Zero (language) stress on holiday
It has had you daydreaming for the past few weeks at work ... Two gorgeous weeks of lazing on a sun-drenched terrace. A pool and entertainment for the children, strolling through pristine nature and local markets and eateries just around the corner.
The airport is buzzing with thousands of people who cannot wait to reach their holiday destinations, and engage in their final sprint to the plane. So do you, and you made it just in time! Your holiday can officially begin now. Everything's fine. Or is it? Your beautiful holiday destination is indeed chock full with people, but no one understands English, French or German.
The three most stressful aspects of travelling are crowded airports, the commotion associated with travelling and language barriers. The first two can be managed with sound travel planning. But a language barrier is not something you can avoid, right?
We tend to think that we get by well enough in French, English and German. That being said, the residents of your particular holiday destination may not understand these languages. Or you may be travelling to a country where your French, English or German is of no use. The language barrier can generate quite a bit of frustration. What about arranging a taxi, settling prices, asking locals for directions or visiting a doctor and getting medication? Not being able to make yourself understood can be frustrating and stressful.
If you want to avoid stress, it's a good idea to learn some basic phrases in the native language of the country you’re visiting. Phrases such as 'How much does it cost?', 'May I ask some questions?' and 'Do you speak English?’ are but a few examples.
Don't feel like learning these sentences in advance? Then choose a holiday destination where your French, English or German will suffice. How about France, Germany or England? English is also widely spoken and understood in countries such as Israel, Kenya, Denmark and Sweden.
Fun cultural facts
Preparing for your trip does not end at learning a couple of phrases in a foreign language. It's actually even fun to learn about a country's customs and habits before your trip starts. This has the added advantage that it allows you to get a taste of your destination long before you actually make it there. For instance, what is everyday life like for the people at your holiday destination? What religion do they practice? What are their traditions?
When you're well informed, language and culture are no longer obstacles — and you can go on holiday with #NoStress. Avoiding airports and overcrowded destinations obviously helps too.
How about a trip to Sweden ... by boat?