The main holiday season is upon us, the kids run out of school on the last day of the school year, hip hip hooray for the holidays, with the majority of the population spending approximately 50% of their time longingly wishing their life away from one holiday to the next.
When we fantasized about the main holiday season what is it that you long for? Perhaps it’s wall to wall blue sky and sunshine, or rest and relaxation, fun and excitement, perhaps culture or being able to spend obscene amounts if time indulging in your favourite sport or shopping until you drop.
Does your holiday live up to your expectations?
Holiday means different things to different people. Unfortunately through our fantasies do not always exceed our expectations or the reality; in fact it can be quite the opposite, holidays can become hugely stressful. Orbitz Travel Agency state that:
- 23% more women than men get stressed whilst planning during the holiday.
- 19% more men than women are likely to be stressed by the end of the holiday.
- 18 – 34 year olds get more stressed than the over 35’s.
- Before going on holiday parents are 19% more likely to get stressed than non-parents.
- After the holiday parents are 56% more likely to get stressed than non-parents.
These statistics reveal a lot about our lifestyles, roles and responsibilities, and how effectively we manage them. Juggling finances, balancing the organisation of workloads in readiness for leave and preparations for the family holiday. This will be heightened by managing excitable young children who are constantly asking “How much longer till we go on holiday?” coupled with over excitable behaviour that ends in tears. Then at the other end of the scale you may have teenagers who are in the middle window between being too old to want to come on holiday with you and too young to be able to be left at home unsupervised. Then there’s all the other reasons to get stressed about; elderly parents, pets, the washing, the housework, currency, passports, visas, insurance and so the list goes on. I’m sure we’ve all got great holiday stories where the arrangements haven’t quite gone according to plan.
As we set out on our travels with everything finally organised we can easily forget that the modern family has such busy lives that in actual fact we don’t really spend that much time together as a whole unit. With work, school, hobbies, homework, chores, fitness and other family duties it means we probably only spend a few waking hours in each other’s company. Therefore spending 24 hours a day together is likely to put some kind of pressure on relationships with irritability, arguments, sulky episodes and differences in opinion. Once on holiday it can take a couple of days to really wind down, forgetting what’s going on at the office but some may still check in to make sure everything is running smoothly. Even worse winding yourself back up again a couple of days towards the end of the holiday in anticipation for your return and back to the juggling act of school runs, dental appointments, catching up on workloads, the washing and making sure the fridge is soon filled for those hungry soles with forlorn faces when their favourite nibble isn’t available to them.
Top 10 Tips for Holiday Bliss
- Discuss with your family what they want from the holiday and what they would like to do. Make sure the holiday includes something for everyone but also be realistic, there are going to be points in the holiday where there is going to be an upset.
- Plan in plenty of time – check your passports are valid, the tickets are booked, currency is ordered and resort information is printed off and all in a labelled document wallet. Book pets holiday arrangements in plenty of time.
- Cancel the papers and tell your family and reliable neighbours when you are going away, how long for and ask them to keep an eye on your home. Leave a phone number if you feel it will ease you mind.
- At work start preparing for your leave in advance, don’t leave it until the last day. Make sure all the important people know your leave dates and cover work, putting it in writing so that they can refer to if needs be. Put an out of office auto notice, filter messages urgent/non-urgent, and a voice mail letting people know of your return date. This should cut down left messages. Plan a meeting with staff ready for your return so you can spend time with them discussing issues that arose whilst you were on leave.
- Stock your kitchen cupboards and freezer up with easy meals ready for your return, giving you time to relax after the journey before you need to tackle the supermarket.
- Talk to your family about what they need and want to take with them. Ask them to start organising it so that you can check it through with them a couple of days before you pack.
- Check that your children all have something to occupy them for the journey and easily reachable snacks.
- Get a good night’s sleep so you are feeling at your best.
- Whilst on holiday reduce your contact with work as this can cause resentment within the family.
- Refrain from checking in with work, the family and neighbours, they will contact you if it’s an emergency.
But most of all ENJOY!!!
Annual leave is for the whole family not just the children. You have spent a lot of time and energy saving, planning and preparing. Make this holiday count so that when people ask about your travels you can say with energy and conviction that you all had a great time.
Do you feel as if your holidays aren’t meeting your expectations and you arrive home feeling as if the experience should have been better?
Your main holiday season only comes around once a year so why not book a 30 minute complementary conversation to see how I, Cath, Your Stress Management Consultant, can support you making your holiday a wonderful experience.
Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or via my website: www.cathlloyd.co.uk