How do you organize a summer holiday that every member in your family truly enjoys? As a female entrepreneur, mother and spouse, this is one of my biggest challenges too: I have a 11-year old son who loves gaming, a 22-year old daughter who loves partying, a hard-working husband who loves playing sports and an overly energetic dog who loves running.
And in the course of making a holiday memorable for each of them, it’s an equally big challenge for me to make sure that I myself come back home fully energized too!
Does that challenge sound familiar to you? Experience has taught me there are lots of women out there trying to deal with that exact same situation…
That is why in this blog I would like to share with you six simple tips to help you create unforgettable moments with your family, while at the same time managing to free up enough time for yourself.
1. How to pick the right holiday destination?
In this day and age, we are seduced by so many offers of great holiday destinations that we tend to forget to define what we are actually looking for before we make our booking. So the perfect place to is by having every family member write down what his/her fve most import holiday values are.
These can be values:
a. Related to basic needs such as food, level of comfort, family time, friends, …
b. Related to physical needs such as sports activities, wellness, …
c. Related to other surroundings and activities such as culture, nature, shopping, …
Find common denominators and pick a holiday destination that allows you to combine most of them.
2. Good agreements make a good family
On our first vacation day, I tend to ask everyone to list three things they definitely want to do or visit during our stay there. By sharing those priorities, it is clear for everyone what everyone else loves to do, and what is important to them. So we plan out our stay based on a pick-and-mix, making sure we include something for everyone.
And there is something else we tend to do to make our holiday a success: we set some general dos and don’ts for our youngest son. To make it very clear to him which type of behaviour we, as parents, expect of him during our stay, we set up a recognition program with stars. We define 8 things for which he can earn stars on a daily basis. For example, things like eating healthy food, always being polite, displaying a positive attitude during sports activities, doing 2 pages of schoolwork, participating in activities organized by the Children’s Club, … At the end of our stay, the earned stars are converted into a gift voucher which he gets to spend to buy a gift in the gift shop of the hotel. I can guarantee you this tactic generates a lot of extra energy, not only for us parents but also for the kids themselves.
3. Plan every day
Every morning at breakfast (or sometimes even the night before, at dinner) we plan our upcoming day. Our plans take into account the weather forecast for that day and are based both on everybody’s preferences and on the activities organized by the hotel. By clearly planning out our day, we are all much more focused, we don’t lose time arguing about what to do and we all have the same mind-set.
Really, it is just like at home: if you are able to manage your time well and plan things carefully, you are able to enjoy your holiday more intensely, with the sweetest memories to cherish afterwards!
4. Discipline yourself
One of my personal challenges during my holiday usually is to control my weight as I tend to gain weight easily when I am in a more relax state of mind and being. That is why I get up at 6am almost every morning to go for a run in the mountains. I can assure you this is tough most mornings, but I can also assure you the rewards are endless! Every time I am out there in the mountains running through the forest, I get to enjoy the most beautiful sunrise, the most delightful smell of herbs and plants, the most peaceful silence of being out there all alone, … I even run into a deer sometimes! Those experiences are beautiful beyond words and I benefit from that effort of getting up for a long run during the entire day: I feel completely in balance, and my day is much longer because I get up early. As a result, I am able to do more activities with my children and spouse, while still having enough me-time. So continue with your good habits during your vacation. And even if you end up skipping a day or two – which happens to me too sometimes – don’t let that throw you off track to start again the next day!
5. Spend some time together at home after you get back
It is important to take some time to “adjust” after you get back home – the mere idea that you can come back and know that you still have some days to spend together with your family before going into work again, creates a valuable peace of mind. It gives you time to do some groceries, to organize certain things, to fix things that need fixing at home, … in short: to slowly get into the flow again. And by slowly getting into the flow, your mind will be much more open to new ideas and delight you with inspirational flashes that would not have appeared if you had immediately started work again. Indeed, it is better to have a shorter holiday stay but to leave some days to spend at home afterwards, than to extend your holiday stay to the last day of your vacation, and then start working again – this generates so much more unnecessary stress!
6. Make the transition to working life easier by planning in things to look forward to
For lots of people, the mere thought of being pulled back into the hectic business world is very tiring.
That is why I think it is very important to already schedule in some small, fun things to look forward to in the months that follow your vacation – things of which the mere thought already creates energy! This doesn’t have to be a trip to Hawaii… no, I really mean small things such as planning an evening out with your spouse or a good friend, or treating yourself to a massage, or planning to take an afternoon off to go shopping, or going to a concert, or organizing a party, or… It is all about quality time, and the mere idea that you have new inspirational events to look forward to will make it easier to step into the sometimes-crazy carousel of daily life again.
These six tips may all be common sense to most of us, but they are not always common practice. That is why I took the time to write them down for you, so they can prompt you to experience the greatest of holidays with your family, return fully energized and even look forward to starting work again – sharing that positive summer energy boost with all of your employees and customers!
Enjoy your summer holidays!
Leading Angel Arteel Group