How to unwind on holiday: 10 tips for relaxing holidays

Following weeks of lockdown, people are looking forward to a relaxing holiday. After a year of home restriction, you may be longing for that holiday to take the stress and tiredness away. Although it is still uncertain when people can travel safely, people still yearn for when that time comes.

Are you planning for a holiday to unwind? Here are some tips on how to enjoy your holidays in a relaxing way. 

How to plan relaxing holidays?

The first step to organising a relaxing holiday is to take time to plan it. You need to think about: Where to go and when? How long to stay? Is the accommodation fully refundable? Are there exciting things to do and see around the accommodation? How accessible is the hotel from the airport/train station? Planning your holiday will enable you to anticipate some of the above questions, thus reducing your stress. If you know the answers to these quotations, you will surely be more relaxed when you arrive at your destination.

Take travel insurance. 

Rugged beach for relaxing holidays
Photo by Fabian Wiktor on Pexels.com

No matter the length of your holiday, taking travel insurance is always recommended: it takes out the stress of imagining the worst. If travel insurance does not come with your credit card, you will need to shop around and choose the most adapted to your needs and circumstances.  

Bring hand luggage only. 

If you are travelling for a short time or if your accommodation has a washing machine, taking a small travel bag will avoid some stress associated with losing your luggage. Each year, thousands of suitcases are lost or sent to the wrong destination. If you have sadly experienced lost luggage, you will know how stressful that is. Bringing a smaller travel bag implies packing in a smart way.

When to go on holiday to rest?

Choosing the best time for your holiday is essential to guarantee a perfect relaxing stay. Choosing the right time can help reduce the cost of your holiday budget. Travelling off-season (low season and shoulder season) means fewer tourists, less queues at airport security and less traffic filled-roads. If you have less flexibility and need to travel during the high season (especially families with school-aged children), opt for a less popular destination. 

Relaxing holidays in cobbled beach

Which destination to choose for a relaxing holiday?

When preparing for a relaxing holiday, choose a great location is imperative. You have to make the right choice as not all destinations have the same level of relaxation. Try to spend time in the heart of nature, whether in the mountains, on the beach, in the countryside; each of these types of breaks will have its advantages and disadvantages. 

  • Beach getaway: sea breeze, sandy beaches, sandcastles, swimming, spa retreat, lazing with your feet in the water, seafood etc. a beach holiday will allow you to relax/cut through your daily life 
  • Mountain: breathtaking landscapes, fresh air, countless walks etc. getting in touch with nature will surely recharge your batteries
  • Countryside: charming villages, slow pace, history etc. the countryside will bring you the serenity you need to boost your batteries 
  • City: history, diverse architecture, vibe, culture, gastronomy etc. A city break is a perfect destination for those who like lively places. 

Choosing the destination is key. Don’t plan too many activities as the main reason for the trip is to relax. One or two activities a day should be enough, with the rest of the time allocated to other things at your own pace.

What is the ideal length for a relaxing trip?

The ideal length for a relaxing holiday is between seven and 14 days. The first few days are not enough to truly unwind. During that time, you will need to get to know your surroundings and fill your time with experiences to boost your health and wellbeing. So, to have a worthwhile holiday, especially if you can’t go for more than a week, be sure to stay more than three days. 

How to prepare for a relaxing vacation?

Planning and preparing a trip can be stressful: booking transport and accommodation, packing the luggage, preparing and checking the itinerary etc. To reduce stress, plan and do almost everything days before the trip. Pack your suitcase in advance, so you don’t have to do it the night before the trip, and more importantly, you will avoid forgetting some items.

Have a rest day during your trip to rest either on the first day of your holiday or halfway through. By doing that, you ensure that you are in good shape for the relaxing stay and when you return home. If you are planning a beach holiday for example, do all the activities in the morning so you can spend the afternoons by the beach relaxing. 

How to get away from your daily routine when on holiday?

To get away from your daily routine while on holiday, you need to disconnect from electrical items such as e-mails, televisions. Wander around your accommodation area: go for walks to enjoy the scenery and take some fresh air. If you are in the city, then explore a tourist spot like a museum or gallery.

Sleep well 

A good night’s sleep is essential for your health, just as eating and exercising. If you lack sleep before your trip, be sure to get it back during your holiday. If possible, try to take a 20 minutes nap to recharge your batteries.

Disconnect from e-mails and phone 

Smartphones are great, but they sometimes create stress, especially when you can’t separate your daily life and work life. Whenever possible, try to limit your access to the internet, e-mails, phone. Follow the golden rule: Don’t bring your work with you. But if you must answer e-mails, allocate some time in the morning or during lunchtime. 

Enjoy every moment and do extraordinary things

While you go on holiday to relax and unwind, it is also an excellent opportunity to do some activities you enjoy doing and some new experiences. Whatever your favourite hobbies are, be sure to include them on your itinerary. 

Have good eating habits

Eating better is essential while on holiday. Generally, when people are stress, they tend to eat unhealthily. However, while on holiday, people have time to eat well. For example, on a beach holiday, people can each fish and seafood dishes. If you are staying in self-contained accommodation, you can diversify your menu by adding lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables.  

Find time to read a book or two

Whether it’s a paperback or Kindle, reading a book is a very effective way to de-stress. It’s nice to read a book by the pool or at the beach. Plus, it’s a cheap and straightforward activity. 

Be spontaneous 

If you only have a few days planned, don’t try to compensate by over planning. Packing your schedule can be overwhelming. Instead, leave some time to do spontaneous activities. It’s fine not to see all the sights. For example, you might stumble upon a charming restaurant or receive a recommendation from a local. 

 Get active

Woman walking on sandy beach holding her trainers

The main reason to plan relaxing holidays is to relax. But exercising is another way to relax by reducing your stress level and maintaining your body. Doing a physical sport can reduce stress and help you sleep better. Take a walk on the beach, go for a short hike or a run, play tennis or swim. Do whatever works best for you.

When it’s time to travel again, where will you go? What’s your top tip for planning a relaxing holiday.

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Hi there! I'm Mayi. Welcome to my blog SecretMoona! I hope to share with you the hidden secret of places I visit.

17 thoughts on “How to unwind on holiday: 10 tips for relaxing holidays

  1. I always seem to come home from a holiday even more tired – I guess I don’t know how to relax fully! Thanks for all of the great tips.

    1. I know what you mean! I was the same that’s why I always ensure I have a full day before I go back to work so I can relax and read some work emails. Avoid me coming back to work clueless and also to a reduced amounts of e-mails.

  2. These are really great tips . I think the more planned out , the more you can relax . I tend to sleep in and plan a quiet day .

  3. I needed that tip about disconnecting from emails and my phone, that’s one of the toughest things for me to do when I go on holidays because I always feel like I don’t want to let my team back at work down. But it’s so necessary to recuperate and enjoy your time away!

    1. Disconnecting from work completely is difficult. After a long leave, I often work from home on the first day back so I can slowly read my emails and get on with work at my own pace.

  4. You are so good at this Mayi! I have to admit, I am terrible at relaxing on holiday (apart from 1-2 days) after that, I want to be out hiking and climbing mountains! I still feel refreshed, but my body is always pretty tired by the end of any holiday! 😀

    1. Thanks Josy! I don’t hike often (more like “at all!”) I tend to take long baths after a hike so maybe that’s something you are already doing? Hiking although trying is a relaxing activity so maybe you can alternate busy and free days?

  5. Great tips – I’ve already followed some of them. For instance, I read books almost exclusively when travelling. At home, I’m far too distracted. However, I hardly ever take a relaxing holiday. Most of the time I’m rushing from one place to the other to see as much as I can.
    Why is the limit of a relaxing holiday 14 days?
    Isn’t it like….eternity?!

  6. We have such a hard time doing a relaxing vacation, because we want to see everything if we are going somewhere new and most of the time we are, because we don’t like to repeat places. For us the ideal relaxing getaway is just a short weekend trip. But we have to budget off days, because you only get so many!

  7. Great set of tips that one can easily follow. I believe in laid-back relaxation and less sightseeing if I am heading to unwind and rejuvenate. A lot of your tips are really logical and surely one must plan these before taking a vacation.

  8. It’s very difficult for me to use a vacation to just relax. I enjoy getting out and seeing the area and doing things. I do read a book when I am on a plane and I don’t have other distractions.

  9. Really relateble I just started my own travel blog and then covid hit and I could not travel anymore from my country. No travel planning for me at all 😦

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