Sloan Sheridan-Williams’ 10 tips for ‘Switching to Holiday Mode’

It’s no surprise that the first 24 hours of a holiday can make or break a trip. Research* from reveals that nearly half (46%) of travellers believe the first day of a holiday can be the most memorable, yet just over one in three (36%) worry about things going wrong during this time. As a result, many travellers struggle to switch into holiday mode, with one in four (22%) saying it happens when they get to their accommodation and one in 10 (14%) saying it doesn’t happen until they have had a sleep!

With this in mind, has put together a ‘Switching to Holiday Mode’ guide which packages up expert advice, from life coach Sloan Sheridan-Williams, on how best to switch into holiday mode the easiest and quickest way possible, so travellers can make the most of their trip.

From pre-trip planning to arriving at your destination, checking into your accommodation and ensuring you start the day fresh, these tips will help you switch off and transition to holiday mode before you even realise!

Sloan Sheridan-Williams is a uniquely talented celebrity life coach who has worked with Hollywood actors and royalty to politicians and CEOs. She is a respected wellbeing expert, having studied at some prestigious institutes including Oxford University. In addition to her work as a celebrity life coach, wellbeing consultant, relationship expert and media personality, Sloan is also a highly qualified clinical hypnotherapist, personality typologist, truth detection consultant, sports performance coach and kinesiologist.

1. Right Now Plan

Nearly one in three travellers worry about what could go wrong in the first 24 hours of a holiday. Take inspiration from frequent travellers, who know that delays happen and luggage gets lost, but most travel niggles have a solution. Having confidence in your ability to come up with a “Right Now Plan” (a plan that focuses on being flexible to adapt to your surroundings in order to get to the outcome you wish to achieve) to combat anything that comes your way, is key to reducing stress.

2. Line Up

No one likes waiting in queues, but these are a part of travel. The majority of travellers are right-handed so head to the furthest left counter from the entrance. Fewer people choose that line as people gravitate to right hand counters to match their dominant writing hand. Soon you’ll be the first to make it through to baggage claim securing a handy front row spot.

3. Enjoy the Journey 

Rushing around distorts the perception of time. Slow down. Take the time to talk to your driver, host or concierge, creating rapport and connection from the moment you leave the airport or station. Nearly one in four travellers like a welcoming host, so pave the way by striking up the first conversation, asking for tips of what to do or see.

4. While You WaitAfter a long flight, it is easy to get impatient while waiting for your baggage, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to text your loved ones that you have arrived safely. While you have your phone out take a selfie and save it as your screen lock, that way if you misplace your phone you can easily prove it is yours no matter the language barrier or situation.

5. Activate the Feel-Good Factor

After travelling it’s important to boost your feel-good chemicals and get yourself moving. If you’re the active type and your chosen accommodation has a gym then have a workout or if you’re in a resort or villa take a stroll around the grounds. In a city apartment? Take a brisk walk to get a feel for your local area. Take pictures of your accommodation and key local landmarks, it’ll help you remember where it is should you get lost.

6. Sunshine SenseSunshine can boost your mood, raise vitamin D levels and increase your energy, but underestimating the strength of the sun can result in sunburn on day one (even on typically colder holidays like skiing!) Remember to apply the SPF on arrival. For those who have a little too much exposure, soak a t-shirt in cool black tea.

7. Instant CalmIf you need a shot of ‘instant calm’ then pressure points have the answer. There are many trigger points to choose from. An easy one to locate is the space between the knuckles of your second and third finger right by the joints. Locate your preferred trigger point and apply firm pressure. This creates an instant feeling of calm.

8. Avoid ArgumentsThe key to switching off and arriving in a relaxed state is to leave any arguments or niggles at home. Understand that travelling can be stressful and agree with your travel partner that you get a free pass for any minor snaps or miscommunications during your journey. When faced with a conflict ask yourself is enjoying your holiday more important than being right.

9. Turn Off TechnologyStill not feeling it? Then turn off your phone and focus on the country you are in. Allow your brain to catch up to your new surroundings. As you put your phone away, promote calm by lightly running one or two fingers over your lips which promotes the "rest and digest" response that calms the body down and acts like a brake to anxiety loops, promoting a calm and quieter mind.

10. Live Like a Local

Living life walking in someone else’s shoes is a great way to leave your old patterns and worries behind. Immerse yourself in the local culture and try a local cuisine or experience. Leave your comfort zone, chat to the locals and find out where to go that’s off the beaten track.

Sloan Sheridan Williams, Life Coach and wellbeing expert comments:

“The first day of a holiday is often the most memorable, so it’s important to be able to switch off from life and work stresses so you can truly make the most of your time away and come back feeling refreshed. Whether you’re on a long weekend break or a two-week vacation, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can follow to help you get into holiday mode. While you may not be able to control the weather, you can control your mind-set. So empower yourself to take control and flick on the holiday switch that bit quicker.”


* Research commissioned by and independently conducted among a nationally representative sample, provided by Research Now. In total 18,496 respondents were surveyed including 500 from New Zealand. Respondents completed an online survey between 27th April and 15th May 2017.