It's almost summer time. Kids are out of school. Time to ditch schedules, carpooling, car line and instead think about the lazy days of summer, and that means planning family vacation! For many, the planning process is stressful enough, but sometimes the traveling itself is enough to leave one with a headache and feeling stressed. Here are a few tips to avoid a stressful family vacation.
1. Plan! Plan! Plan!:
- First, get the kids involved in the planning process to find the perfect family spot. Check your calendar to make sure the timing is right for everyone, so nobody is stressed about coming back to a heavy workload.
- Research ahead of time to find transportation to/from the airport. Also research the best ways to get around the town of your chosen destination.
- Know what activities and amenities your hotel offers, including kid-friendly and/or kids-only activities.
- Create a packing list for everyone in the family. Have the kids create their own packing lists that you can go back and help them revise (if needed). Doing this well in advance gives you time to make sure you don't forget anything in the rush of getting everyone ready to go. And don't forget to include things like medications.
3. To-Do in Advance:
- Packing a few days in advance helps keep the stress at bay. You will sleep much better the night before departure knowing this is already taken care of. Don't forget to include extra $$ for any tipping needs (housekeeping, etc.).
- Plan a road trip playlist (if you're driving). Make sure to add everyone's favorites.
- Pack your carry-on (for flying), or a travel bag for the car (if driving). Make sure to include plenty of activities for the kids. Coloring books, music, small snacks, blocks, and travel games all make great additions.
- Gather any needed travel documents, such as your passports, photo ID, etc. Know where they are once you start planning and get them into your travel bag when you start packing.
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Somethings things come up. Flights might be delayed. Weather might not cooperate. While planning is a big part of the process, part of planning includes preparing for things to go wrong. Go with the flow. If plans need to be modified, think of it as a new adventure.
Where is your family headed for vacation this year? Share below along with your best travel tips for beating the stress.