Planning for a vacation with kids can be stressful. Take these steps to ensure you and your family will have a relaxing, fun vacation, without raising your blood pressure so high that you need another holiday to recover.
Whether it’s spring break or the summer months looming on the horizon, the kids are ready to have some time away from school for a bit and are looking for a fun adventure to occupy their time.
In spring everyone in the house is no doubt feeling cabin fever and looking for a change of scenery. Over the summer it can be a case of falling over each other all day, planning childcare for the kids, or just not knowing what to do next in order to keep them occupied.
If a vacation is on the cards, getting everything organized and keeping up the fun quotient can be deceptively stressful. In order to minimise the chance of losing your mind entirely, here are ten tips that’ll make your next vacation with the kids just a little bit less stressful.
Choose A Destination
Little can spoil a vacation quicker than a bored, uninterested child dragging their feet behind you. While there is no way I would say “where do you want to go kids?” and follow their lead, we do take into consideration everyone’s interests so that, even if there are some “boring” bits, we all get to do something we enjoy.
- Decide as a family where to go for your vacation. What if one person wants a beach, while another wants to go skiing? To make the trip happen, it all comes down to communication with one another to make the best decision for the family. Make a list of places that each person wants to visit or activities each would like to enjoy and start talking through them together.
- Be real about the possibilities. One detail to factor in is the distance of the choices. For a vacation, let your little ones know that the longer the trip, the more time in the car and the less time enjoying the actual vacation. While the choice needs to be agreed on by the family, it’s important to point out that a trip to one location may take 8 hours of travel, while a trip to another may only mean 2 hours in the car. These little details matter when you are faced with a mid-summer road-trip with a vehicle full of fractious little ones.
Plan Your Vacation Activities
- Once a destination is agreed on, let the planning begin. Decide on how many days you will be staying in the area, and start researching on all the fun things that each of you wants to do.
- Make up a menu for your travels. Buying food on the road is so expensive. It’s hiked up in price for that wonderful “convenience” fee. Take out that extra expense and head to the store before your trip. There are plenty of creative ways to feed your family on vacation. Stock up on snacks, beverages, fruits, and veggies to eat during your trip. Another great idea is to pack a couple of small coolers with sandwiches to eat along the way. You can always hit the grocery store again to restock once you arrive at your destination.
- Take a couple of new books, a card game, or a board game the family can enjoy together. Rainy days might scupper an outdoor activity, or maybe you are all just so bushed from having fun, that an early return to the hotel is in order. On these occasions, it is handy to have some fun entertainment up your sleeve.
Set your budget
- Set and communicate the budget for the trip. It’s always a good idea to let everyone know the budget for the trip. That way, there aren’t any surprises along the way if something is too expensive to do or enjoy. Begin planning on ways that you can keep that budget low so that money can be spent on fun outings and activities!
- Make certain to pay all bills and other important matters before you leave for your trip. Have your mail put on hold, and let your neighbors know that you’ll be headed out of town for the next several days. That way, if anything happens they know that they can get in touch with you easily via your cell.
- Pack clothes accordingly for your trip. Don’t overpack! Check out the weather for the week for where you are headed and pack based on the forecast. It is also wise to pack an extra jacket and set of warm clothes as well just in case Mother Nature decides to throw you for a loop. She can be tricky like that sometimes!
- Have your children pack a small bag of toys and books that they actually want to take. This is key. Don’t try to pack and guess what they would want. Let them make the choice of what to take, and give them the bag for them to put it in. That way, they know how much space they have, and they can then choose the toys that they will want and find interesting.
It’s time for a vacation with the kids
- Relax. Take a breath. You’ve done a great job planning and preparing up to this point! It’s time to double-check your packing and make certain that you haven’t overlooked and left out anything. You can almost guarantee that something will go wrong. You’re on vacation with kids. All you can do is prepare as well as you can and enjoy the ride.
Give yourself a hand! You and your family made a choice of where you all want to visit for and then you all worked together as a team to prepare to make it happen. Now that the hardest part has been done, it’s time to relax and get excited about your upcoming trip!