6 Simple and Effective Tips for Happy Family Holidays

Mother and cdild rejoicing with mountain view

 Guest Post by Jo Gillard, Life Coach from Simply Soulful

Season’s Greetings filled with Peace, Love and Joy are all around us, but are they part of your family holidays?

Family holidays can be a wonderful time of love and connection. Daily routines shift, bedtimes relax and all-day poolside days become possible. Or does all the extra time together create more friction with kids getting cranky and driving each other (& you) crazy? The words “Mummy I’m bored” said more times than you can count & days begin to fill up with bickering and frustration leaving you pulling your hair out!

Here are 6 simple ways to keep the overwhelm at bay and enjoy happy holidays

Tips for happy family holidays | Life coach advice for better family holiday experiences | Guest Post by Simply Soulful on Our Globetrotters - Family Travel Blog

1. Know Your Holiday Feelings

What memories are the most important for you to take home? Is the holiday you booked the holiday you dreamed of? Does it have the adventure, culture, recreation, or relaxation you want? If not, how can you incorporate them into your trip? Now stop and think about how you want to feel on your family holiday? Are you hoping for peace and calm; love and connection; or fun and laughter? Get to know what feelings bring you the most happiness and pick your top 3 to focus on.

Tips for happy family holidays | Life coach advice for better family holiday experiences | Guest Post by Simply Soulful on Our Globetrotters - Family Travel Blog

2. Keep Them In Mind

Keep those feelings at the top of your mind. Make them your priority. How can you bring them into your trip with the choices you make each day. Ask yourself, what can we do today to bring us closer to [fun, love, connection]? If fun and laughter are what you want, do you need to get down with your kids and play? Jump into the pool & splash around, even if it’s cold? At the end of each day reflect on whether you filled the day with family moments and experiences that gave you your desired feelings.

3. Breathe

There is nothing this can’t help, everyone can do it and it only takes a minute. Picture this you arrive at the airport, there are crowds of people everywhere, you have far too much hand luggage (when you know the kids will just watch TV or use tablets the whole time), miles to walk to your gate, kids to entertain or needing the loo in the customs queue (RIGHT NOW!);  then your flight is delayed and you are stuck at the airport for hours. You feel yourself spiralling down the rabbit hole filled with all the thoughts and feelings you don’t want. “This is so unfair”, “Why does this always happen to us?”.

Take a moment to breathe. Just try it for one minute. Breathe in through your nose for the count of 5 and out through your nose for 5, repeat 3 times. This helps calm your nervous system, to begin to move out of the fight or flight stress response. Now, refocus on how you want to feel when considering what you’ll do next.

Tips for happy family holidays | Life coach advice for better family holiday experiences | Guest Post by Simply Soulful on Our Globetrotters - Family Travel Blog

4. Refill Your Cup

Staying positive and focussing on those happy family feelings is hard if you are exhausted. Burning the candle at both ends and batteries are almost empty, the priority becomes you. As airlines advise, fit your own oxygen mask first.  If you are empty, you’ll have nothing left to give to your family. Set an expectation that you need some ‘you’ time each and every day of the trip.

If you are able to take a massage session – wonderful – but I’m talking more about something small each day that is just for you and makes you feel good. What small, simple thing can you do to keep your cup filled up? Leave the kids to your partner & take a walk – even after they are in bed, watch the sunset, take a bath, read a book, do a puzzle.  I highly recommend it is screen-free, go old school here for true relaxation and time with yourself.

5. Be Kind to Yourself

If there is too much pressure, your cup can empty again very quickly. Any focus on family holidays feelings are gone and anger, upset, hurt, overwhelm filter in. Now is the time to be kind to yourself, with self-compassion and self-forgiveness.

Everyone will lose it sometimes, but spending the rest of the day locked in those feelings, or even feeling guilty that you became angry mama again isn’t helpful for anyone. Take yourself away for a few moments, breathe and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. Your best is always relative to your circumstances and energy levels, it won’t always look the same.

Tips for happy family holidays | Life coach advice for better family holiday experiences | Guest Post by Simply Soulful on Our Globetrotters - Family Travel Blog

6. Find Gratitude

Everyone is talking about gratitude these days, so what is the big deal? Because focusing on what you are grateful to have, rather than problems or things you lack, can shift your whole life perspective.

It can take you from looking at your life with glass half empty views to glass half full. The same amount of ‘water’ is in the glass, but the way you see it changes.

Each night before bed, think of 3 things that you are grateful for that day, really specific things that happened during the day. No matter how small or large – your children laughing, someone letting you go first in a queue, the smell of the soap in the shower, the view from the window, having someone else wash the dishes.

Wishing you the holiday of your dreams.

Educational gifts that keep giving year round

How will you find happiness on your next family holiday?

Travelling with children can be an amazingly delicate balance between creating cherished memories and wondering when on earth you’ll get a holiday from your holiday!

When I was discussing this with my longtime friend after a very long summer away, she helped remind me how to put everything into perspective.  So touched by this advice, I asked her to share these ideas with other travel loving parents who may be struggling to get the balance right too!

Thank you, Jo, for reminding me that sometimes despite the chaos, we just need to breathe ~ Keri, Editor of Our Globetrotters

Tips for happy family holidays | Life coach advice for better family holiday experiences | Guest Post by Simply Soulful on Our Globetrotters - Family Travel Blog

More about the Author

Guest Jo Gillard, Life Coach from Simply Soulful explains how to have a happy family holiday

Jo is a Mindfulness and Mindset Coach. She works with busy, overwhelmed women who want to get off the treadmill, they have been racing along but not getting anywhere.

Sharing simple yet powerful techniques she supports them to prioritise love, connection and fulfilment every day, empowering them to light up and love their lives. For more simple ways to love your life sign up to Jo’s newsletter here.

www.JoGillard.com | Simply Soulful

Got a topic relevant to family travel or expat life that you’d like to share? Head over to our Guest Opportunities to see how you can get involved sharing your story on the Globetrotters Blog.

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12 thoughts on “6 Simple and Effective Tips for Happy Family Holidays

  1. Pingback: 6 conseils simples et efficaces pour de bonnes vacances en famille - Blog VTF Vacances

  2. Pingback: Travel While Keeping the Whole Family Happy - Through Heather's Looking Glass

  3. The Travelling Sociologist says:

    Loved reading this article. So much sensible advice here. And you remind us that, as usual, most of the work that needs to be done to increase our happiness (vision, mindfulness, breath, self-care, gratitude, forgiveness) is spiritual.

  4. Nigel William says:

    Hi, Jo and Keri! This is an amazing article! Pieces of advice are so wise and simple, but I feel a lot of experience behind them. 🙂 When traveling with the whole family it`s easy to forget what is the point of vacation- relaxing, at first. I was wondering, what is the most nerve breaking situation for you when you are on the holiday?

  5. Shea says:

    Absolutely love this article Keri. Sometimes we get so wrapped up with seeing and doing everything we can when exploring somewhere new that we forget why we set off into the world in the first place – to enjoy the experience. Great strategies to remember…

    • Keri Hedrick says:

      oh so true! It’s completely reframed how I am going to think about future adventure planning. I still think we will undertake “busy trips” but with a lot more thought to what we want to FEEL after it – not just see, do, photograph. It’s been such a lightbulb moment!

    • Jo Gillard says:

      I love the simplicity of that sentence – to enjoy the experience. Perhaps that’s the perfect little reminder whenever we reach the need for breathing again. How can i get back to enjoying this experience. I’m so pleased to hear you feel these strategies might help.

    • Keri Hedrick says:

      Oh so completely true, I’m as guilty as any! I’ll admit as work and pleasure have merged over the years I have thought more about capturing things in the right light, investigating things I need to write about then gotten grumpy at the family moaning when they’re the ones being dragged along! I will be putting way more time and though in future into this aspect of planning our travels so we can all come out feeling more rewarded.

    • Jo Gillard says:

      how i want to feel has been a game changer in all areas of my life. it begins to fill in the ‘why’ we do so many things that we do, and it can add so much extra happy moments for a holiday. i’m so happy it was useful for you.

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