Create a Packing ListEvery travel destination comes with different packing needs. This is why it’s so important to take time to create a packing list to ensure you pack the appropriate attire. Trust us, you wouldn’t want to make it all the way to Alaska and realize that you forgot your winter coat—Yes! Even in the summer months! And just as every travel destination has different packing needs, so does every member of your family if you’re traveling with your significant other and/or children. Heaven forbid you forget to bring your 3-year-old’s teddy bear for nighttime, and he doesn’t sleep the entire vacation. That’s stressful and no fun for anyone! Ensure you don’t forget the essentials, and create a packing list. Review the list with whomever you are traveling with, and then check off each item on the list as you put it into your suitcase.
Invite an Extra Set of Hands to Help You on Your TripInviting a friend or family member to go on your vacation to help if you have small children is a wonderful idea for many reasons. Reason 1: If you have multiple small children, you already know how challenging traveling can be. When you have a second set of hands, you’ll have someone to sit in the backseat with child #1 when he needs help starting a movie on his iPad so you can drive in peace. Reason 2: Safety. Parking lots, large crowds, pools/beaches, etc., are all dangerous for children. And if you have more than one child, it can be hard to keep an eye on everything to ensure everyone is safe and sound. Having a second set of eyes is a good way to keep everyone safe and happy so you can enjoy your vacation. Reason 3: It’s nice to have the company of another adult. If you’re a single parent or are just traveling alone with your children, you know how mind-numbing constant conversations about your child’s favorite cartoon show can be. Bringing someone along with you makes it easier to have enjoyable adult conversations, whether you’re driving in the car, on a plane, or sitting at the beach.
Plan AheadSome people say spontaneity is the spice of life. Yet, those who went to NYC to see Hamilton without purchasing tickets in advance and missed the show would probably disagree. If you know for sure that you want to do a specific activity, see a certain show, or go out to a special dinner, be sure to book everything in advance. This not only takes the stress out of having to book everything last minute while you’re trying to enjoy your vacation, but it also helps ensure that you get to do the things you want to do while on vacation. Booking ahead is also a great idea for hotels and airlines. When you plan in advance, you can watch rates and will most likely get a better deal on the cost of lodging or transportation instead of waiting to the last minute.
Provide Adequate Sleep/Rest TimeOn vacation, people tend to get thrown off their normal schedules. And while adults can get moody if they don’t get enough sleep, lack of rest can be extremely detrimental for kids. We all know how stressful crying, screaming kids can be! The good news is that there’s a simple solution to this problem. All you’ve got to do is schedule rest breaks into your day to avoid crankiness or meltdowns. A simple hour nap or quiet break in the middle of the day can do wonders for children. You may also find, that as an adult, you also this break to relax amidst the hustle and bustle of your vacation as well.
Go into Your Vacation with the Right MindsetIt’s so easy to fantasize about the perfect vacation. After all, you’ve work so hard all year, and you clearly deserve the best vacation ever. While it’s ok to expect the best out of your next vacation, it’s also important to have the right mindset. Not every vacation will be perfect. It may rain on your beach day. Tickets might be sold out to the dinner show you want to see. You may get a tummy ache from eating too much ice cream and have to cancel your fancy dinner reservations. Stuff happens…and some people let the minor hiccups in a vacation ruin their entire trip. Don’t let this happen to you. Go into your vacation with the mindset that you’re going to make the best of whatever happens on your trip. If it rains on your beach day, maybe it’s a good day to learn something new at a museum. And if you get a stomach ache from eating too much ice cream, that stinks—but at least you got to eat dessert for lunch that day! Score! The key is flexibility. If one plan doesn’t work, have a plan B and try something different. Who knows, you might end up trying a new activity or seeing a new sight that becomes the highlight of your trip! Go into your vacation with a mindset that you’re going to enjoy yourself no matter what happens. Travel delays, bad weather, cranky kids, etc., can wreak havoc on your trip, unless you are willing to roll with the punches and resort to a plan B if necessary. Flexibility is key.
Do you have any tips for taking the stress out of summer vacations? Share them with us in the comments below!