WELLBEING: Plan and prepare for a healthy holiday season

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Health Assured team

07 January 2015

With just a few weeks until the summer holidays, it's time to get prepared. Whether you're travelling alone, with a partner or with children, holiday travel can be stressful. It doesn't seem to matter if you're heading overseas or staying within the UK; air travel, train travel and long car journeys all present their own unique potentials for stress flash-points. Here's what you can do to plan for a happy, healthy holiday period.

Travel tips for a stress-free summer
Get organized

Parents of young children will already know that you need to start getting organised for a holiday long in advance of the departure date. But we can all control potential travel stress by planning journeys, building in time-buffers and collating paperwork way ahead of time. Start by building a travel checklist which you can refer back to for future holidays (tweaking it to suit destination, children's ages and time of year).

Stay calm

This one is a state of mind rather than a logistical suggestion. Develop your own methods to stay calm, focused and positive when travel becomes potentially stressful. Situations and other people can only stress you out if you allow it. You might try positive mantras, visualisation, retreating into a good book, audiobook, podcast or favorite playlist, or finding a way to distract and divert fractious family members. Enlist your partner or another level-headed adult and tell them that you plan not to be rattled by tantrums, delays, lost baggage or acts of God. Simply telling others that you refuse to get stressed, and asking for their support, often helps diffuse travel stress before it can begin.

Keep hydrated

Make sure you and everyone in your travel party stays really well hydrated. It's important during warm weather, but even more important when you're on the move. Long car journeys, flights, carrying heavy luggage and longer days will all leave you feeling drained and lethargic if you don't take on board enough fluids and electrolytes. Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere (up until that last moment when you have to go through the departure gates!) For optimal hydration, add some electrolyte powder, drops or tablets to the water - we like elete water drops and nuun tablets. Try to avoid too much caffeine and alcohol, even if they do add to the holiday spirit.

Your travel checklist:
  • Temperature: what factor sun cream do you need?
  • Climate: do you need bug sprays, medication or first aid items?
  • Entertainment: do the adults and children in your travel party need books, audio, electronics, games or favorite toys
  • Essential items: passports, travel documents, maps, tickets, transfer documents, visas

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