If you’re about to head off on a fun, relaxing holiday but are feeling strangely stressed about it rather than excited, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

According to Liz Sharples, lecturer in travel and tourism at the University of Portsmouth, Britain, although we look forward to it our vacations all year long, research suggests that rather than being excited we are often worried, stressed and even disappointed as our holiday approaches.

Early research has shown that after booking their vacation some people can experience feelings of regret.

This happens despite spending hours trying to find the best option.

Sharples adds that her research so far suggests that some people may even feel unwell in the last few days before their vacation.

Women are particularly susceptible to these feelings.

Forty-four per cent of women report an increase of stress during the buildup to holidays versus 31 per cent of men.

“Without gender-stereotyping, research shows that it is often women who are the ones organising the pre-holiday tasks such as buying new or essential items, arranging care for pets, tidying up the house and packing — for everybody!” explains Sharples.

“Working women have the pressure of their job as well and the two combined can cause a decline in pre-vacation health and well-being.”

However, she adds that, “It’s not just women and it can depend on the type of person you are; some people are extremely organised but worry about everything they have to do and some are simply last-minute doers but panic because they’ve left everything too late. It means that people leave for their holiday feeling exhausted instead of buoyant and excited.”

Women stress out more before a holiday from all the planning.

No matter which type of vacation planner you are, here are Sharples’ top tips for avoiding pre-holiday stress:

Do make a ‘to do’ list

It sounds obvious but it can help you to remember the important items.

Do ask for help

It shouldn’t all fall to one person so get your partner/friends/the whole family involved.

Organise your workload before the trip

Plan your workload a couple of weeks in before your vacation.

This means that you won’t be working stressful, longer hours in the days before you leave.

Ready your essentials

Do check climate, visas and health requirements.

If you take any medication, do you have enough?

Make sure you get to your doctor or pharmacist to stock up on anything you need.

Check or arrange travel insurance.

Plan and pack early

Don’t leave the planning to the last minute – pack early to take the pressure off.

Check your tickets and documents earlier – errors may mean you won’t be allowed to travel.

If you are flying check the airline rules on hand baggage.

Have a great time!

You are going on holiday so try to build up the excitement and anticipation, not the stress. – AFP Relaxnews

Relax, and have a great time.