The 7 emotional stages of going on your first post-lockdown holiday

Embarking on your first post-lockdown holiday can be nerve-wracking (Alamy/PA)
11:16am, Mon 26 Jul 2021
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Following the lifting of lockdown, the easing of some travel restrictions and schools breaking up for summer, holiday season is hotting up, with airlines reporting a rise in bookings and airports experiencing a surge in footfall.

This is no ordinary holiday season, however. Jetting off for a sunny getaway feels decidedly different in the post-lockdown world…

1. Cautious optimism

So you’ve checked the government’s traffic light list and your destination country’s entry requirements, and you’ve found your ideal escape. You’ve got your flights and accommodation booked, and you’re feeling optimistic about your first overseas trip in many, many months. The countdown is on…

2. Nervousness

Yet in the run-up to your departure date, every time you imagine yourself relaxing on the beach or clinking wine glasses in front of a sunset vista, you can’t help but feel a little bit anxious. What if the travel rules change between now and then? What if you test positive for Covid? What if we suddenly go back into lockdown? You know you won’t totally relax until you’re on the plane and about to take off.

3. Confusion

In a bid to avoid any last-minute hiccups, you keep checking the news, Googling travel rules and testing requirements. You think you’ve got everything under control, but every now and then, some scaremongerer will pop up on social media and make you doubt yourself. The internet is a minefield right now…

4. Excitement


Finally, the big day has arrived. You’ve packed your bags, arrived at the airport with hours to spare (you can never be too careful) and you’ve made it to the departure lounge in one piece. Hurrah! Now you can relax and really get excited about your tantalising trip.

5. Stress

Urgh, why are people so annoying? The airport is full of screaming kids, your flight has been delayed by an hour and you’ve just realised that you forgot to pack your flip-flops. Your pre-holiday bubble of happiness has been well and truly burst and your stress levels are on the rise.

6. Relief

Touching down in your holiday hotspot, you breathe a sigh of relief. You’ve made it! Admittedly, you’d forgotten how much you hate air travel, but this hellish journey will soon be a distant memory…

7. Joy

After dropping your bags in your room, donning your swimmers and slathering yourself in sunscreen, you immediately make a beeline for the nearest sun lounger. Basking in the warmth and sipping a refreshing beverage, a wave of joy washes over you. This is what you’ve been longing for, and after months and months of waiting, it feels heavenly.

Sign up to our newsletter