The holidays are a great time to relax and unwind, but they can be super stressful if you don’t have the time to prepare yourself. Whether you are travelling or staying at home with family and friends, you still need time to prepare in advance. Here are a few tricks to help you get started on holiday prep:
1. Create a holiday checklist
Also called “a brain dump”, a holiday checklist can help you structure your thoughts in terms of what you need to organise. Write everything down in a list so you are able to tick off items as you go along. Buy a notepad where you jot down your list. You can also add recipes, travel plans, gift ideas, budgets, and a comprehensive home to-do list.
2. Budget, budget, budget
Your holiday will be stressful if you haven’t budgeted for it. A lot of people get into the holiday spirit overzealously without thinking of their expenses or the month after the holiday season is over. One way to ensure that you do not have to stress about money during your holiday is to budget and save. The best way to do that is to make a list of your income and expenses for the month including any supplies, travel costs, food and any extras you may need to cover. This will give you an indication of what you can and can’t afford.
3. Reflect on the previous year
Look back at your holiday last year and jot down what worked and what could improve. There is no point in making the same mistakes over and over again when you can change it for the better. If something was amiss last year, change it, try new approaches, destinations, house-sitters etc. This will ultimately give you peace of mind during your holiday.
4. Create a gift list
If you enjoy giving or receiving gifts over the festive season, it’s best to plan ahead. Make a gift list in advance and slowly start buying the items you intend to gift to others. This way, you can take advantage of sales and holiday specials before the season is in full swing. Another way to do it is to set a budget for everyone in your circle or suggest a secret Santa, this way everyone gets a gift, but it does not have to be costly.
5. Get your house in order
Whether you intend on going away or staying at home, your house needs to be prepared. Do some spring cleaning, organise your decorations, check your security, tend to your garden and pets or find someone who will house-sit for you while you are away. This will inevitably make you feel a lot more relaxed.
Originally appeared on Southlands Sun