7 Tips on how to have a stress-free Holiday

Updated September 2018

Are you looking for a little more joy in your holiday season?  Visit us on San Juan Island, where the slower pace of island life will greet you the moment you step off the ferry, where the quaint small town Holiday happenings will fill your heart with joy and put a smile on your face. Create meaningful memories with your family without breaking the bank or your patience. For many of us we’ve forgotten how to really enjoy the Holiday Season. We encourage you to take break and to take back your holidays.

San Juan Island Ferry

  1.  A little planning now will save you lots of stress later: 

Leave enough travel time. Holiday traffic can be unpredictable.  Make sure your car is in good working order. Check the fluids, tire pressure and tire tread.  Make sure your battery is nice and strong.

Make ferry reservations, so you can simply roll up at the ferry terminal 45 minutes before your scheduled departure, without any hurry or stress.

Reserve the right room for you and yours. Check out our website or call us to let us know your needs and inquire about stairs, extra beds, our dog policy, kitchenettes and more.


Browse for great gifts at the Earthbox Inn & Spa Gift Shop

Let us help you make dinner and spa reservations, have island made chocolate, the San Juan Snack & Spa Sampler or a bouquet of flowers in your room upon arrival.

Ask us about what’s going on in town, the best hikes and where to go beach combing.

  1. Plan something for everybody in your party

Make sure to set some time aside to meet everybody’s needs. Maybe your ten-year-old can’t wait to see Santa's Ship arrive at the harbor, while your mother-in-law wants to go Holiday shopping. The puppy will want to run around on Jackson’s Beach, your husband might want to go fishing, and when did you have your last massage?

  1. Don’t skip on self-care

Whether you work out every day, read for half an hour before going to bed or go to Pilates every week, don’t stop your daily rituals during your Holiday trip. Your body and mind will thank you.

Majestic Mt. Baker, from San Juan Island

  1. Have a fresh approach to recurring issues

If the kids always fight on road trips, change the seating arrangement or buy a few new car games. If there is conflict around who gets the bed and who the cot, draw sticks. If going to a restaurant always ends in screaming and tears, pick up your food and eat on the beach if the weather is nice. Inform everybody of the itinerary and your expectations. Negotiate problem areas before getting into them.

  1. Be in the moment

We spend so much of our time future or past “tripping”, worrying, planning, stressing, dwelling, having conversations with ghosts in our heads. Stop. You are in one of the most beautiful spots of the world. Do you smell the air? Do you hear the birds? Do you see the deep blue sea with majestic Mt Baker in the background? Do you feel how loved you are?

  1. Schedule time-outs for everybody

It is a huge transition to suddenly spend 24/7 with all your loved ones. Avoid getting annoyed by each other and give everybody some time alone. Take the kids to the pool for an hour, to give your husband a breather. Send your 16-year-old to a coffee shop to check her phone and feel free. Stroll through Friday Harbor’s cute boutiques, shops and galleries by yourself. You’ll have stories to tell when you get back together.

  1. Make a family gratitude list

Before bed, hand out pens and paper and have everybody write down three things they are grateful for. Read your lists to each other. Think about all the lovely things you wrote down rather than worrying. Sweet dreams.