With a limited amount of time each year for a family to take a vacation together, it’s easy to feel pressure and stress about something that should be fun and enjoyable. Parents want everything to go smoothly and the family to have fu, but this is often not as easy as it sounds.With many things to see and do, it’s important to plan your vacation carefully so your family can enjoy all of the special experiences you have on your itinerary. At the same time, when attempting to fit everything in causes stress levels to rise, vacation fun may turn into anything but enjoyable, as everyone will be affected by the pressure.Here are a few tips to help ensure your next family holiday is stress-free, relaxing and enjoyable for everyone
Prior to your holiday, talk frequently with your kids about acceptable behavior while away from home. Set the standards ahead of time regarding matters such as bedtime, money spending, curfews and safety. Doing this before even leaving for the trip will keep stress levels in check while ensuring that everyone knows what is expected of them ahead of time.
When planning your family getaway, consider your children’s ages and personalities. Make sure to plan activities that your youngest child can handle without issue because a bored, overtired young child can affect everyone’s day. Depending on how young your child is, it may be best to skip those long car trips or day-long museum visits and instead plan activities that you know your youngest will enjoy. Allowing your older children to help plan what activities your family will enjoy together is another highly effective way to set the entire family up for a good experience together. When you encourage your older children to be involved in the planning it will help them feel more committed to the trip, which can go far in enhancing their overall enjoyment – and yours too!
Stress levels can shoot through the roof if you plan on seeing too much too quickly. Remember that your family vacation is supposed to be an enjoyable, relaxing time for everyone, including you. No one will appreciate what you see and do if you are rushing from one place to another while checking off what you saw last at the same time that you are getting back in the car for the next item on the agenda. More significantly, you are bound to miss a lot at each location by rushing through places. Remember that it is often the quality of time you spend at each place that is more important than the number of things you do.
Many parents feel as though they must attend to work matters while on vacation or at least check in with the office because they believe doing so will help relieve stress upon their return to work. More often than not, however, trying to work while on vacation only causes increased anxiety and worry so it is very important to leave work at work. You should be enjoying your family time together and feeling relaxed instead of fretting over that upcoming meeting you have when you return to the office.
Vacations are meant to be fun so it is OK if things don’t go as planned. Remember that your kids are excited about all the new sights, sounds, and experiences your vacation adventure offers. Be flexible when someone suggests you do something new and exciting that was not in your original plans. Keep your sense of adventure and sense of humor, as some of the best family vacation memories are from unexpected and unplanned experiences.
Remember that at the heart of every good, stress-free vacation is great planning. The more input you get from each family member, the better. Encourage your older children to use the Internet to research exciting things to do. Once the general plan is in place, keep your kids involved by putting them in charge of at least one aspect of the trip. For example, if one of your children enjoys reading maps, make him or her the navigator. If another enjoys taking photos, make them the official vacation photographer.
By following these tips, your family getaway will be enjoyable for all. Don’t forget that “things happen” so be flexible, maintain your sense of humor, and focus on having fun!
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