Traveling With Kids? Here's 5 Ways to Stay Zen.
Is there anything as quintessential as the family vacation? Visions of laughter, relaxation, making memories and absolutely zero arguing fills the minds of parents everywhere. And then, the reality of said vacation hits; sometimes even before the car is packed. The truth about vacationing with kids is that you'll probably need a vacation after your vacation, but what's even more accurate is the struggle of packing and the struggle of staying organized when you're in the midst of it all. In order to truly enjoy your time away together, there are five things you can do to increase your chances of that happening. Keep reading to learn more.
Don't Assume All of the Responsibility
Have you ever noticed how it's not always easier to just do something yourself? There are times when it is, but on your vacation? Forget about it. In all fairness, you can't expect your infant to pack and keep track of their own things, but you can enable and then expect your five-year-old to. There are ways to make the process easier for everyone (even you). If you're comfortable stepping back just a bit, you might be pleasantly surprised with how things turn out.
- Before your trip, investing in a personalized tote bag for everyone in your family could set the tone of ownership and responsibility. This could ensure that everyone has their own essentials on hand throughout your entire trip, while also giving you a little more freedom from managing everything. Who wouldn't appreciate that?
- To expedite and organize packing, provide each family member with a list of appropriate items needed for your trip. Don't forget about extra-important things such as medications and travel documents. As far as what everyone should pack, remember to include as many versatile items as possible. If you're heading to the beach, quick-drying fabrics are a must. Water shoes can double as street shoes, and swim cover-ups can double as daytime or even evening wear depending on where you're headed. To set your mind at ease, give everything a quick once-over before heading out to make sure all looks good. Remember to leave extra space for souvenirs, because what's a vacation without them?
Set the Stage for Peaceful Travel
- Ask any parent what one of the most challenging parts of a vacation is, and odds are the answer would be the traveling, whether it's by car or plane. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can help pass the time, keeping everyone content and busy. Striking a good balance between independent activities and more interactive ones should keep the peace between the kids, maybe even giving the grown-ups a chance to talk. Win-win.
Map Out a Plan Before Your Trip, but Be Flexible
Visions of what a vacation will be and what it actually ends up being are two different things, but planning ahead is always a good move anyway. What's important here is that you stay open-minded and flexible. This will ensure smooth transitions throughout your trip, rather than feelings of disappointment or frustration when things don't go exactly as planned.
- In the days leading up to your vacation, spend some time researching fun things to do, interesting places to see, and where the most family-friendly restaurants are. Not only will this forward planning help you in terms of budgeting, it will also help you to make the most out of your time spent there. Communicating with your hotel (or other lodging) during this time will also serve you well, especially if you have any special requests or requirements that should be conveyed prior to your stay.
- 5. If your hotel has a concierge service, definitely use it! This is a guaranteed way to get an idea of different activities available for your family in the area, along with other helpful information.