During the winter months, it’s understandable that our minds can wander to the summer. Many families use this time to jet off for well-earned breaks and for some much-needed quality time with your partner and children. It’s around about now we all start to consider what we are going to do and where we are going to go. After all, we all need something to look forward to during the tough and cold months ahead. While a vacation can be the perfect opportunity to make incredible memories we all know that family holidays can also be a little stressful. Whether home or abroad children can be hard work at the best of times. Which is why I thought I would share with you some of the best tips when it comes to taking a summer vacation. The tips for the best preparation before going, which we can all get a start on now. Tricks to help you combat those dramas during the vacation, and advice for when you get home and suffer from the vacation blues. I hope they help you out this Summer or when you next plan to go away.
Where to go and what to do
One of the biggest issues we can all face is the decision of where to spend that all-important vacation time. It’s not an easy decision to make as there are a lot of factors to consider. You need to think about the weather, if it will be too hot in a particular location, and also the budget you have for your holiday. Sometimes those perfect package deals don’t come at a purse friendly price. This is why it’s worth shopping around and looking into things like Costco travel deals. Some deals can offer a huge saving, especially at the time of year when not too many people are spending their money on vacations.
Before You Go
One huge stressful factor can affect you before you even set foot on a plane or head to your destination. There is always a lot to consider and do before you head away, with little time to get it all done. So be aware of your time frame and plan accordingly. Take some time to write down everything you want to do and tick it off as you get those jobs completed.
Unfortunately, we can’t take everything we want away with us. We don’t have the luggage space or the weight allowance if traveling on a plane. This is why a handy tip is to consider the outfit choices of each day. Try and workout what each person may need and then pack the essentials. If there is any space you can then consider packing the extra bits you want to take, for those “just in case” moments. Overpacking is one of the biggest mistakes parents as we tend to overthink things. But if you only remember one thing during your packing process it’s that many items can be purchased when you get there.
Getting the house ready
Getting the house ready for your vacation may seem a little pointless. You aren’t going to be there so why bother getting it all cleaned up? But a lot of us are missing a trick here, and the last thing anyone of us wants to do is to come home from an amazing holiday and start mopping floors or tidying work surfaces. While in the momentum of planning and packing for your holiday, use these elevated energy levels and motivation to get the house all clean ready for your departure. You will be thankful of this when you come home.
Documents and vaccinations needed
Finally, make sure you have all the documents needed for every portion of your travel itinerary. If these are email confirmations, then get them printed up and placed safely in a travel document folder. Some destinations require you to have vaccinations as well, so it’s worth checking and seeking advice from your doctor. The last thing you want is your family suffering while you are supposed to be enjoying a fantastic summer vacation. While on the subject of medical advice, don’t forget to get your insurance in place. Just incase.
Tips for getting there
Getting there can be half the battle. Whether you are traveling abroad on a plane, using the car or the train. So here are some essential tips to keep you sane on the journey.
Children are always hungry. So just as you would for a day trip out somewhere snacks will be your saving grace. Try and pack a variety of options in an easily accessible bag or use your diaper bag if your children are young enough. Hand luggage on a plane can be stowed under the seat in front of you as well as in the overhead lockers, so you will always have access to those snacks if you need them. You can then pull them out at a moment’s notice and defuse a situation that could turn into a nasty tantrum. Not only are snacks beneficial for children, but you and your partner will be happy with them come the moment that hunger strikes.
Pack activities to keep them occupied
It’s a good idea to keep some activities handy like coloring or even a tablet in your bag. Keeping your children occupied will help get you through a long plane or car journey. Some other suggestions would be sticker books, small crafty items or even a small toy like a car or doll. You could even wrap them up like presents to add to the excitement. You don’t need to spend a fortune as even heading to your local thrift store can allow you to stock up on small things.
Consider a timed alliance with your partner
It’s never pleasant when one of you is in sole charge of the children. You can often feel jealous of your partner with their earphones in happily traveling and enjoying the journey. This is where having an agreement with your partner can keep you both sane. Agree on a timed amount where you would each take charge. Thirty minutes tends to be a good place to start. This allows each of you to help keep the children occupied while also getting some recharge time yourself.
What to do when you get there
Now you have made it on vacation how do you keep the drama free strategy going? It’s simple. Here’re a few tips to make sure your vacation stays happy and full of smiles.
Have a schedule
Children thrive on routine, so try and stick with one while you are away. This might be as simple as working a new routine around meal times. I understand vacations need to be a relaxed affair, so do what works for your family. Routine doesn’t have to be strict or timed, it can be just about times of day where you do things at a more relaxed pace.
Vary your days if possible
Keeping your days varied is key to keeping everyone happy on vacation. It is, after all, for everyone to enjoy. So try and mix things up by alternating your pool and beach days. Maybe adding a bit of sightseeing or day trip out somewhere different and exciting. Whether abroad or staying put there will be plenty for you to schedule into your days. A great resource is heading online to find out what tourist attractions there are ahead of your vacation. This may enable you to book tickets for certain attractions online, offering you a great saving in the process.
Tips for eating out
Eating can be one of the biggest problems families face on vacation. If it isn’t what time are you eating it’s what you will be eating. But relax, here are some simple ideas to keep you sane during meal times.
Try and find restaurants with a varied selection
Whether you have fussy or great eaters, it’s important to try and find restaurants to dine in that have a varied selection or a good kids menu. Many vacation hotspots should have a good variety of food outlets on offer. During the vacation, it is the perfect time for you to all eat as a family, as perhaps you don’t get the chance much at home. This will encourage children or fussier eaters to try a few different food options. It’s a great bonding opportunity.
Eat earlier to avoid peak rush
The last thing you want is to be dining in a packed restaurant in the peak times. This is where being on holiday offers you a great advantage. You could choose to eat earlier or later avoiding the mad rush. This will certainly make your dining experience much more relaxed.
Consider self-catering options to eat in your accommodation
Considering a self-catering option when going on vacation is a fantastic idea for a family. This makes your eating much more flexible. While you have the option to eat out in restaurants, you can also consider cooking or having takeaway foods in your accommodation. This keeps mealtimes more varied and takes any pressure off. Especially if have had a particularly full on day.
I hope these tips and tricks for before, during, and after your vacation help you have the best trip away with your family. We deserve it.