How to Reduce Stress When You’re Getting Ready for a Vacation

How to Reduce Stress When You’re Getting Ready for a Vacation

By Kara Ferreira

We know the feeling – you’re going away on vacation, and you should be excited about it, but the overwhelm of finishing up work, and organizing the family’s packing, and finishing arrangements is stressful.

Planning – from packing your luggage, to scheduling activities for the kids, and coordinating travel plans – can quickly become draining. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience! 


Make a comprehensive list of tasks you need to complete before leaving

Sometimes everything that we need to get done feels more stressful when it’s floating around in our heads. Putting everything down on paper can actually make it feel more manageable.

To make sure that you will be stress-free while you’re away, it is important to create a comprehensive list of all the tasks that need to be completed before you leave. Being organized ahead of time will ensure that no obligations or tasks are forgotten and help reduce the anxiety about whether everything is in order. Make a list of everything from groceries and errands to setting up your out-of-office email response and stopping any subscriptions. 

Book your flights and accommodations in advance, if possible

Planning ahead is key to reducing your stress levels before a vacation. Booking flights and accommodations in advance is an important step to take for smoother sailing – and that’s not just because it can often result in cheaper prices. Knowing when and where you’re going well in advance gives you peace of mind, as well as the confidence to plan out other elements of your bookings around it. With everything off your ‘to do’ list sorted, you can enjoy yourself without the worry of having to figure out the details at the last minute. So if you want a smooth pre-vacation experience, make sure to get your flights and where you’ll be staying organized first.

Create a budget for your trip and plan out daily activities so you don’t overspend

Vacations can be a huge expense, which can often contribute to any stressful feelings leading up to or even during the trip. To minimize your stress and maximize your ability to relax while away, set up a budget and plan out daily activities. Planning ahead can help you create a budget that will keep you from overspending. Having an idea of what activities or sights you want to see each day can also help in avoiding those dreaded last-minute bills. Consider doing research about local attractions and restaurants before leaving for your trip so that you don’t end up paying more than necessary due to lack of knowledge. 

Pack ahead of time – make sure to include any important documents or items that you may need during the vacation

Packing ahead of time for your upcoming vacation is a great way to reduce stress before heading out. Not only will it prevent last-minute scrambling, but also help ensure that you don’t forget any important documents or items on the way. When compiling your packing list, make sure to include all necessary documents such as passports and visas, and items like medication, necessary chargers and adaptors, etc. In particular, pay attention to country-specific guidelines like vaccination certificates required at certain destinations. Once the list is ready, start preparing the luggage days in advance so that you have ample time to add extras and travel supplies which may come in handy later on. Check items off of your list as you pack so that you know what has been pre-packed and what needs to be added closer to your departure.

Delegate some tasks to family and coworkers 

Feeling like you’re under the clock at work while also being overwhelmed by your vacation preparations at home can compound your stress. Make a list of all of the things that are a top priority before you leave and identify anything that a coworker might be able to handle for you while you’re away.

When it comes to the family preparations, you do not have to do everything yourself. Make a list of everything that your partner or children can do and give it to them! 

To sum things up, reducing stress before a vacation is important so that you can actually enjoy your vacation! 


Kara is a G3 Contributing Writer


Harvard Business Review, How to Reduce Stress Before, During and After Your Vacation