How To Relax While On Holiday

Preparing for your long awaited holiday/vacation can be such a nightmare sometimes. You’re constantly worried about forgetting something, whether or not you turned things off at home and locked the door, even if your work is going to be ok etc. and all this stress can get to us, meaning the holiday isn’t as relaxing as you hoped. I know for me it means that I need to do a whole lot of work (sometimes 3 times the amount) before I go away so that my schedule is covered, and working on overdrive like that will often mean that your brain is on full speed and can’t shut down, especially while I am travelling to my destination – I am constantly going over everything and worrying that I haven’t done it all, or that something might go wrong while I am away. All of this does linger in my mind and I find it incredibly hard to relax while on holiday in this new technology era, so I’ve come up with a few tips to help.

Lists Are Your Friend

Image via Tara Tan

Before you leave, I recommend that you make a packing list and a to do list a couple of weeks prior to your leaving date. I find that this helps so much with making sure your mind is clutter free and away from accidental forgetting. Your to do list needs to contain everything you need to get done before you leave, this can include your work schedule (as it does for me), removing perishable items from the fridge, making sure everything is locked up and turned off… you know the drill! Then on your packing list, write down absolutely everything you can think of a couple of weeks before and I can guarantee this extra time will be useful as you will forget something the first and second time you make the list. I know I do. I write all my essentials and then at night, my mind remembers I forgot to add something else to the list! I keep this list on my phone so I can add to it on the go. Then when the few days come before you’re about to leave, start packing and checking the things off the list one by one, and on the morning before you go, go over the list once again to ensure you double checked everything. This ultimately calms my mind down and I know I didn’t forget something then!

Occupy Your Mind With Positive Distraction

By this, I don’t mean occupy it with social media and thoughts all the time. I’m talking about taking some great books and magazines with you that are inspiring and enjoyable. A simple romance novel, an uplifting self help book, an interesting adventure story that you might be able to get lost in etc. Take one of these to a sun lounger at the beach and get engrossed in your reading! I find it really helps to re-focus your mind and calm it down, away from the stress and anxiety you had before travelling. Reading is one way to really unwind your mind and to stop it from focusing too much on the ego side that it has, and if the book is good, you really transport into a different world. Some books I would obviously enjoy are Twilight, Harry Potter, anything from Meg Cabot, mindfulness books… Anything that steers clear of inducing anxiety or fear within you so you don’t increase your stress responses. It’s also good to make sure you limit the reading though as you don’t want to spend the entire holiday reading the same book because you can’t put it down. You will miss out on so much. I think the first couple of days are great for reading, then the day before you leave to relax again before you travel.

Be Present

So once you’ve been at your holiday destination for a day or two, have calmed down from the travel stress, and have occupied your mind with distraction, try and be present. By this I mean really focus on where you are. Enjoy walks or sitting on the beach and just looking at the scenery around you. Look up at the sky, notice the clouds, really feel yourself in the moment. Explore the towns or the architecture if you’re on a city holiday, really take in the atmosphere and your surroundings so you’re getting the most out of being in a different location. It can be so easy to ignore what’s happening around you and get caught up in your own mind, but honestly, what’s the point of being on vacation if you’re not enjoying it? This leads me to my next point…

Digital Detoxing

As people that live in the 21st century, and as the years go on and technology improves, we’re always glued to our devices. We don’t often notice what’s happening around us and instead we’re scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, updating our statuses on Facebook, swiping left or right on dating apps etc and we’re oblivious to life happening at that moment. Obviously I know social media is of high importance to us as it’s an extension of our lives (or work), but on holiday, try to limit it to only checking at night time. I like to use my phone for the camera only during the day, so that I am not distracted by the news, friends updates or having envy over other bloggers purchases or locations. It’s important to enjoy where you are and what you’re doing. It’s your life. So cut off from that during the day with a digital detox and really be present. Just allocate set times for it at night, and when you go back home, you’ll really enjoy everything you saw and learned, which is important to reflect on.

Take Photos For Memories

As I mentioned above, use your phone only for camera purposes while you’re out enjoying your holiday. Of course, it’s much easier to take a camera with you for better photos that you can print out, but our phone cameras are easy for on the go. I don’t class photos as not being present or enjoying the moment as they are capturing that moment so you can hold onto it forever. As I mentioned in this previous post, when I look back at some of my photos from holiday or a trip out, they bring back all the emotions and feelings of being there in real life. Our memories often fade and we only hold onto a bit of them, and our brain fills in the gaps as we age, but with a photo, it brings you straight back to that point. And of course, it’s always nice to share your photographs with your friends and family when you’re back so they can enjoy them too. Just don’t get caught up in a tonne of selfies and perfecting your pout as that will take you out of the moment. Capture what you’re seeing and enjoy it.

– What are some of the ways that you enjoy relaxing on holiday? I’d love to know!



  1. August 26, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    I leaned from hubby to always have a packing list and that is a life saver. Being present is huge for me lately at least. I take very few pictures for posterity and set the phone down. Last time, I enjoyed my stay to the fullest and did a couple shoots the last days so it was a win win for me. Great tips Lorna!

    • August 29, 2017 / 11:26 pm

      I saw it looked like you really enjoyed your vacation! You were gone for ages and barely online, so I knew you were embracing it! It’s so good to hear!

    • August 29, 2017 / 11:27 pm

      No problem 🙂

  2. August 27, 2017 / 9:57 pm

    Wonderful tips! I’m going out of town next weekend and am looking forward to getting away for a few days 🙂

    • August 29, 2017 / 11:27 pm

      I hope you have a wonderful time 🙂

  3. August 28, 2017 / 1:29 am

    I keep the blog running while I’m away, but post volume diminishes sharply (by about half). At my current level of obsession, that’s the best I can do. 🙂

    • August 29, 2017 / 11:27 pm

      Is that something you enjoy, Charles? Or do you wish to have a complete break sometimes? 🙂

  4. August 28, 2017 / 8:51 am

    These are good tips – especially the one about using the screens less and being more present – it’s good to completely relax and soak up the holiday atmosphere.

    We’ve got an upcoming trip planned but we will be taking the boys so I don’t think it will be very relaxing, haha! It’s sure to be fun though! 🙂

    Hope you had a great weekend 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • August 29, 2017 / 11:28 pm

      I’m sure that will be fun though to have a family holiday like that, making memories! I have such fond ones from when I was little!

  5. August 28, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    It’s quite a long time since I’ve been away on a holiday of any significant length. When my parents lived abroad I’d go away more often to see them… but now they live just 17 miles from me so it’s not quite the same… 😉 LOL

    My next holiday is a long weekend in London in October. My best friend is coming over from the Netherlands (it will be the first time I’ll have met her in real life after knowing each other for 2 years online). So we’ll be seeing as many sights and packing as many things into 3 days as we possibly can. We’ll probably manage to keep off of social media other than a few double selfies for instagram… 😉 I don’t even have a smartphone anyway so there’s not that level of temptation during the day… I’ll just have my tablet and be at the mercy of whatever the WiFi is like in the hotel in the evenings. 😀

    On the whole though I never find it difficult to relax on holiday as it’s always a complete escape from ordinary life. It’s the bit immediately after a holiday that’s more trouble to relax in.

    But one thing I do find to be an essential is my iPod. This is for travel… train journeys in particular. I can’t read in moving vehicles without feeling sickly so a bit of music is vital for entertainment if I am travelling on my own… as I will be. 🙂

    • August 29, 2017 / 11:32 pm

      I get that way too! I get so sick when reading or doing anything close up while in a moving vehicle, it’s horrible, so I fully understand you there! I can just about manage to check my phone now and then on a train if I’m by the window, but that’s as far as I can go lol. I remember I was told to read in the car for the long journey as a kid, which I did, and I could never understand why I got so car sick and we had to pull over to throw up! I figured it out pretty fast though, thankfully!

      That sounds like it’s going to be lovely in London! Meeting a friend you’ve known online for ages in person is amazing! I did that with my American friend, Sarah. It was just like it was normal, like we’d met all the time. Hopefully it’s the same for you! Don’t tire yourself out too much though with all the walking, ha ha!

      • August 30, 2017 / 7:15 pm

        Yeah, I think we’ll try to avoid exhaustion by extensive use of the tube trains. 😀 I don’t much enjoy them but they do save a lot of time and effort. It’ll be a great weekend anyway, I’m sure it’ll feel totally normal meeting her in person seeing as we’ve chatted online almost every day for over two years. 🙂

        I was the worst traveller as a kid… I could hardly go a mile in a car without feeling ill. When I was 10 I went on a school trip to London, setting out from my then home village in Nottinghamshire… we’d only just reached the next village before I was sick! :O I’m much better now though I still don’t ever feel quite right in a car or other road vehicle. 😀

        • August 30, 2017 / 10:16 pm

          I’m sure it will be fantastic 🙂 You’ll have to tell me all about it when you get chance after!

          I do feel you on the travelling though, that really sounds like me lol. Two peas in a sick travelling pod!

          • August 31, 2017 / 7:42 pm

            Oh, it’d be a pleasure to. 🙂

            Yes… peas is about right… both turning green anyway. 🙂

  6. August 28, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    These are such great tips! I especially agree with lists! Once I write what I need to do down I feel less stressed that I will forget to do it. Resting the first day you get to your destination also helps so you can feel recharged after traveling =o)

    • August 29, 2017 / 11:28 pm

      Really glad you liked the tips and you agree with them too! =o)

  7. August 28, 2017 / 5:53 pm

    It’s like you read my mind, girl! I’m on holiday right now 🙂 Love all of these tips – going to be using them for the honeymoon too!


    • August 29, 2017 / 11:28 pm

      Oh have fun! I’m sure you will 🙂

    • August 29, 2017 / 11:29 pm

      So glad you like it!

  8. August 30, 2017 / 12:38 am

    I agree with all of your recommendations, Lorna. I like to unplug too when on vacation, but it can be difficult to do completely. Just make sure to be present when you are on holiday instead of being on your phone all the time. 🙂

    Jessica |

    • August 30, 2017 / 1:51 am

      Glad you agree 🙂

    • August 30, 2017 / 10:16 am

      Thank you!

  9. August 30, 2017 / 10:59 am

    Thank you for sharing such amazing tips! Couldn’t agree more with you on the digital detox bit, being a fashion blogger, being very active on social media has become a part of the job. And sometimes we should take a break during our holidays and just be present 🙂


    • August 30, 2017 / 11:03 am

      I’m glad you agree and think that too 🙂

  10. Gabrielle
    August 30, 2017 / 11:18 am

    100% agree about lists being your best friend haha, it’s so helpful to have everything jotted down – it gives you peace of mind, at the very least! 🙂

    • August 30, 2017 / 11:22 am

      Glad you agree 🙂

  11. Lindsey Puls
    August 31, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    Oh gosh, I needed this post today. I’m leaving for a holiday this Saturday and have been freaking out lately. Haha. I decided to take a week break from my blog too, and almost retracted that decision today…but this post is motivating me not to do that! It’s important to be present your trip and not be on your phone all day (other than to take some snapshots)! Thank you, Lorna! This post was a great motivator and reminder!

    • August 31, 2017 / 2:48 pm

      Oh I am glad you liked it! Really happy it could have been some help to you too for your trip! Where are you headed?

  12. September 2, 2017 / 9:44 am

    Very good tips indeed. I love making lists when going on holiday, they are so handy and help you calm down.
    I am just thinking about my next holiday. Do you have any ideas or tips of places/countries I should visit?

    • September 3, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      Thanks! Depends entirely on where you would like to go lol.

  13. Grace
    September 9, 2017 / 12:38 pm

    These are great tips! I can’t be without lists xx

    • September 9, 2017 / 10:12 pm

      I know, they are my must have too, ha ha!

  14. September 12, 2017 / 10:56 am

    This post is very well-written and contains lots of excellent advice Lorna! I can relate to what you said about the stresses of going on holiday. It’s been years since I went abroad, as I find the prospect of travel too stressful, with all the unpredictable factors that can arise. I really enjoyed reading this post, and it sounds like you’ve mastered the art of packing! Thank you for sharing your insights.

    Lots of love Saba xx

    • September 12, 2017 / 5:06 pm

      Really glad it’s helpful to you!

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