should cost
Be aware, be prepared, don’t be conned.

Don’t be fooled by cheeky taxi-drivers, ask them to use the meter when you make a journey. It’s also worth having a quick web search to find out how much a local taxi SHOULD cost before you get in one.

13. Speak to the locals

local bar stuff
Look out for helpful people in local pubs.

Be smart and speak to the people in the know – shopkeepers, bar-staff – whoever. You’ll be able to learn about secret beauty spots and exciting places to visit where your average holiday-maker won’t be!

14. Eat & drink like a local

eat like a local
Local beer – always a pleasure.

Just like the tip above, don’t forget to note down where local people like to eat – restaurants, cafes and bars. The food will be cheaper, which will save you money for super-fun holiday activities instead.

15. Carry baby wipes

baby wipes
Baby wipes – who knew?

You never know when you might need to to clean, remove stains and they’re handy for the beach! Find out more in Anushka’s 39 unexpected uses for baby wipes article – it’s full of useful tips on how you can use these trusty wipes.

16. Take photos

Pick a camera, any camera.

If you think you should be taking photos, then take photos! You don’t want to get back and regret that photo you didn’t take.

17. Look out for free maps

free maps
Make sure it’s in date first.

Don’t buy a map – or waste battery on your phone looking at one. Grab a map from tourism offices, airports and shops.

When you come back

18. A day to relax

a day to relax
Be lazy, like a cow on a Sunday morning.

Don’t force yourself back into work when you’re not ready. If you can, take a day off before returning – this will give you a chance to get back into the swing of things. If you’re coming back at the weekend, consider coming back on a Saturday.

19. Make your first meal healthy

healthy meal
Keep it colourful.

Munch on a light meal when you first get back, preferably containing vegetables. You’ll feel better for it, especially if you’ve been eating rich foods on holiday.

20. Get over jet-lag

get over jetlag
Sleep smart.

If you’ve travelled different time zone you need to get back to your normal sleep pattern fast. If it means going to bed a bit earlier then do it – and use light and dark to reset your body clock. Check out 20 ways to get a better night’s sleep for more helpful tips.

21. Enjoy a quick jog

go for a jog
You’ll feel better for it… even if it’s the last thing you want to do.

Combat those post-holiday blues with a wee bit of exercise. Go for a quick jog or head out for a walk to help you raise your endorphins levels – it might also help shift any extra pounds you’ve acquired from holiday gorging!

22. Stay away from work e-mails

stay away from work emails
Shut that laptop! Switch off that computer!

Avoid heading straight back into work-mode. Save it for when you’re at your desk. You’ll only be in tears as soon as you open Outlook.

23. Do your laundry

do your laundry
What a beautiful, yet wholly unrealistic picture of how washing gets done in my house.

Don’t put off doing your laundry, you’ll only regret it! If you’re struggling with jet-lag, it might be a great way to help you stay awake. Just try not to fall asleep in a pile of your freshly tumble-dried clothes. Thanks to reader Gareth for this helpful tip!

24. No photos

no looking at photos
You don’t WANT to cry, do you?

NEVER look at your holiday snaps as soon as you get back, you’ll only end up feeling depressed about how different your life was yesterday. Put them away for a week, until you’ve acclimatised to every-day life and can look back in happiness, instead of weeping uncontrollably.

25. Treat yourself

treat yourself
Go on – you deserve it. You’ve been on HOLIDAY for goodness sake.

You’re not back at work yet – give yourself a little treat while you’re still in holiday-mode. Why not have a cheeky glass of wine or an indulgent dessert with dinner? Thanks to reader John for his great tip.

Hope you’ve enjoyed these tips!

If you’ve got one, let me know in the comments below…


Lifelong biscuit addict. Obsessed with recipes, cooking & eating. Slightly lazier than the average bear, so likes writing about life hacks & discovering the quickest / easiest way to do things.

  1. 1 Michael Reply

    Check the local laws before putting medicines in your first aid kit. Some countries have Cocodamol as a class A drug !!!

    1. 2 Colleen B Reply

      Wow, thanks so much for that Michael – wouldn’t want to make that mistake. Will add that to the article right now!

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