By Dale Western on 15 July 2015

There's no denying that getting a holiday off the ground can be pretty tough - there's lots of preparation behind the scenes to ensure everything goes well.

From getting everyone packed and ready to go to getting to the airport on time, things can get tense - and there's a new study which suggests that the fairer sex suffer the most with pre-holiday preparations. thought that they'd dig deeper, and interviewed 1,000 Brits about their stress levels before and during their holidays.

Shockingly, only 54% of people admitted to feeling more relaxed on holiday (you're obviously doing something wrong, Brits), and admitted that there are certain elements of a trip they found stress-inducing. Women seem to suffer the most with stress - 33% of women interviewed found the holiday planning stage stressful, compared to just 23% of men.

The causes of this stress are multiple. Getting to the airport, flights and transfers can cause stress for 33% of women, and 26% of women admitted they often feel stress of some sort during their holiday, compared to 19% of men.

After coming home, 28% of women said that they felt stressed, compared to just 17% of men.

Men do seem to be able to switch off an enjoy their breaks more - 41% of men admitted they never feel any stress connected to their holiday, compared to just 25% of women.

Crying baby

If you're prone to stress and you can feel your chest tightening at the thought of organising your next break, here are eight handy tips for keeping your cool.

1. Planning is key. Many hotels dish out discount prices for advanced reservations and, with a little insider knowledge, travellers can book flights at their cheapest. You can even use your social media accounts to bag a discount. Browsing through user reviews can prevent unpleasant surprises down the road, so don't ignore what other people have to say.

2. Pack like a pro. Packing can feel like cruel and unusual punishment, but it doesn't have to be. For starters, make a checklist. Secondly, read our tips on how to pack lightly. If you're always worried you're going to lose your luggage, photograph the contents of your suitcase and make a list of everything you've taken, so you know what to replace if anything gets lost.

3. Make time your friend. Arrive early at the airport - check traffic conditions beforehand. Worried about exceeding the weight limit on luggage? Double-check at home by getting on some scales with your suitcase and then subtracting your own weight.

4. Manage expectations. You don't have to do everything in the guide book. Be realistic about energy levels; prioritise activities and know when to say 'taxi'. If this is your first holiday together, here's how you can avoid the obligatory holiday rows. Holidays are also an opportunity to catch up on things you don’t have time for at home, like reading and watching awful TV. It's OK to take time off from your time off.

5. Stop working. Unplug your phone. Put the laptop away. In the countdown to your holiday, let people know your plans, and prioritise your workload so you can leave with an empty inbox. Here's how to sort out your workload before you go on holiday.

6. Let it go. Sometimes, things may not go to plan. Your kids will get tired and irritable, or you'll be forced into wandering around some dusty old relics for half of the afternoon. Discord might be the cause of stress, and compromise is how you can best deal with it. Don't forget to count to ten.

7. Ease back in to your normal life. As tempting as it may be to book that last return flight on a Sunday evening and head straight into work the next day, it's a bad idea. Make sure that you have the day off when you get home to allow yourselves to readjust, unpack, do some washing and restock the fridge.

8. Look to the future. A tried-and-tested recipe for warding off those post-holiday blues is to start planning the next one. Just saying.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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