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The Happiness Anchor to choose for your family : Vacations in Greece

Posted by moodhacker on April 29, 2018 at 1:10 PM

A significant  British survey has found almost half of respondents stated their most favorite childhood memory is one of a family vacation, and more than half  of respondents said “that these holidays have given them happy memories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

Happy Memories

The report, published by the by the he Family Holiday Association, the charity that helps struggling families to have a break and showed that


  • Half of Brits (49%) say their happiest memory is that of a holiday with their family and
  • an overwhelming majority (55%) agree that these holidays have given them happy memories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

  • a quarter of Brits (24%) said  they particularly call on these happy memories of family holidays when times get tough.

The study was published ,in 2015  and reported the amazing figure that for the families who the charity supports – many of whom are dealing with issues ranging from severe and sudden illness to bereavement and abuse –

  • 100% of Family Holiday Association families said the memories they made together on their break at the seaside have helped them cope with the difficult times.


Far more than a tan and time off work, the research report also shows the wide range of lasting social, emotional and psychological benefits that taking a break as a family can bring.

These benefits are particularly profound for the Family Holiday Association families, many of whom are struggling with some of the toughest challenges life can bring.

Significant changes such as


  • increased affection to other family members,
  • better behaviour at school and at home,
  • greater optimism and ambition for their future,
  • reduction in how much they worry and
  • less need for disciplining children


were all tangible benefits clearly set out in the results of the report.

Prrofessor of Marketing and Tourism, Scott McCabe, comments  there is an important relationship between holidays and positive long term memories.

“Holidays are a key source of pleasure and other positive emotions involving intense, immersive experiences. Quality time is an important facet of holidays and because the experiences we gain are different everyday life events they tend to stand out stronger in our memories.

Holidays and travel experiences can contribute to our identities and enable us to construct an enduring sense of self around these stand-out experiences.


“The many positive experiences associated with family holidays help us to construct a sense of a happy family life that we look back on nostalgically through life”.

Emotional Responses

Emotional responses to family holidays are central to the memories we all associate with them. 

  • Almost a third of Brits (31%) say their memories of childhood holidays when they were younger are still very vivid for them

  • and 47% said that part of the excitement was the anticipation and looking forward to the holiday.


Smiling, laughing, experiencing things for the first time and being most relaxed were identified as being true of many personal family holiday memories.


  • Over two fifths of people (42%) say the places they visited continue to be very special to them.


John McDonald, Director of the Family Holiday Association, said:

“For many of the families we support, the short seaside breaks we provide are the first time they’ve ever been able to go away together – even the most simple of day trips can be a real lifeline.

This research is the cast iron evidence we have long known to be true and demonstrates the incredible, positive impacts on the family and wider society that a break away from the daily grind can bring.

“We consider these positive outcomes to be a ‘happiness anchor’ – reflecting on our happiest memories of joyful time spent together as a family can be extremely powerful in bringing relief and respite when faced with the darker times that life can bring.

By using these memories as an anchor to take us back to more cheerful moments, we’re often able to approach problems with a fresh sense of perspective.

But for many without such memories, reigniting a sense of optimism for getting through the tougher times can seem like an impossible task.”

That survey was funded by the Family Holiday Association, an organization dedicated to helping lower-income families fund low-cost getaways.

According to John McDonald, Chief Executive of the Family Holiday Association,

"A family vacation can act as a “happiness anchor.” When families are faced with challenging times, reflecting on memories of happy times can be very powerful.

“By using these memories as an anchor to take us back to more cheerful moments, we’re often able to approach problems with a fresh sense of perspective” 

The gift of Travel experience

There's a science to gift giving: experiences are better than material items, sciencedaily wrote presenting the Toronto University study in 2016 that showed  that  an exspoeriential gift can foster stronger relationships than material items .

The research, co-authored with Cassie Mogilner, an associate professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management was published online in the Journal of Consumer Research and had looked  at how relationships between a gift giver and recipient were affected across four separate studies.

"An experiential gift elicits a strong emotional response when a recipient consumes it—like the fear and awe of a safari adventure, the excitement of a rock concert or the calmness of a spa—and is more intensely emotional than a material possession,” said lead researcher Cindy Chan.

While past research has focused mostly on how much recipients enjoy certain gifts, the Toronto university  research has been  unique in that it explored the pro-social consequences of gift consumption, that is, how effective gifts are in building relationships.

"The reason experiential gifts are more socially connecting is that they tend to be more emotionally evocative," says Chan, an expert on consumer relationships.

The  Kids Vacation Gift Unique experience

“An ‘enriched’ environment offers new experiences that are strong in combined social, physical, cognitive and sensory interaction,” Dr. Margot Sunderland, a child psychotherapist and Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health, wrote for the Telegraph.

Vacations provide kids with all kind of enriching experiences (like making sandcastles with mom and dad) that aid in cognitive development and helps with frontal lobe growth. “If you are choosing between buying your child a tablet or taking them on a family holiday, consider the profound effects on bonding and brain development; there is no competition,” Sunderland writes.

Plus, playing on the beach or running off with the family on a hiking adventure activate systems in a child’s brain (and our own) that trigger neurochemicals including oxytocin and dopamine. “They reduce stress and activate warm, generous feelings towards each other and a lovely sense that all is well in the world. With all the anti-stress aspects of these systems firing, family members get to emotionally refuel,” Sunderland writes.

Story Source:, by material provided by  University of Toronto,

(photos: first above by Katerina Nikelli fb ),   

Categories: MySummerPosts, the Happy Kit, #GreeceTravel Dream , Greek2m Your Senses Travel Guide

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