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How to get into holiday mode

Ever been too tired or stressed to really relax on your holiday? 

One in five Australians say they are not worry-free in the first 24 hours of holiday! So why would you spend THOUSANDS of dollars on a holiday to be anxious?

With this in mind, Booking.com has put together a ‘Switching to Holiday Mode’ guide which packages up 16 pieces of expert advice from life coach Sloan Sheridan-Williams, on how best to switch into holiday mode the easiest and quickest way possible, so that travellers can make the most of their trip.

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A Fresh Approach

1. Right Now Plan

Nearly one in three travellers worry about what could go wrong in the first 24 hours of a holiday. Take inspiration from frequent travellers, who know that delays happen and luggage gets lost, but most travel niggles have a solution. Having confidence in your ability to come up with a “Right Now Plan” (a plan that focuses on being flexible to adapt to your surroundings in order to get to the outcome you wish to achieve) to combat anything that comes your way, is key to reducing stress.

2. Eat a Snack

Keeping your gut happy reduces fatigue after a long journey. Eating something sweet stimulates the release of feel good chemicals, providing a soothing feeling and boosting your mood while a small protein snack can keep your energy levels roaring long enough to get you to your accommodation without feeling tired. When eating, focus your mind on the food, taste, texture and feel.

3. Line Up

No one likes waiting in queues, but these are a part of travel. The majority of travellers are right-handed so head to the furthest left counter from the entrance. Fewer people choose that line as people gravitate to right hand counters to match their dominant writing hand. Soon you’ll be the first to make it through to baggage claim securing a handy front row spot.

4. Enjoy the Journey

Rushing around distorts the perception of time. Slow down. Take the time to talk to your driver, host or concierge, creating rapport and connection from the moment you leave the airport or station. Nearly one in four travellers like a welcoming host, so pave the way by striking up the first conversation, asking for tips of what to do or see.

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Technology tips

 

1. While You Wait

After a long flight, it is easy to get impatient while waiting for your baggage, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to text your loved ones that you have arrived safely. While you have your phone out take a selfie and save it as your screen lock, that way if you misplace your phone you can easily prove it is yours no matter the language barrier or situation.

2. Digital Download

Apps can make exploring a new country less stressful. Be it a travel app, language translator, money converter or a health app. Use your accommodation’s Wi-Fi to download what you might need, including your destination guide from the Booking.com app and remind yourself of your itinerary and where you are staying.

3. Theme Tune Therapy

Unpack while dancing around to uplifting music. Pull out your iPhone and speakers and take out your belongings like no one is watching. Let go of your ego, break any unhelpful patterns of taking things too seriously and rid yourself of negativity. You will be organised in no time and surrounded by your own possessions, which one in 10 travellers say helps shifts them to holiday mode quicker.

4. Turn Off Technology

Turn off your phone and focus on the country you are in. Allow your brain to catch up to your new surroundings. As you put your phone away, promote calm by lightly running one or two fingers over your lips which promotes the "rest and digest" response that calms the body down and acts like a brake to anxiety loops, promoting a calm and quieter mind.

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Calm your mind

1. Activate the Feel Good Factor

After travelling it’s important to boost your feel good chemicals and get yourself moving. If you’re the active type and your chosen accommodation has a gym then have a workout or if you’re in a resort or villa take a stroll around the grounds. In a city apartment? Take a brisk walk to get a feel for your local area. Take pictures of your accommodation (selfies allowed!) and share with those you care about back home.

2. Sunshine Sense

Sunshine can boost your mood, raise vitamin D levels and increase your energy, but underestimating the strength of the sun can result in sunburn on day one (even on typically colder holidays like skiing!) Remember to apply the SPF on arrival. For those who have a little too much exposure, soak a t-shirt in cool black tea or make your own aloe-vera gel ice cubes. 

3. Home from Home

Whether you’re staying in an apartment, hostel, boat or even a treehouse, many travellers feel more relaxed making their accommodation like home with 14 percent saying a restful night’s sleep flicks their switch to holiday mode. Bring comforting items with you like your favourite mascot, night time hot drink, personalised mug, own pillowcase, bedtime journal or a family photograph.

4. Instant Calm

If you need a shot of ‘instant calm’ then pressure points have the answer. There are many trigger points to choose from. An easy one to locate is the space between the knuckles of your second and third finger right by the joints. Locate your preferred trigger point and apply firm pressure. This creates an instant feeling of calm.

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Start fresh 

1. Be a Superhero

Hold a “Superhero pose” to clear your mind for the day ahead. Find a relaxing view, place your hands on your hips, stick your chest out, holding your head high.  Hold for 90 seconds and take three deep breaths. Get lost in the beautiful scenery whether you are in a sky high apartment, a majestic riad to beautiful villa. Embrace the new and leave the past behind. Remind yourself that you can achieve your heart’s desires.

2. Avoid Arguments

The key to switching off and arriving in a relaxed state is to leave any arguments or niggles at home. Understand that travelling can be stressful and agree with your travel partner that you get a free pass for any minor snaps or miscommunications during your journey. When faced with a conflict ask yourself is enjoying your holiday more important than being right.

3. Explore Your Surroundings

Become an explorer and ditch the fear. Nearly 1 in 5 of 18-34 year olds worry they’ve not planned their holiday enough. Use the Booking.com destination guide to find and list six things you want to do and pick one at random. Spontaneity adds a little more fun, and means you can live the holiday for just you and ensure you are not just doing what others think you should do.

4. Live Like a Local

Living life walking in someone else’s shoes is a great way to leave your old patterns behind. Immerse yourself in the local culture and try a local cuisine or experience. Leave your comfort zone, chat to the locals and find out where to go that’s off the beaten track.

 

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