Contributed post by Samantha Garbett
Like parenthood itself, family vacations are both exciting and stressful.
Of course, there are wonderful moments that you’ll cherish forever, but the large expense and even larger headache can leave you wondering why you bothered booking your flights in the first place.
Thankfully, like with parenting, proper planning, preparation, and some hard work can make things a whole lot easier, giving you the chance to enjoy yourself like you intended to. With that in mind, here are five essential tips you should know to plan a stress-free family vacation.
1. Plan As A Family
Parents are often hesitant to ask their kids for planning input, but doing so will ensure that they enjoy the trip just as much as you do.
For this reason, you should give each of your children a few holiday brochures and a laptop, and let them brainstorm a few thoughts.
Asking for vacation destination ideas is particularly important, as disagreements over where you’re heading can lead to lots of disappointment and arguments. Receiving input isn’t giving up control, so don’t worry.
2. Keep Your Schedule Flexible
Whether you’re going away for a weekend, a week, two weeks, or more, most holiday-goers like to cram as many activities into their time as they possibly can.
However, you should try to avoid this at all costs. Of course, you should plan the things you really want to do, but you don’t need to see every sight and try every activity you possibly can. This will cause vacation burnout, which will result in crankiness, leading to stress and arguments early on.
3. Steer Clear Of Hotels
Most families automatically decide to stay at a hotel when they’re on vacation, but this may not be the best environment for you and your children, especially if your hotel isn’t aimed at families.
With that in mind, you may want to consider renting a holiday home instead. You could even think about buying a house by the sea, using a site like 30A Local Properties. This way, you and your children will have plenty of your own space, making downtime more comfortable and relaxing.
4. Don’t Forget About Insurance
Vacations are costly at the best of times, but vacations with children can break the bank.
For this reason, most families do everything they can to cut costs and save cash. While there are plenty of expenses you can leave out of your holiday budget, travel insurance is definitely not one of them.
Your trip is going to be filled with plenty of “what if” worries, but this protection can save you from them, giving you peace of mind and help if anything were to go wrong.
5. Allow Time To Decompress
When possible, you should always keep an extra day before and after your vacation free.
This will give you plenty of time to pack, clean, and generally get things organized for your trip, so you don’t have to do it all at the last minute. It also means that you’re able to get a good night’s sleep, so you don’t have to start your trip stressed and exhausted.
Planning an extra day for your return means that you can sort out your home and get back to reality before getting back to work.
With these tips, you should be able to beat the family vacation stress and have plenty of fun during your time away.