Making happy holiday memories
Tips for a successful family holiday.
For many of us, childhood holiday memories trigger smiles and happy feelings. Maybe those memories are of lazy days at the beach with siblings, camping in the bush, or an overseas adventure. These happy moments help build our identity and sense of belonging, explains Derek McCormack, principal specialist at the Raising Children Network.
“Creating positive memories within families is important for us as children and as adults. They make us feel good and help us develop a sense of security,” he says.
“Memories are created through rituals, and holidays are an opportunity to begin a new family ritual or to enjoy established rituals. Families get time to focus on each other away from day-to-day stresses and routines, and they can slow down and enjoy quality time together.”
So how can you build some positive holiday memories?
- Plan your escape together. “Talk about where you’d like to go and what you’d like to do,” says Derek. “Invest together in what you want, and holidays go more smoothly.”
- Find out what activities and places of interest are in the area to keep everyone entertained, says Martin Zumstein, manager of RACV Goldfields Resort, near Creswick. “We have a kangaroo trail and Sovereign Hill and Ballarat Wildlife Park are nearby,” says Martin. “Look for a range of experiences that are within an easy drive.”
- Give older children space. “They may have different interests so give them free time and then plan things together, such as dinner or trips to the beach,” suggests Derek.
- Look for holiday destinations that will keep children entertained so adults can enjoy a quiet moment. “Look for kids’ clubs or holiday programs,” says Martin. “During school holidays we have sports programs during the day and movie sessions in the evenings.”
- Keep happy memories alive. “In my family we shoot a lot of video and turn that into a holiday movie,” says Derek McCormack. Talk about the holiday, look at photos together and keep the memory going.
- You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create holiday memories. “A simple camping trip can be memorable, as long as you’re away from normal routines and demands,” says Derek.
Up close with koalas at Ballarat Wildlife Park.
A trip into history at Sovereign Hill.
Kangaroos at Ballarat Wildlife Park. Photos: Visit Victoria.