Stress Free Tuscany

Tuscany is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Italy, particularly beloved of culture vulture; Brits who seek beautiful landscapes, food, wine, art and shopping. The region is extremely varied and offers much in the way of visitor attractions including churches, vineyards, art galleries, ancient buildings, picturesque villages, markets, shops, restaurants and more.

Despite this calm and the beautiful surroundings however, there are still potential sources of travel stress which can be avoided with careful planning!

The Italian roads can be quite tricky to master and a potential source of stress, so consider booking coach journeys to visit key visitor attractions and cities, such as the medieval town of Lucca and leaning tower of Pisa. A good guide can also be invaluable for pointing out the local landmarks and explaining the history, which is particularly good if you`re prone to missing hidden gems when left unaccompanied! For example, Pisa isn`t just about the tower - it also has the lovely river Arno and gorgeous covered walkways which many visitors otherwise don`t see. Florence, Siena and San Gimignano are also very popular, along with Volterra`s alabaster shops, Portofino`s attractive village and multi-coloured Liguria with its bustling harbour. It`s good to take a coach tour to Chianti too and experience the wine and olive oil.

Maintain peace of mind by taking out good holiday insurance and making sure it is suitable for your needs. This means reading exclusions carefully and taking care to add additional cover if you`re likely to take part in extreme sports. (Don`t worry, vineyard touring doesn`t count!)

To avoid grappling with your phrasebook at the chemist, stock up with a few basics in case of emergencies. Things like painkillers, rehydration salts, plasters and bandages, antiseptic and other essentials are ideal in the case of bites, scrapes and stings. Also make sure you have your European EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) and contact numbers written down in case of emergency.

Pack for Comfort
Don`t simply pack fifty evening outfits whilst you imagine your glamorous trip. Make sure you have flat, comfortable shoes for walking, plenty of cover-ups, a jumper for your return to England, plenty of sunscreen and hats for the Italian high season and sunglasses. Pack blister plasters and ideally avoid wearing new shoes for prolonged periods of time! The best way to pack is to start with a list of what you might possibly need and be ruthless with it. There`s nothing worse than paying for excess baggage that you don`t even use whilst away!

Flights and General Administration
Book your airport car parking in advance or if you`re travelling from a regional airport like Leeds Bradford Airport. Car hire can also be a good way to simplify your transfers, without paying for parking. Check security restrictions and your baggage weight allowances before you arrive and have your hand luggage toiletries pre-organised into a zipped sealable carrier bag. Make sure you have your passport and other travel documents safely stored and easily accessible. Also buy your currency before getting to the airport, or you`re likely to pay punitive fees and find a poor exchange rate.

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