Can we all just agree that holidays (or vacations) are brilliant? Let’s face it, if we weren’t happy on holiday, we wouldn’t keep taking them, would we?
There’s something about a break away from the every day that guarantees to raise our spirits. Whether we’re off to relax, experience new cultures, try new experiences, spend quality time with loved ones, have some fun, tick-off somewhere on our bucket list – holidays rate highly on our happiness meter.
So whether you simply want to take your holiday happy vibes to the next level or are looking for ways to increase the chance of a disposition even sunnier than the weather…
Here are my top tips for a happier holiday
01. Set realistic expectations.
You have every right to look forward to your holiday with happiness & excitement. And yes, you should absolutely be optimistic about the experiences you’re about to have. But, you do need to inject an amount of realism into your expectations.
Let me share this with you…
Every year I would have a little ‘I’m going to be a bronzed goddess’ fantasy. Despite evidence to the contrary, I expected to suddenly look like someone out of an advert for St.Tropez. I.do.not.tan. So despite my best efforts, I would spend a significant proportion of my adolescent holidays, sulking.
I’ve since accepted that I will never be the ‘naturally’ tanned goddess on holiday. I’ve also accepted, that it really doesn’t matter.
My point is, we can all build up fantasies in our heads, and sometimes they may come true. However, we shouldn’t hinge the success of our holidays on them. Drop the expectation that everything will be perfect and you’ll have much more fun.
02. Communication & cooperation are key
Unless you’re travelling alone, good communication & cooperation skills play a big part in the success of your holiday.
Even before your holiday starts, talk openly with your travel companions about the upcoming trip. What’s your main purpose for this break? Prioritise the kinds of experiences you really want to have. What are their expectations? Really listen to their responses. Then cooperate with each other to try to build a holiday itinerary that meets everyone’s needs. Maybe you’ll all be on the same page – maybe you’ll want different things, but at least you’ll have opportunity to work out solutions, addressing everyone’s needs fairly & starting the trip with a common understanding. Plus it will remove a lot of grounds for holiday arguments.
Once you’re there, continue the communication. Especially when it comes to communicating your needs. Maybe you need some quiet time to yourself for a bit? Try to be accommodating of their needs too. I promise you, you’ll enjoy the time you have together more.
03. BE ON HOLIDAY
Quite often we start our holidays with burn-out. Over-worked, over-consumed – over-it! A holiday is a short but perfect opportunity to switch off and re-charge. Try not to take your work with you. If, like my husband, this is not possible for you, set aside an amount of time each day to focus on work – then step away.
The same can be said for social media. I’m not saying walk away completely, you may enjoy your time on there or for whatever reason need some access to it. But set some boundaries.
Don’t miss out on your experiences on holiday because your mind is somewhere else. Really immersing yourself in whatever you’re doing means you’ll get the absolute most out of it. Plus the memory of the experience will increase your sense of well-being extending the positive effect it has on you.
04. Be open
I’ve spoken more about being open to new experiences in: Give it a go: becoming more open to new experiences. But in order to have a happier time on holiday, allow yourself to open up a bit and have some fun.
Maybe there’s something new you want to try? New cuisine to sample? New friends to make? One thing about being somewhere else is that more new experiences are on offer, so take advantage!
A lot of us, when at home, have little self-care rituals. Be it exercise, a peaceful 20-minutes reading, a relaxing bath or a daily meditation – what’s yours?
However, and I speak from experience here when I say, these often go out of the window the moment we step off [insert mode of holiday transport here]. Which, if you’re anything like me, has a negative effect on your mental well-being. So let’s be clear, if you need it at home, you’ll likely still need it on holiday. Don’t neglect yourself or your needs.
Personally, I do not function as well if I do not meditate for 10 minutes daily. So to address this on holiday, my husband will head down to breakfast with the kids 10 minutes before me, I take that time to set my mind right for the day ahead.
Don’t feel selfish for addressing these needs either – a happier you is more helpful to everybody else!
Before you rush off to sit on your suitcase, allow me to leave you with this…
Research conducted indicated that the positive effects of a holiday, post-holiday, are not as long-lasting as we all might like. So I say, make the absolute most of your holiday whilst you’re there; be present; enjoy and you never know, you might just be in for the time of your life!
RELATED: How to beat post-holiday blues
This post was created as part of a summer series with Bloggers Inspired. For more summer inspiration head over to Inspired in the City for some summer fashion inspiration for your next holiday; and Abeer Says for her top five picks of summer menus across London.
Are you off anywhere this summer? Be sure to share your excitement with us here! What makes you feel happy on holiday? Do you have any holiday tips to share? Whatever you’d like to say, please do get in touch via the comment box below – I always love to hear from you!