Make holidays fun again with stress free travel

July 10, 2024 by Natalie Brewer
Make holidays fun again with stress free travel

We love our summer holidays but just sometimes, it all feels like hard work. Juggling planning, packing, ensuring the business will survive whilst we’re not there, and preparing the house – and then there’s the getting there! The Hour Hands team have put their heads together and collectively come up with ways to make the summer just a little more stress free – and as most of our suggestions related to travel and holidays, we’ve called it our ‘Making Holidays Fun Again’ guide.  So here it is – what you need to do to (almost) guarantee stress free travel!

Heading off on holiday? Make a list!

Just like at work, it’s all about preparation, preparation, preparation!  It’s great when you arrive at your destination but preparing to go away can be stressful, particularly if you have to shop and pack for the whole family.

We firmly believe in the value of making a list – or many lists!

We have between us a list for:

  • What needs to be done around the house before you go away and whilst you’re away include pet sitting. Most sitters/kennels or catteries get booked up very quickly
  • Business deadlines – what has to be completed before any leave, and who will complete any tasks whilst you are away?
  • Booking admin – are passports in date? Do we need visas? Insurance, holiday money, vaccinations etc.
  • Packing – what to take!

But we agreed our no. 1 action is to check passports and any visa requirements

Knowing that our passports are in date is the ultimate way to stop any pre-holiday stress. Bear in mind that the rules to travel to Europe have changed in the past couple of years – and the new rules are still catching people out necessitating emergency visits to the passport office in Scotland or Northern Ireland. Check your passport is in date and that you have the requisite amount of time left on the passport (the expiry date) for arrival and when you leave the country.

Many visa applications can be made online in advance but if you’re travelling to the USA, get your ESTA (digital visa) as soon as possible as you may be surprised and need to book in for an in-person visa interview. This is more common than you think.

There’s lots of information on the .gov website about passport validity, visa and vaccination requirements.


Always buy holiday insurance and always take a copy of the policy with you, including the contact details in case you have an emergency whilst away.  It’s a great idea to share these details – and your itinerary – with a trusted adult who’ll be in the UK when you’re away. Just in case.

Packing list

We agree that writing a packing list at least two weeks before we travel allows enough time for those oft-forgotten tasks including:

  • Ordering foreign currency / a travel card with zero interest on foreign currency
  • New clothes shopping as the children (and sometimes the adults 😉 have grown since their last outing
  • Reordering prescriptions/requesting doctors notes for some medications

Bring a power bank – you never know when you might need it especially as so much is online these days. Don’t forget a travel adapter and a travel-sized first aid kit too!

Have you discovered packing cubes yet? Perfect for keeping all of the same clothes together such as swimwear or underwear. You could use one cube per person or pack all the clothes needed for each day together in a cube. No more stress about finding the clothes that you want to wear (or clean socks!).  

Our other top tips include:

  • Embrace meet and greet parking, VIP transit, and airport lounges at your airport. Yes there is a cost to these services but they really can make a difference to your stress levels.
  • Place Apple AirTags or Tile trackers inside your suitcases. They won’t guarantee your bags arrive at the same airport as you but knowing where they are will reduce your stress levels if they go missing.
  • If you don’t have trackers, write your name and contact number on paper and place it inside the suitcase. That way if the tag goes missing, whoever opens your suitcase will know who to contact.
  • Take a picture of your passport on your phone and email it to yourself – just in case it gets lost or stolen.
  • Store your passport and your valuables in the hotel safe. On the last night, put one of the shoes you will be wearing to travel home in the safe so you don’t forget to remove your passport!  
  • Download your airlines’ app – you’ll receive notifications directly to your phone about any flight changes. It’s also easy to check in before your departure home too.
  • Slow down. There may be lots to see and do but having quiet time is so important to recharge your batteries. Children in particular find the stimulation of being in a new place with different routines to be quite stressful and they need time out.
  • If reading is your thing, take a kindle. You can carry 100s of books with you, which is obviously a lot lighter than carrying hard copies!
  • You don’t have to spend lots of money so don’t feel guilty if some places, activities or restaurants are out of reach. Spread out any treats across the holiday so that you and the children have things to look forward to. But remember that often, the best, most memorable times are free.

1,2, 3….Stretch

And whilst you are away from your usual routine, take advantage of having time to stretch, or if it’s your thing, to meditate. Stretching outdoors whilst feeling the earth beneath your feet and listening to the sounds around you is super relaxing. 

How the flexible Hour Hands team will support your home and business this summer

Hour Hands is a team of experienced Personal Assistants and talented bookkeepers with eons of experience with travel, days out, restaurants…  We are ready to support you with those urgent and important tasks that you just don’t have the time to complete including booking travel, taxis, investigating holiday options and booking excursions.  We also keep your house and business running smoothly whilst you are away on your travels. By outsourcing your tasks, you have the peace of mind that everything will be completed in your absence. 

To find out more simply visit our website or call us on 01727 818262. We will ask how we can support you and offer a solution either on an hourly rate or package cost. The choice is yours – we simply want to help.