How to plan the perfect reading holiday

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Whilst some people crave exciting, active holidays full of museums and tourist attractions, many of us just want somewhere warm and peaceful where we can relax and read a few books. With the stress of working 9–5 and modern city life, sometimes a busy holiday is the last thing we need. For any booklover, you holiday is prime reading time, so this article offers a few tips to help ensure you plan the perfect reading holiday.

Glasses and Sunglasses

If you’re going to read for several hours each day, you should make sure you have the right reading prescription for your eyes before you head off on holiday. If your prescription is off just a little, you may suffer from stress headaches and tiredness as your eyes struggle to maintain their focus over several hours. You don’t yet have glasses but suspect you might be a little long-sighted, it’s a good idea to get an eye test before you travel.

If you live in Scotland, then your eye test will be free through the NHS. If you live elsewhere in the UK, make sure you look out for free eye-test promotions from opticians. You can take the eye test without any obligation to shop at the opticians. For high-quality, good value reading glasses, online stores offer the best deals, as their overheads are smaller than in-store shops. Foster Grant, for example, has a great range of reading glasses to choose from, including specialist models designed for reading in the sun and for use with e-readers, such as a Kindle.

If you’re going to be spending a lot of time reading by the pool or sunbathing on a beach, make sure you pack prescription sunglasses. The sunglasses will cut out bright light and glare, allowing you read in comfort, without squinting your eyes for hours on end. Make sure your reading sunglasses aren’t too dark, however, as this could prevent you from seeing the words clearly on the page.

Peace by the pool

For most of us, a relaxing holiday offers a chance for us to chill on a sun lounger by the pool, sipping cocktails and reading, occasionally dipping into the pool to cool off. Pool holidays are a wonderful way to get through your reading list, but only if the resort you’re staying in is peaceful enough. When looking through the different hotels and resorts, look for ones with two different pool areas, with one designated exclusively for adults. These areas are sometimes referred to as tranquil pools and they are ideal for anyone looking to unwind and read all day, as there is little danger of distracting noises and commotion. And if you find yourself in the mood for a bit of fun and a splash around, you can always visit the main pool.

If you’re reading for long periods of time by the pool, make sure you’re wearing enough sunscreen and that it’s a high enough SPF for your skin. Also look out for sunscreen that does not wash off easily in the pool. It’s also a good idea to change your reading position at different times, exposing different parts of your body to the sun throughout the day. Turn your lounger if you have to and try to alternate between lying on each side, on your back, and on your front.

Bring an e-reader

Even if you prefer books, an e-reader is perhaps a better idea for a reading holiday as it is light and easy to carry. E-readers become increasingly attractive if you’re a fast reader, getting through several big books each holiday. Instead of setting aside a third of your luggage space for paper books, you can just slide an e-reader into your hand luggage.

Another advantage of e-readers is that most of them have specialist screens that reduce glare from the sun. This is ideal for poolside holidays and reading on the beach, as the sun usually bounces off a book’s white pages, irritating the reader’s eyes. Reading from a screen with reduced glare means you will squint less, helping you relax and get into the story.

Another good thing about bringing an e-reader on holiday is that you don’t need to commit to your second or third book before you travel. All hotels have WiFi connections, so you can simply connect your e-reader to the internet and choose whatever you fancy each time you finish a book. This way, you don’t find yourself stuck with something you don’t really fancy reading – which can totally ruin a good reading holiday!

Stay away from the internet

One of the best things about going away on holiday is that your mobile phone is probably out of commission – unless you choose to pay roaming costs. This means that no one will text you and you won’t be pestered by call centres every 45 minutes, taking you away from your book. The only thing you should be using the internet for on your reading holiday is for downloading new books to your e-reader!

Social media is another internet-related distraction. Although they have its place, Facebook and Twitter don’t usually help you unwind at all. So why not view your holiday as a chance to get away from all of your usual day-to-day distractions, both on and off the internet. You’ll definitely get more reading done this way!

Choose the right destination

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly of all, make sure you choose a destination that will allow you to unwind and read as much as possible. Don’t just opt for a beach or poolside holiday without shopping around for a while. If you’re easily distracted, for example, and you’re looking for a chance for peace and quiet, then perhaps look for a villa or cottage out in the countryside instead.

Perhaps a beach chalet in the Maldives is the perfect choice for you, or a little cottage in the Scottish Highlands with a cosy fire. Make a list of everything you’re looking for in your reading holiday and then find somewhere that matches as many of these criteria as possible. Be prepared to go to a country you haven’t visited before in order to get a great deal.

I hope this article has given you a few good ideas and that you organise a successful reading holiday. Reading is often the best way to slow down time and destress. The only thing you have to worry about is which book to read next…

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