Don't stress about your holiday, plan it first

Don't stress about your holiday, plan it first

Now I’m not about to slate holidays – holidays ARE brilliant – but there’s inevitably a few days either side of the blissed out beachside chilling where meltdown ensues. It does if you’re me, anyway!

Anyone who has ever had gainful employment has probably had that first stressful day back at work where they question whether the holiday was worth all the drama.

 “I’ve got how many emails?!”;

“3,184 contacted me ‘urgently’ even though my out of office said I was on annual leave?”


I don’t think there are any magical tips for coping with back to work stress after a holiday (gin, perhaps?) but you can make the run-up to holiday as stress-free as possible.

I’m off to Mallorca at the weekend and I started my ‘official holiday prep’ last week. This is already a massive improvement, as I’m usually running around trying to do every single job imaginable in those final hours before take off.

I’m the girl going crazy in Boots at Departures, buying suntan lotions I already own but forgot to pack and insect repellents for countries I’m not going to, all because I’m in a dither and being organised just seems like too much hard work.

This year though I’m trying to channel a bit of Monica Gellar into my getting ready routine. I’ve even been reading holiday checklists. And more so, I printed one out! Simple things like “check everything you want to pack is washed and ready to go” might sound ludicrously obvious, but my holiday clothes are always at the bottom of the laundry bin because 51 weeks of the year they go un-worn. Suddenly I’m looking for that poolside glam maxi dress as we leave for the airport and 15 minutes of frantic searching later it’s discovered at the bottom of the wash bin, covered in last year’s Cornetto.

This year? This year my holiday washing is done. A couple of silk numbers have even gone to the dry cleaners. THE DRY CLEANERS! I know.

Travel plugs are my eternal nemesis. My top tip? Keep them in your ruddy suitcase! We only lose them because we unpack them and put them in ‘special drawers’. You don’t need them in England, so let them live in your suitcase alongside those last remaining grains of sand.

People seem to still like to print every email ever that’s associated with their holiday booking. Suddenly we’re our own paranoid mothers clutching THE HOLIDAY DOCUMENT FOLDER as if it’s a first edition bible. Most of the time it’s a lot of faff for nothing; hotels generally only want to know your surname and any airline that isn’t hideously orange or run by O’Leary will just let you show up at the desk with a passport. Check what you *need* to print, then don’t bother with the rest – especially if you have a smartphone where you can just bring up any emails as necessary.

Speaking of phones, grit your teeth and give your network provider a call to ensure you’ll be going away with whatever the cheapest roaming package is for your contract. Sometimes a £3 ‘bolt on’ can save you big £££.

If you’re on any medications it’s important to get any prescriptions you need in advance of travel. In all the panic of fake tanning before real tanning, it’s easy to forget what’s really important, like asthma inhalers and insulin. Remember that GPs aren’t always easy to see, so for peace of mind get an appointment booked in or repeat prescriptions requested at least a week before travel. I’ve just had trouble with my pharmacist sourcing one of my inhalers, but luckily (miraculously) I’d gone far enough in advance for her to order them in.

Forgetting suntan lotion is never a disaster; unless you’re going somewhere crazily far afield, you’ll find every local shop selling racks of the stuff next to comedy towels and inflatable dolphins. As long as you have clean clothes, medicines, a kennel sorted for Rover and a property that doesn’t scream ‘BURGLE ME’, you can relax.

But there’s one last vital thing - just make sure you set a superbly gloating ‘out of office’ message, too.

Poppy Dinsey is the founder of - the UK's largest outfit sharing site. You can read her blog on or follow her on Twitter where she tweets (a lot) as @PoppyD.

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