We have just over a week to go before our holiday to Turkey and we are stressed as hell. Why?
We’re not worried about the cost. We have a decent planned budget and we’ll stick to it.
It’s not that we have unrealistic expectations. We never get carried away and we are always pleasantly surprised when things are as advertised and go to plan.
It’s not worry about the unknown, the prospect of visiting a different place with a different religion, customs and etc.. We respect the country we’re going to and its people, and I would expect them to respect us.
We are not worried about getting along with the people we are going away with. They are damn good company and easy going.
Nor are we stressing about how to spend our time there. We will explore a bit and relax a bit and plan most of it when we get there.
We are thoroughly organised on the health front. We have our medication packed, our hearing aid batteries, we have our flight compression socks, and I have had my ears syringed so I can hear properly. (With my substandard ears, flights are bad for solidifying any ear wax that might be lurking).
So what are we stressed about? Well, this is what we’re thinking ……..
Will we die on the way there or back? We don’t have any real safety concerns about flying other than the take-off, landing and that bit in between. Have we put all our affairs in order?
Did we do enough research? Did we book the right hotel? This holiday is part of my wife’s 70th Birthday celebrations and those of another two in our party who have turned 70 this year. So we expect the hotel to be as advertised and up to its rave reviews. We have already had to cancel a holiday in the same resort after reading some horrendous reviews after we had booked it. That was a stressful process, let me tell you.
Have we got all the necessary documentation? Have we printed out everything we need? Will I ever be able to find anything on my phone if I need to? I am slightly challenged using my smart phone and it won’t help that my phone bundle doesn’t work in Turkey so I will be charged £1 per megabyte for data and God knows what to send and receive calls. I will need to rely on the wi-fi and my wife’s ancient phone.
Have we packed everything we need? Well, I think we’ve packed enough clothes. In fact my entire summer wardrobe has been packed. Yes packed already. My wife likes to be organised and has everything in my suitcase, leaving me with only my gardening clothes, winter jumpers and gym kit to go out in over the next week. But have we got all the other necessities? Have we got all the little bits and pieces that are necessary for us to function happily whilst we are away. Having piled together our electronic devices, gadgets, toiletries, guides, sun cream, etc. I can see these will require their own suitcase. Will our luggage be over the weight limit?
What happens if we need medical help on the trip? Our party straddle 70, so one of us is bound to be ill. Will our travel insurance be up to it?
Will we get to Leeds-Bradford Airport on time and will we find our car park? We have researched and planned this thoroughly, but I know when it matters, I am bound to get lost driving there, or there will be impromptu night time road repair works, or some BMW driver will cause an accident and cause a road closure. What zombie like state will be in when we get there as we need to arrive three hours before a 6 am flight?
What nonsense will await us at the airport? I hate the airport experience. I can honestly say I’ve never had good one. How long will the queues be? How long will it take to check in, zig zag through customs like sheep at a cattle market and go through the security scanning fiasco? (It’s uncanny how many times my wife is called back for a search after walking through the body scanner). Will we have time for a nice coffee before being herded to the claustrophobic departure lounge where we will be sat on a window ledge because all the seats have been occupied? Will there be flight delays, cancellations or overbooked flights? If so, will airport staff lock themselves in a dark cupboard so as not to give us any information about what is happening and why?
Will our house be safe whilst we are away? What if we have a storm and the roof blows off or what if we have a burst water pipe? What will we do? Did we remember to unplug the electrical appliance and turn the gas off? Did we lock all the doors and turn the burglar alarm on? We will have our doubts all holiday despite doing umpteen checks before we go. Will our neighbour remember to check the post and lock the porch door? Will we be able to contact our daughter? Will DPD parcel service leave parcels on our front drive? This has happened even when we didn’t order them.
I could go on and on but I should really try not to focus on the negative. I think it is an age related thing worrying about stuff like this. We are still exhausted from booking everything online. We have severe brain and eye fatigue thanks to the many user-unfriendly web sites we have had to navigate and their confusing interfaces. I have now run out of printer ink printing the pages and pages of stuff we’ve been asked to take. And now I have to print my own baggage label because Jet2 don’t supply them. Is it me or is it getting harder and more time consuming to book holidays and flights on the internet?
I think we will be able to look back on this holiday and agree it was worth it. But the next time we book a holiday, it will be through a travel agent, and I will also investigate what Class A drugs I can get hold of to ease the pre-holiday stress. Or, we could just book a few short breaks in the UK instead. (Check out my posts on Short Holiday Breaks)