Delegating vacation time is a great way to emphasize your self-care. It’s important to set aside time for vacations every now and then to offset your busy schedule and reset your daily routine. But planning a successful trip can take effort – especially when planning a vacation for the whole family. Here are a few tips to ensure your family vacation ends up being a relaxing getaway and not another stressor!
- Communicate beforehand – Tell your kids about the trip ahead of time and explain what will happen at each point of the process. Children who are new to traveling may not be used to extended movement and travel. Explaining the situation will help them understand what is happening and may help ease their discomfort.
- Travel slow – It may be easier to travel at a quicker pace when traveling solo but getting the whole family on the plane will take longer than you expect. Make sure to arrive at the airport early to give you and your family plenty of time for unexpected events, such as bathroom breaks, getting through security, and getting food before boarding.
- Plan ahead – Make reservations ahead of time. Tired children can easily get cranky. Avoid the hassle of finding a room in the midst of dealing with an unhappy child and plan ahead.
- Prioritize health – Make sure to pack ahead of time to ensure you and the kids get plenty of sleep the night before traveling. Food will also be an issue for children who are picky eaters. Make sure to pack enough snacks for kids who end up skipping meals they’re not used to the food available.
- Practice patience – Issues will occur; remember to practice patience when things get rough. No one wants to be the parent with the crying child on the plane, but all kids have a breaking point – even the quiet ones. How you respond to your kids will greatly impact how they adjust to the situation. Let go of worrying about how others will respond to your kids; many people have been in your situation and will understand.
- Be flexible when problems arise – It’s good to have a general plan before arriving at your destination but remember that things don’t always unfold as neatly as you planned. Be patient if complications arrive, such as unexpected transportation or hotel booking issues. The quality of your kids’ experience depends on how you handle your emotions; young children will pick up on your mood and will mirror your positivity despite the setbacks.
There’s only so much you can do to prepare for a trip to ensure it goes well. Part of traveling is understanding that not everything unravels as perfectly as you envision. Rough patches will inevitably come your way – in vacations and in life. Learning how to plan for and deal with vacation stressors will help you handle stress in general. For more tips on how to handle family vacation stress or advice on family relationships in general, identify a qualified MFT who can help using the Counseling California directory.
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