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Memorable family vacations happen in two ways. One, when things go horribly wrong and you laugh about it – after you’re home. And, two, when everything goes according to plan. Although your realitiy will fall somewhere in the middle, if you prepare for family travel in advance, you can avoid these common travel mistakes.
Save Your Sanity: Prepare For Family Travel
Experiencing travel as a parent has helped me see ways I can adjust my plans and attitude to avoid common mistakes. When transitioning from a solo traveler to a family traveler, I learned minor changes can really impact the quality of our adventures together. Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience! Simple tips to prepare for family travel can save our sanity and help us enjoy the beauty of the journey. If the unexpected occurs, we embrace the bumps in the road, and together we learn what works and most importantly – what doesn’t work!
1. Avoid Overdoing It
Few things are more stressful than tired kids and exhausted parents trying to enjoy an adventure together. It’s frustrating when our family is too busy on a trip that we can’t relax and enjoy ourselves. We focus on traveling with a flexible schedule and we avoid being strict and rigid about our plans.
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Some of our best vacations have been those that allowed us time to take a break in the afternoon, perhaps, to enjoy a nap. The first question my husband asks while I’m planning our next trip is “when is nap time?” This “down” time is not limited to younger kids. Take an hour to relax at a park or to enjoy a hot beverage in a downtown coffee shop. It’s a great way to slow down and recharge. We have found that this is beneficial for both us as the adults and our children.
My focus during our trips is that we spend this time bonding with each other, away from our hectic routine at home. A relaxed atmosphere is a crucial aspect in making this happen.
Let me give you an example of what can go wrong when you overdo it. My family planned too many activities one day during our trip to the Dominican Republic. We were supposed to end our already busy day with sunset family photos. However, tired children and a tantrum in the sand was all we got! A picture is worth a thousand words, right?