Heading off on vacation to spend some quality time with your family without the pressures of work or chores should be fun; it should be relaxing, but as you will probably know, it doesn’t always turn out that way!
Traveling with your whole family can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if your kids are still quite young, but you know what? If you tend to end up more stressed after a family vacation than before you went, there are a number of things you can do to change that, and ensure you have as relaxing a time as possible! Let’s take a look at some of them below.
Book family-friendly accommodation
When you’re traveling with kids, it makes sense to choose a hotel that has a real family resort vibe, rather than a fancy five-star place that will mostly be populated by adults because then you don’t have to worry so much if the kids are a bit noisy or overexcited – there’ll be loads of parents there who are in the same boat.
Even better, if you can hire your own apartment or villa when on vacation, then you will have more privacy, and it will be easier to get the kids to sleep at night when there aren’t lots of other guests walking around the hotel making a noise, It will be so much easier for you to relax that way.
This might seem counterintuitive when you have kids, and for sure, you will want to ensure you pack all of the essentials to keep the kids safe and happy, including any stuffed toys they can’t sleep without, for example, but the more streamlined your packing is, the easier it will be for you.
You’ll inevitably end up having to carry at least one child at one point on your journey, and kids are heavy! When you’re lugging a huge suitcase along too, it will hardly be fun for you, so pack light!
Give yourself more time
When you are traveling with kids in tow, then everything from getting to the airport to getting through security to finally getting on the plane will take more time because young kids are slower and easily distracted, and you will need to deal with various issues. So, if you don’t want to be stressed before you even get on the plane, make sure you allow more time to get there and get boarded than you might if you were traveling without kids. If you aren’t rushing around trying to avoid missing your flight, your vacation will get off to a much more pleasant start.
Keep the kids in a routine
You might be halfway around the world with none of your usual commitments, but if you want your vacation to be as relaxing as possible with as free toddler tantrums and as few complaints of boredom and tiredness as possible, try to keep your kids in a routine that is as close to the once they usually have as possible. This will prevent them from getting overly stressed out and overtired, and this will mean they are better behaved and you can let your hair down and relax a bit more too.
Buy a beach cart
If you are vacationing in a place that has lots of beaches, and you want to take advantage of that, read this article by Mack Robertson to see why you really need to invest in your own beach cart. Doing so will mean you can pack everything you need for the beach from towels and swimsuits to sunscreen, snacks, and everything the kids need to make a sandcastle, and you will not have to strain yourself by lugging it around because it will all be easily transported in the beach cart.
Always pack snacks
Whether you are heading to the airport for your flight, hitting the beach as part of your vacation, or visiting a local museum to soak up some culture, make sure you have a bag that is adequately packed with lots of healthy snacks and drinks. Vacations can take a lot out of your kids, and they will often get hungrier than usual. If they don’t get something to eat when they’re feeling this way, they are more likely to misbehave and have a tantrum or a meltdown, so keep them well-fed.
Prebook your activities
Prebooking as many of your vacation activities as you can from museum trips to watersports will mean that you can relax more because you won’t always be worrying about what you are going to do next, getting in touch with the activities you want to do, or organizing payment when you should be relaxing on the beach, and of course, let the kids have some say in what activities you book and they will end up looking forward to every day rather than ending up feeling bored and misbehaving as a result.
Track your child
Tracking your child with a phone app or Apple tag, for example, will give you peace of mind when you are traveling that if you get separated, you will be able to find them quickly.
Don’t expect things to be perfect
Although there is a lot you can do to take the stress out of vacationing with your family, there is no way that absolutely nothing is going to go wrong while you are away. Your child is going to have a tantrum at least once, you’re all going to get overtired, you might argue about what you want to do each day, and that’s just three possibilities!
If you are prepared for the occasional hitch, then it will not upset you so much when stuff goes wrong, whereas, if you are expecting everything to be picture-perfect all the time, you’ll be far more stressed out when that does not happen.
As you can see, with a bit more planning and the right attitude, you can have an amazing time on your next family vacation, so what are you waiting for?