Childhood holidays boost your happiness for life, says study 5 years ago

Childhood holidays boost your happiness for life, says study

Travelling to Donegal with my five siblings in the back of the car for eight hours is one of my earliest memories of family holidays.

At the time it was torture beyond words - my sister complaining that my elbows were too pointy, my brother sneakily shooting cows out the window with his airgun and the other two taking turns to vomit into superquin plastic bags.

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But now it seems so lovely - we were all together.

In fact, a lot of the time now when I plan family holidays, I try to recreate some elements of my childhood breaks away. This year we are staying in a mobile home (or a "mobile phone" according to my four-year-old) which is what we also did as children.

Well, it turns out that these experiences give us a lifetime of memories and most of them are very positive.

Research by the FHA found that family holidays act as "happiness anchors" and half of those surveyed admitted that the happiest memory they have is when on holidays as a child.

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What's more, a quarter of them said that they used memories such as these to get them through tough times.

And, get this, they can also make them smarter.

Enriching experiences offer new opportunities for brain development - at least that's according to child psychotherapist Dr. Margot Sunderland.

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"Think: family together in the pool, walking together through the forest, touching long tall grasses waving in the wind, toasting marshmallows on campfire, hanging out together under warm sun, feeling sand between the toes."

It is enriching their little brains.

And I'm sure it benefits us too, as parents, seeing our children happy and carefree. For me, there is a great sense of achievement whenever I see them enjoying themselves from something we have arranged.

So next time you are off on your jolliers - remember you are giving your children more than just sunshine and ice cream - you are providing a lifetime of memories to boost their happiness for life.

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No pressure. At. All.