Top journey methods for averting pre-holiday strain

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By Houston Brent

We know how stressful it is planning and preparing for a family summer holiday. Ensuring that everything is packed; winding down from work and keeping the children entertained can all build to generate Pre-Holiday Tension (PHT).

To help you minimize the potential risk of PHT spoiling your family holiday this year, have teamed up with a primary Psycho therapist to produce their promotion for Families against Dull Holidays. Carry on reading for the top ten suggestions to decrease PHT and make sure the family trip is relaxing and enjoyable for all the family.

1 Packing Made Easier - Come up with a packing list for every single person, and put clothes on your bed to look at how outfits can be mixed to save packing space. Leave a wide open suitcase in each person's room a week before, to help you to throw stuff in whenever you think about them. You could always weed things out at the final pack (this really is superior to rushing around late which causes maximum stress!)

2 Activity Packs for little ones - A couple of weeks before your vacation, put together a small backpack for each child of things to amuse him/her that would be highly relevant to their age group: colouring books, paper, coloured pens and pencils, a small notebook or diary, reading books or comics, puzzles, games, iPods using their favorite music etc. Tell the youngsters that this is what they are able to dip into when they get bored!

3 Be Organized - Pack each child a lunchbox of their much-loved foods the evening just before you travel (shop for those things a couple of days before, in order to save last second running around) - using this method, should they get hungry at the wrong time or perhaps the restaurant or cafe doesn't serve food they will like, you're covered allowing it to easily stay away from any meltdowns!

4 Take some Exercise - Do not stay being seated too long: get up, stretch out the thighs and legs, move about with all the kids, and have a little fresh air whenever you can. One of the main advantages of travelling by boat is that you can accomplish this! Exercise is the easiest way to get rid of mental and physical anxiety. Even when sitting down, roll the shoulders, neck, wrist, knee and ankle joints frequently and keep the blood flowing so you can avoid pain.

5 Audio Escape - Put together your favourite variety of tunes to take on a portable music player ; tunes which may work either to relax you or to distract you if you're feeling wound up. Then play them through earphones at the most stressful times, such as when people surrounding you tend to be noisy, etc. This works best for the youngsters too!

6 More Mental Escapism - Pack an ebook you've always aspired to read: A page-gripper or anything light and trashy is much better than something deep and meaningful (Be truthful with yourself - you understand you won't read it!). Let your thoughts have a holiday from anything too taxing, too!

7 Watch the alcohol - One large drink will be able to relax you, but make sure to stop there. Alcohol will work to dehydrate you, causing you to feel more exhausted and irritated when you arrive at your destination - so try to drink a similar glass of water for each and every alcoholic drink which you take.

8 Interaction - If travelling by ferry, look for a space where you may all sit together and play tried-and-tested family games such as "I Spy", or alphabet games (in which you begin a story and the subsequent person needs to add something using the next letter of the alphabet). These don't just work to distract and entertain members of the family, they can also help to bond every person closer together.

9 Deep Breaths - Go on a few deep breaths before you're going to shout, swear or get angry. It will help to slow down your progress and to think before you speak or act. The oxygen at sea level is often as fresh as it gets, so go out on deck and deeply inhale on a slow count of five, and exhale with a slow count of 5. You will feel relaxed within minutes!

10 Keep your Sense of humour - Make an attempt to be conscious of the funny side of things. Laughter produces 'feelgood' chemical substances in your brain, reducing stress and anxiety chemicals in the blood and boosting your immune mechanism. Frivolity truly is the better medication, so take a moment with the kids and locate anything to giggle about!

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