Mindfulness Tips to Stay Sane on Family Vacation

Mindfulness Tips to Stay Sane on Family Vacation

Listen to this weeks podcast or read more below.


I have major travel anxiety. I love traveling, but the weeks leading up to the trip are stressful. If you are a planner like me and have family, there are a million little things to check of THE LIST before you can go anywhere. Seriously I can spend days trying to figure travel deals, where to stay, where to go. It is very stressful for me. Even if you are traveling solo, you still have to think about taking care of your work and handing it off to the appropriate people so you don’t return back to work buried under deadlines and unfinished tasks. Then there are things like bills, pets, watering the plants, getting someone to look in on your home, and the list goes on and on! SO STRESSFUL!

One of the best little secret mantras that has helped me over and over again when I start feeling an iota of this stress is saying “ALREADY DONE.” Nip that anxiety in the bud and take a deep breath in and out through your nose several times. Repeat “ALREADY DONE” and then begin to only focus on the priority and do one thing at a time. This will immediately send a signal to your mind to SLOW IT DOWN and serves as a gentle nudge to your subconscious to handle one thing at a time. We are so adept at creating mountains out of mole hills that we lose sight of our priorities. This little mantra was given to me by my teacher and I pass it along to you to use whenever you are facing any anxiety about completing a task.


This goes along with tip #1, the already done meditation.

  • Do only what you can do

  • Do only what you need to do

  • Release the need to plan everything

Traveling is all about enjoying new experiences and escaping from your daily routine for a while. If you are escaping your routine, then it is best to let the travel guide you. Even if you are traveling with others, I suggest keeping it simple since you are on vacation after all.

Aiming for the perfect vacation is unrealistic.

Aiming for a mindful vacation is possible.

Hear everyone out and go with the flow.

A simple mindfulness exercise to check-in with yourself.

  1. Start by tuning in and taking a few long deep breaths.

  2. Notice where tension lies in your body and breath into these places. Stretch and allow yourself to feel more relaxed.

  3. Think about the vacation and what begins to stress you out. Then once again begin to notice where you start to tense in your body when this thought arises.

  4. Allow the feelings to bubble up, acknowledge them, and then breath in deeply and breath them out.

  5. Now, think about something that brings you joy. Bring your palms together over your heart and breath into your heart-center.

  6. Notice how you feel in this moment and express gratitude to others and yourself for this joy.

  7. Breath deeply again and focus on releasing expectations, assumptions, and judgments. Focus on keeping it simple.

TIP #3: Eat Cake

Did you ever watch the Golden Girls and notice how they ate cheesecake at the end of an episode to talk about their problems. Similarly, there is a beautiful meditation called “The cake in the fridge” game by Thich Nhat Hanh which reminds you and your family to be a little more mindful of each other when communication is out of control. The idea is for someone to say “Let’s remember the cake in the fridge” to remind each other that there are more important things to remember. Regardless of whether there is actually a cake in the fridge or not, the goal is to solve the conflict in a mindful way instead of a reactionary way. Now, since you are on vacation, you can all go out for dessert and have that cheesecake as a reward for being mindful.

Writer, Technologist, and Meditation Coach