Today we have guest blogger Anna Charles, who shares with us 6 ways to keep you family vacation stress free. Just in time for spring break season!
Family vacations are cherished times where family members can grow together, bond with each other and share precious memories that will last a lifetime. That is, they are if the travel brochure is to be believed. Anyone who has actually been on a family vacation can tell you that they have the potential to disintegrate into a week-long period of hellish arguments, tantrums and tears. However, it doesn’t have to be this way – there are a few things you can do to prepare for your vacation to make sure the whole family gets a well deserved rest.
1. Make lists
There is surely nothing more infuriating than traveling to a country on a whole other continent only to realise that you have left your hair straighteners at home. Keeping detailed lists of what you have packed and what you have left to take will help you keep on top of the packing. Spend a few days writing down all the products and accessories you use during your daily routine to ensure you don’t leave anything out. You may need to help small children when it comes to writing their list, as if left to their own devices there is a strong chance all they will bring are sweets and toys!
2. Choose your destination carefully
You should take real care to make sure you are going to a family-friendly location before you book anything. After all, it’s no use booking a fortnight trekking the Andes if you have a Verve pram to carry around with you. There are plenty of resorts out there that have family facilities and are safe for children, so you don’t have to stay in your own comfort zone. Ask the children what they want to do when they go on holiday to avoid any upsets when you arrive.
3. Book early
Popular vacation spots tend to fill up early on, particularly during busy times of the holiday season. You should ideally start planning your family vacation between six months and a year before you are actually looking to go. Many resorts will also offer discounts to customers who book early as well, so you may end up saving some money.
4. Stay flexible
You may have set bedtimes and a rigid nighttime routine at home, but one of the best things about going on vacation is the ability to escape your daily life and live a little. Besides, things don’t always go exactly to plan on holiday. Try not to get too stressed out if there are a few late nights or if your children happen to eat burgers and fries a couple of nights in a row. You can always get them back into good habits when you go home.
5. Spend time apart
This may sound against the whole idea of going away together as a family, but it might be beneficial for you to get some time away from your children when you are on vacation. If you are going to a family resort, there will most likely be a plethora of day care facilities and fun activities to keep them busy, all overseen and operated by a trained team of childcare professionals. This will give you enough time to enjoy things more to the taste of you and your partner. Indeed, don’t be afraid to tell your significant other that you want time apart from him or her as well. If all you want to do is sit by the pool and read a book by yourself then you should be allowed to – after all, it’s your holiday as well!
6. Try something new
When you are in a foreign country with possibly strange customs, it can be easy to become over protective of your children. However, fighting this urge will allow them to experience new things and eventually grow into a world-wise and well balanced person. If they want to go to a theme park and go on some of the scarier rides, let them – you can still be close by to keep a watchful eye on them, and their enjoyment will help you relax more yourself.
Although family vacations have the potential to be stressful and hard, following these simple steps will help you, and your family members, relax during those hard-earned vacations.
Anna Charles is a freelance writer and researcher who specializes in travel and lifestyle work. She loves her job because it takes her around the world and allows her to discover new experiences.