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Looking forward to your holiday, but dreading the pre-departure stress? Check out our handy to-do list and stayed chilled from booking to arrival.

The weather in Britain this summer has, as always, been a little hit and miss. Some of you may embrace it and decide to take your holiday at home, while others may be determined to reach more predictable climates. However, wherever you’re going, one thing you’ll need to do at home is plan.

Many people think of holidays as a time to forget all obligations and keep days free and easy. Funnily enough, this lack of structure can actually derail a holiday, as you struggle to fill your time when you get there.

This kind of planning can take time and cause a lot of stress, but follow our handy tips and your preparation will be swift and hassle-free.

Plan your journey
It sounds obvious, but the devil’s in the details. Use the internet to plan and print every section of the journey you’re going to take. Don’t forget to check out your parking options, baggage capacity and the latest traffic news, so you can get from home to hotel in the quickest, simplest way.

NB: Be especially careful not to get stung by ‘city’ airport that are actually located in the middle of nowhere. Checking this out in advance and booking taxis and buses before you arrive can solve a lot of issues (especially if there’s a language barrier).

Get a map
No one likes asking for directions at the best of times and when you’re trying to speak another language, it might not even be a possibility. Think of all the essential locations you just know at home, like a petrol station or food shop, then make sure you’ll be just as confident on arrival.

Buy a guidebook
They may seem cheesy and unoriginal, but, unless you can access local knowledge when you arrive, a guidebook will provide you with tried and tested activities. More importantly, the suggestions will be aimed at holiday goers and not locals, so you won’t risk missing the most important landmarks.

Pack Well
Make a list of everything you need and cross them off as you add them to your bag. As well as all of the holiday essentials, make a note of everything you use on a daily basis, then make sure you place them in your bag. There’s nothing worse than turning up and realising the only set of underwear you’ve brought are already on you.

Take a phrase-book
Just do it. You may decide to simply talk louder or just point at a menu, but at least it’ll be there in an emergency.

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Sophie Wilson works for the UK #1 in American and European motorhomes. She is fondly thought of round the office for her ability to give you advice, no matter whether you ask for it, or not. It is usually pretty sound stuff, though…