OK, you’ve worked hard and it’s time for that well-deserved break. But how can you make sure that your holiday lives up to your expectations? The answer is planning!

A holiday is supposed to give your body and mind a chance to replenish from the daily grind, so to get the best out of this time off, the first thing you’ll need to look at is your lifestyle and what you need to promote recovery.

If your job is stressful, you should look at a holiday that offers relaxation, good food and plenty of rest. On the other hand, if your daily life is a bit mundane, then plan some excitement for your holiday.

Before running out and booking that holiday, take the time to ask yourself a few basic questions, do I want relaxation or excitement? Do I want to be in a group or alone? Warm or cool weather? How much can I afford?

Once you have the answers, do some research on the Internet and talk to travel agencies to narrow down your choices.

Booking well in advance helps you save a bundle, so once you’ve decided on your holiday destination, think about the best season to travel. Remember, peak times are expensive but usually offer the best weather and most activities, so look at your priorities. Look around for the best deals for your holiday destination and travel insurance at the selected time.

Arrange to have a medical check-up with your doctor. He will advise you on any vaccinations you may need for your selected destination.

Visit your local library and read up on your holiday destination. There may well be a hidden gem of a spot that doesn’t get a mention in every guidebook. If you will be doing a lot of sightseeing get a decent map and mark the places that really interest you. Splurge on a new camera? Make sure you know how to get the best out of it. Get out and practice locally before you go, so that using the camera becomes more habitual.

Make sure your important papers are together in a safe place, and make a list of your passport number, credit card number and vital phone numbers in case of an emergency. Check how much baggage you are allowed and pack accordingly, sometimes, it can be cheaper to buy extra clothes at your destination than pay extra baggage fees. Follow these simple steps and you’ll really get the best from your holiday.

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