5 Easy Tips for Keeping Your Family’s Vacation Stress-Free
With the Fourth of July almost upon us, many families are getting ready for their annual summer vacations. Whether boarding an overseas flight or jumping in the family SUV for a road trip to the beach, one thing holds true for all families: there will likely be some bumps along the way.
Although family vacations can be the highlight of the summer, oftentimes they can also be stressful. However, it helps to remember that stress free family vacations don’t just happen on their own – it takes lots of planning and work to ensure the trip goes smoothly for everyone involved.
With that in mind – so you don’t have to consider opting out of a trip to avoid the hassle – Confetti has compiled their favorite tips for keeping your family’s vacation stress-free to help save parental sanity!
1. Collectively Choose a Trip Goal
Is your family looking to soak in the sun and relaxation, Pina Colada in hand? Or, is exploring a new city and experiencing its unique culture more your style? No matter what you end up doing on vacation, it’s important to set expectations and choose a mutual goal before leaving to ensure everyone is on the same page. This goal could be as simple as “each family member finishes one book” or “everyone tries a bite of a local delicacy,” – Just pick a goal everyone can feel great about and work towards!
2. Select a Daily Dinner Planner
Especially for families with older or grown children, a great way to divvy up responsibilities is to assign one person to be in charge of dinner each night. If you’re staying at a hotel, this could entail researching restaurants and making a reservation. If you’re staying in an Airbnb or rental that has a kitchen, this could entail grocery shopping, preparing the meal and cleaning the kitchen. Since everyone will oversee one night, it allows other family members to relax on their “night off” and also allows everyone to have a hand in restaurant or meal selection.
3. Don’t Overpack Your Schedule
Let’s face it – everyone wants to get their money’s worth out of their vacation, and with so many things to do and see, it’s easy to bite off more than you can chew. Over-scheduling will cause additional stress, and creating minute-by-minute itineraries will have you keeping your eye on your watch instead of living in the moment. Instead, prioritize your to-do list for a few of the most important things on your wish list and allow for plenty of down time in between. That way, you can concentrate on the most important activities and still have time for some spontaneous family fun. Who knows what adventures that spontaneity will lead to…it could result in a family memory for the books!
4. Put Down the Phone, Pick Up the Camera
Deciding as a family to limit screen time while on vacation will guarantee everyone is present and engaged during your trip – which will likely result in more family bonding! So, let your friends and family know that pictures will be posted on social after your trip and notify your kiddos that electronics will be limited to car rides or flights. Of course, capturing family memories is an important part of any vacation. Instead of using the camera on your phone, purchase (or rent!) a real camera, and designate one family member each day to be the family photographer. This will not only result in fun pictures, but also help your kids look for inspiration on your trip!
5. Embrace the Unknown
For those used to staying in their comfort zone, experiencing a new locale and its culture can sometimes feel daunting. Although doing your due diligence through research before leaving can help you feel more comfortable and help you get a lay of the land, the real fun often lies in small, unexpected pleasures you stumble across on your adventures. For instance, many frequent travelers say that the best meal they’ve ever had was in a small, family owned hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Italy. Many of these local gems don’t have a presence online, so the only way to find it is to happen upon it. As long as you’re sticking to safe areas, it can be exciting to venture out with no plans and see where they day takes you!
As you head out on your family vacations this summer, make sure you’re capturing moments via photos along the way as many of these memories will last a lifetime!