5 Tips for a Summer Vacation Every Family Can Enjoy
Between the planning, packing, and getting everyone else ready, family vacations can get a little stressful before the trip even begins. However, with the right preparations, every family trip can be smooth sailing and stress free. The key, as in all matters of motherhood, is to plan ahead, but not over-plan so much that you have to hand out a daily newsletter.
• Tip 1: A family travels on its belly. The key to avoiding cranky kids (and parents) is to make sure everyone is eating frequently and eating the right things. Plan ahead by packing portable snacks like pretzels and fruit. This will help avoid some impulse buys and too many sugary snacks along the way. Even if you have to take stops and grab something on-the-go you should still make healthy fast food decisions to avoid the repercussions later!
• Tip 2: The next key to a successful family vacation in making sure everyone gets enough rest. This may mean paying a little bit more, but it is more than worth it in the end. Typical family destinations, such as many Orlando hotels, are rife with family-friendly packages (including quiet hours policies!) However, if you are traveling more off the beaten path, be sure to pick lodging that is not too low-budget. While the cost may seem too good to resist while you are planning, it is all for naught if your room faces the pool bar someplace with no quiet hours.
• Tip 3: Don’t forget the hand sanitizer. What mom worth her weight would travel without it? You bought it and packed it, now don’t forget to use it. Did you know airplanes don’t get a real thorough cleaning until their last stop of the day? If your flight leaves at 4:00pm, then that plane has been a sort of germ incubator all day. Don’t be paranoid, but be prepared.
• Tip 4: All the good done for our spirits while we are on vacation can be undone so easily with a bad “reentry” into real life. Consider coming home a day earlier. Let the whole family rest, sleep well and eat a couple normal meals before having to get back to school and work.
• Tip 5: Finally, remember to take some grown-up time. Take turns with the kids to give each other some alone time or get a bottle of wine and some plastic glasses to enjoy on the hotel balcony after the kids pass out.
So, after all the prep work is done, remember the most important rule of family vacations: slow down and enjoy the time together! (That and use lots of sunscreen. That’s one of the most important rules too, of course.)