1. Your journey can be enjoyed…fact
I’ve observed many kinds of travellers over the years but two noteworthy styles spring to mind – the traveller who exudes stress as soon as he or she arrives at the airport and the traveller who revels in the excitement and pleasure of travelling to their destination. Which kind of holidaymaker will you choose to be?
Very much like a wedding day, when despite months of meticulous planning, the only thing that really matters is that the two people intending to marry turn up on the day, holidays can be regarded in much the same way. Yes of course we want to remember sun cream, insect repellent and our bespoke miniature toiletry collection but the main two must-haves are passports and travel tickets. The fact that you may have forgotten to pack your favourite pair of flip-flops really does not matter.
So, begin by getting things into perspective. Remind yourself of what really matters. If necessary, remember how lucky you are to be going on holiday.
2. It’s a jungle out there!
Be ready to face some unpleasant facts – the likelihood of needing to queue at the airport is high, you might get hot and sticky and either your child or someone else’s might cry (and they might cry a lot). Accepting these small hurdles, letting go of your frustrations and choosing a positive approach towards your travelling experience, may help you to wind down much more quickly.
Remember also that, even when you are standing in a queue, you are either having quality time doing very little or spending some time with your loved one(s). So, there is something positive to be found even in this experience
3. Love the one you are with
We spend a lot of our time either at work, doing endless chores around the home or trying to balance a combination of both. We often long to spend quality time with the people who mean the most to us. So, allow your holiday to be your opportunity to do just that – to focus on being with the people you love, doing the things you enjoy and being in the present moment with them. I recently spoke to a friend who works in the care sector and had surveyed a group of residents in a nursing home. When asked about the best times of their lives, the majority shared stories about special times spent with their friends and families. So, remember to really focus on and enjoy the company of your nearest and dearest.
4. Have a technology detox
Technology is an amazing thing. It provides us with information and entertainment at the touch of a button. The down side is that it can be a distraction and poses a significant threat to our ability to switch off and to be present. Ask yourself an honest question. If you aren’t checking work e-mails or social media every hour will the world come to an end? How will colleagues take on new responsibilities and learn new skills if you won’t actually ‘let go’, even a little? How can you really be present, enjoy your holiday or relish the company of others, if you are too busy reading about everything that’s happening to everybody back home?
A holiday is an opportunity for you to properly unwind. To recharge your own batteries. Even if you can choose certain days or parts of certain days when you have a technology detox, this could support you in being more present. Taking a proper break could also help you in returning to work feeling more relaxed and with increased mental clarity. It may take some resolve and discipline but there are many positive benefits to be gained by giving yourself permission to switch off
5. Practise gratitude
Life isn’t perfect and sometimes things don’t go exactly the way we planned. Especially when we have high expectations. Your hotel might be a little noisier than you expected, your accommodation might not look exactly as it did in the photo and the drive from the airport to your hotel might be longer than you expected. Despite this and the negative thoughts and feelings these experiences may induce, it is you who decides on what your response will be and whether you will grant these factors the power to spoil your overall experience.
One way to introduce a positive focus is by practising gratitude. At the end of each day consider at least two or three things you have experienced for which you are truly grateful – it might be the warming sunshine in the sky, a beautiful sea view or the big happy smile you observed on the face of a loved one. Be thankful for these experiences. Treasure these memories. They are yours to keep. Always.