A family vacation is a great opportunity to spend time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and create some incredible memories. But if you don’t plan things properly or you try to cram too much into a short period of time, you could end up even more stressed than usual on what’s supposed to be a relaxing vacation, and that’s no bueno. To make sure your next family vacation is stress-free and a great time for everyone, here are a few important tips that will help.
1. Take a “Less Is More” Approach when Planning Activities One of the most common sources of stress on trips is trying to do too much. When you’re going somewhere new, it’s natural to want to see it all, especially the major attractions. The problem is that this can leave you constantly checking the time so that you don’t miss the next thing, which means you can’t enjoy what you’re currently doing. When you’re planning what you’ll do on your vacation, aim for one big activity or two smaller ones per day. To ensure that everyone’s happy with the vacation, ask each member of the family the one thing they’d like to do on the trip. This will help you prioritize and know which activities you can cut if necessary.
2. Get a Comfortable, Roomy Place to StayJust like you don’t want to feel cramped because of too many activities, you also don’t want to feel cramped because your accommodations are too small for your family. If you’re staying in a hotel, a standard room with two beds may not be enough, depending on how many kids you have and their ages. You may want to opt for two connected rooms so that your kids are still close but you and your partner have some privacy. Another option is a vacation rental, which is great if you want a space that feels more like home. Whatever you choose, check that it has some activities to keep your kids entertained, such as a pool or Netflix.
3. Look for Flights Around Nap timeThe airport isn’t exactly a fun experience for anyone, and it’s even tougher when you have kids to worry about. And while preteens and teenagers are typically fine with flying, with younger kids, it can be hit or miss. If you have younger kids, the best thing you can do is try to get a flight around their usual nap-time. Since they’re used to sleeping at that time, they’ll be more likely to sleep on the plane. If the flight is in the morning or another time where they’re usually active, they could be a bundle of energy the entire time. To avoid getting stuck with whatever flight times are still available, book your tickets well in advance. For domestic flights, it’s good to start searching about two to three months before you intend to travel.
4. Pack Light and Pack Early You probably won’t find many people who wished they would have packed more belongings on a vacation, but there are plenty who wished they packed lighter. While it’s important to bring all the essentials, try not to bring too many extras. You and the rest of your family won’t need tons of outfit options every day, and while your kids may want to bring along all their favorite toys, there will be plenty for them to do on the trip without them. The key to packing light without forgetting anything important is to make a list of everything you need to bring and start your packing at least a few days in advance of your trip. Packing is far easier and a lot less stressful when you give yourself plenty of time to get it right. It doesn’t take much for an enjoyable vacation. When you line up a reasonable number of activities, get the right flight and place to stay, and pack light, all that’s left is kicking back and having a good time wherever you decided to go.
Written by a Mother of 2 small children. So everything is possible!