How not to ruin a Holiday

Tips for everything from dealing with sunburn to not killing your relatives

By Hugh Upsher

If anyone has ever told you that "change is as good as a holiday" – you can assume that they haven’t really had a half decent holiday in their life. Nothing is as good as a holiday, but contrary to popular belief, going on holiday isn’t as straightforward as car commercials would have us believe. If you’re not careful and don't plan accordingly, your time in the sun could go pear shaped pretty quickly – sunstroke, lack of funding, arguments – the list goes on. Here are my tips on how to make the most of a great situation.

Digital Detox

If you’re going on holiday, why not treat your phone to a holiday too? Make a point to stem the tide of work emails, Whatsapp group messages and meaningless notifications about events you have no interest in attending. Ideally, you want to be in a place with no cell phone reception, so even if there is a work emergency (AKA “Where did you save that file on the server?”), you’ll remain blissfully unaware of it. A bonus would be a spot with no electricity so you can finally force yourself to touch that book that’s been living patiently on your bedside table over the past few months. new

Conflict resolution

Holidays can be a hotspot for small-to-medium arguments. This is especially true when having to make on-the-spot decisions while adventuring into unfamiliar surroundings. It’s important to remember that when your fiancé leads you down a bushy mountainside on what he truly believed was a totally legit-looking path, he had the best intentions at heart. He should be completely forgiven even though he ignored the fact that you expressed serious hesitation on choosing said ‘path’.


Somewhere along the line you’ll need to quietly sit yourself down and take a look at the numbers. It isn’t going to be any fun, but it beats eating toast dinners for ten days straight. All you have to do is divide the money you have available by the days until your next paycheque. Once you’ve stared at that number long enough, wipe the tears out of your eyes and carry on like nothing ever happened. Best-case scenario is you end up only having to eat toast dinners for five days straight instead.


If I could sum up a ruined holiday in one word, it would be ‘sunstroke’, or better yet ‘peeling’. For anyone on the pale side of the scale I shouldn’t need to remind you twice on this one. Deep, pulsating pink is not a good look for anyone, especially when it’s framed within the pale streaks spared by whatever flimsy garment managed to stay on you at the scene of the crime.

Holidays are a time to go easy on yourself, so give yourself the gift of sanity by sticking to these tips as best you know how. Put your phone on silent, avoid ongoing arguments, know exactly how little money you actually have and smother yourself in SPF 30 every couple of hours.