5 Ways to Take the Stress out of Family Holidays

Another family vacation? Don’t dread your next trip! Even though travelling with the kids can pack its fair share of stresses, it also presents countless opportunities for creating cherished family memories. Here are five easy tips that are sure to take the stress out of your next family holiday, leaving you free to have a wonderful time with the most important people in your life.

1. Pack Smart

pack smart
Even before you holiday begins, packing can cause a lot of stress. You don’t want to over or under pack, so save time and stress by making a list! This way, you’ll have everything you need and won’t risk forgetting important items. If you’re planning on a short family visit, save space and share a suitcase! Sites such as Luggage Direct have a wide range of luggage options to suit any holiday, as well as coloured space-saving compartments to keep everyone’s gear separate and stop those suitcase-sharing arguments!

2. Be Prepared

Don’t get caught off guard with bored kids (or being bored yourself!). For long-distance trips, prepare enough snacks and entertainment so you can enjoy a peaceful journey. Keep electronics charged with in-car charges and make those batteries last. Overnight flights are more comfortable with a neck pillow and a scarf to keep you warm or block unwanted light. Keep the kids entertained with a variety of activities including colouring books, games such as ‘I spy’ and, if driving, take a break every couple of hours so everyone can have a good stretch. The more enjoyable the journey, the less stress (and more fun) you and your family will have getting to your destination!

3. Time Out

time out
As much as we love spending time with our loved ones, everyone needs a break now and then. Be a little selfish and indulge in some ‘me time’; after all, it’s your holiday too! Find at least 10 minutes each day to do something you enjoy such as reading a good book, going for a relaxing walk or perhaps indulging in a massage. Family time is important but it can be a little overwhelming, so enjoy some quiet time to de-stress from all the hustle and bustle.

4. Have Realistic Expectations

Family visits don’t always go as expected. If certain family members don’t get along, don’t expect them to on your visit. Save yourself some stress and have a plan to deal with more difficult family members. Young children tire easily, so if you’re planning a long day, make sure they have plenty of rest to reduce the risk of a tantrum. Teenagers may not want to spend all day with the family, so have at least one activity they must attend and be more lenient on other activities to ensure no one goes off to sulk.

5. Be Organised

be organised
There’s nothing more stressful than running late. Plan how to arrive at your destination and allow extra time for traffic and other delays. Lay your clothes out the night before so you can get dressed and go the following morning. Having all luggage and snacks packed the night before will also make for a smooth departure. Organising a trip may be hard work, but it will pay off with a stress-free journey for you and the family!

Family holidays can be a nightmare, but some easy tricks will reduce your stress so you can have a lovely time. Please share any of your tips for a stress-free family holiday in the comments below.

Image Credits: Pixabay.com

Planning a Fun-Filled Holiday with the Family – Six Helpful Travel Tips

Chances are your family’s really looking forward to your next holiday, perhaps somewhere domestically that entails a short drive to the nearest beach, or perhaps an overseas destination, maybe one to which you’ve been BC – Before Children – and would love to share with your family now that the kids are old enough to enjoy overseas travel.

Family holidays should be fun-filled holidays on which the whole family has a blast and returns home with happy memories that serve them well for many years to come. However, the best family holidays are those that are planned and executed to a tee, which often entails quite a bit of homework for mum and dad, though if the kids are old enough there’s no reason why they can’t also contribute.

Here are a few tips to consider when planning your next holiday.

1. Research destinations with regard to child-friendliness

How ‘child-friendly’ a destination is really depends on your kids, their travelling experiences, their ages and their temperament, and is often the case with online reviews of destinations with regard to how child-friendly they are, what one family finds heavenly another finds just the opposite.

Seaside resorts are notably child-friendly destinations, though what if you wanted to experience a particular city or region? There are a number of considerations to take into account here, notably the ease in which you can catch public transportation, food options for the kids, and of course places of interest that actually interest children.

2. Involve the whole family … within reason

It’s a wonderful thing to get the whole family involved and have everyone pick an activity that the whole family will participate in, but are your kids actually old enough to do so?

In the process of trying to be ‘democratic’ and let everyone have their say, involving the children in the decision process often turns out to be a disaster, so sometimes mum and dad have to research and choose activities themselves; after all, mum and dad know best – don’t they?

3. Consider travelling times and your children’s ability to travel

Some kids take to travelling like angels whilst others can’t handle an hour in the car or on the bus without voicing their complaints in a manner that no one can ignore.

This issue is of particular note if you’re flying to your destination or planning a road trip, so consider travelling times and your children’s ability to travel when planning your next family holiday.

4. Source child-friendly accommodation

For most families, child-friendly accommodation equates to there being a pool at the hotel, that’s it!

If that’s all it takes to keep your kids happy it’s certainly worth paying a little extra, plus you’ll probably really enjoy the opportunity to cool off or relax on a sunbather yourself – parents often need ‘child-friendly accommodation’ just as much as the kids!

5. Make arrangements with plenty of time to spare

If you’ve ever had your heart set on a destination, but left things too late and missed out, you’re not alone.

Making arrangements for Norfolk Island holidays well in advance is essential if you and your family are planning on travelling to the South Pacific island paradise in peak season, though even if you’re planning to travel at another time of the year, making arrangements in advance is still advisable because it increases the accommodation and flight options available to you.

6. Don’t try to fit too much in

It’s tempting to pack as much as one possibly can into their holidays, though as many have realised quite quickly, this is a big mistake, especially with young children.

Creating an itinerary that allows adequate ‘downtime’, i.e. time that doesn’t entail travelling or doing anything ‘exciting’, is advisable and this is where child-friendly accommodation, i.e. a hotel with a pool, really proves advantageous.

When travelling with kids under the age of ten, in a two week trip it’s probably a good idea to plan 2-3 days’ downtime so everyone can relax and recuperate.

Great family holidays are made in the planning and your children’s age and ability to travel comfortably should be at the forefront of your considerations when planning your next fun-filled family holiday domestically or abroad.

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