Essential Tips for a Stress-Free Family Vacation

1182825_31448208As parents, we love our children, but that love can certainly be tested during family holidays.  Whether you are planning a trip to a stunning Niagara Falls hotel, a luxury resort in the Bahamas, or a quaint bed and breakfast in Dublin, there are things you can do to help make your upcoming holiday a great experience.  The following tips are designed to ensure your family travels are as fun and stress-free as possible.

Plan your trip in advance

Be sure to book flights, accommodations, and car rentals well in advance because holiday destinations tend to fill up fast.  Also, go ahead and plan a working itinerary so that you know how you are planning to spend each day.  Make reservations for each activity, as well as purchase attraction tickets so that you are not turned away from activities that your family has been looking forward to or left waiting in long lines.  This will definitely lessen your stress and give you more time to have fun.

Don’t plan every single moment    

While planning your trip will help alleviate stress, don’t plan out every single minute.  Allow some room for spontaneity.  Undoubtedly, you and your kids will think of something else to do once you actually arrive.  In addition, overscheduling frequently leaves everyone irritated and overly tired.

Don’t skimp on accommodation

While you can fit two adults and three children in one hotel room, do you really want to?  Make sure your accommodation allows your entire family room to spread out.  For the least amount of stress, opt for a small apartment or villa with a kitchen and at least two bedrooms, if not more.

Consider your children’s ages when making plans

Keep in mind what the youngest person in your family can really handle.  While this may seem a tad unfair to your older kids, it is highly doubtful they want to get caught in their sibling’s huge meltdown when they are overstimulated and overtired.  You may even want to consider splitting up and doing different activities.  There is no rule that says the entire family has to be together every second you are on holiday.

Make sure everyone gets to do something they want to do

Let your children know before you leave that everyone will have to make compromises while on holiday to ensure that everyone gets to do something they enjoy.  This includes mum and dad!  If your older children choose something that is clearly not appropriate for younger children, this may be the perfect time to split up for a little while.

Set your budget and make your children aware of it

Nothing ruins a holiday and causes more stress than running out of money.  Set aside a daily amount for meals, entertainment, and souvenirs, but also be sure to set aside some money for incidentals too. Before heading to an attraction, make your older children aware of how much money they will be able to spend. However, you may have to show younger children some leeway to prevent a major tantrum that leaves everyone angry and stressed out.

Maintain a routine

While it may be tempting to throw caution to the wind and allow your children to stay up later, skip naps, and more, it will only cause trouble.  Children tend to thrive on routine so keep the same meal, nap, and bed times that they have at home.

Leave your work at home

Unless you have a job that requires you to absolutely maintain communication, don’t take your work with you.  If you are constantly checking on what is happening back at the office, everyone, including you, will become irritated and stressed.

Family holidays do not have to be stressful events that leave you counting down the days until you finally go back to work.  Use the tips above to have a family holiday where everyone has fun.

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