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


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


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


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

Family Quality Time

There are too many things that occupy our days – most people do not run out of things to do in their list of errands. With all these things, people often run out of quality time to spend with the family. Many working parents come home late and spend only a few minutes to check whether the kids are home and safely tucked in. The weekends come as a time to do all the household chores and maybe get a few more hours of sleep. A lot of the kids today are not given as much attention as they need, especially when they reach their teenage years. It would be sad to look at your kids several years down the road and not know who they really are. Make sure you save a little bit of yourself and make time for your kids.

Eat meals together. Make sure that you all sit down around the table to eat a meal together. Breakfasts are usually too hurried and brief. That’s why family dinners are recommended. Set a fixed time for dinner when everyone is expected to be home. If you do not have the time to prepare dinner, you can order food from your favorite restaurant. The chores that come with preparing dinner and cleaning up afterwards can be shared among the family members.

Have a family project. Find a common interest among the members of the family and plan a project that you can all complete together. The holidays are often the best times to do these projects. You can build a Christmas nativity scene for you front lawn or you can make a Wizard of Oz display for Halloween. On ordinary days, you can have a recycling project wherein everyone collects plastic bottles or soda cans to be taken to the recycling center at a specified date. This will get the whole family working together towards a common goal.

Schedule family vacations. Have fun with the entire family. Your annual vacation from work does not necessarily have to be spent doing all your backlogged errands and long overdue tasks. Plan a family getaway and spend the week hanging out and bonding with your children.

Image Credit:
ImageryMajestic – Free Digital Photos.Net

Vacation Essentials: Safety Awareness For Children

Summer’s just a few months away and I’m certain that most of you are looking forward to travelling together as a family and discovering as many new places as you can during the vacation. Those travelling with children, however, must prepare much more than their travel gear and essentials. Keep your children safe by teaching them to be more vigilant of their surroundings and training them how to react in emergency situations.

Among those that your children must know before you embark on your vacation are the following:

1. Don’t lose Mom or Dad. What we often tell children when we are in crowded places is to stay within our sight. The problem with this is children often assume that your eyes are ALWAYS on them and so they tend to wander off. What you can tell them instead is to always keep YOU within their sight and they should never go where they can’t see you anymore. Of course, you really do always have to keep them within sight.

2. Ask help from proper authorities only. Before venturing out, make sure that your children know how to recognize people in authority. Orient them on how official police and security guard uniforms look like so they will know who to approach in case they get lost. In case of emergencies, instruct them to look for the personnel wearing the bright-colored safety vest who usually directs the crowd to safety.

3. Know your phone number by heart. It is essential for children to memorize your phone number once they are of school age, most especially when you are travelling far from home. It would also be wise to always keep an identity card on your children when you are away from home. This card should contain the child’s name, your name, and your contact number. It is not advisable to place your home address on this card though as unscrupulous individuals may use this information to your disadvantage.

Vacation should be enjoyed and cherished but it always does pay to be safe and to be prepared for whatever circumstances that may happen. Knowing that your children can respond properly to any event, you will be able to worry less and have more fun.

Image Credit:
Poulsen Photo – Free Digital Photos.Net

Choosing the Best Hotel for Your Family

Just a few weeks from  now and it will be summer vacation. Hooray! It is the time that us, Moms, are waiting for to get away from it all…waking up early in the morning, ironing uniforms, preparing packed lunch, etc. It is also the time to have our most-needed vacation together with the whole family. So start looking for resorts or hotels now and book a date. But before that, below are the things to consider to get a good hotel for your family. Of course, price is on the top list. Hotel rate must fit your budget but this should not your only concern since you’ll be with your kids this time.

  1. Cleanliness: Kids are born curious. They love to roam around and explore. For sure, you wouldn’t want them to catch viruses and bacterias.
  2. Security: This is an absolute necessity. You’re on a vacation with your family so you should just enjoy every minute of it and stop worrying. However, this is only possible  if the hotel ensures your and your important belongings’ security. A safe,  where you can keep your cash, laptop and other gadgets, is  a must.
  3. Family-friendly: This is important when you have kids. Pools, recreational areas (video games, playground/playroom) and sports facilities are a must to keep your kids entertained throughout your vacation.
  4. Extra Fees: Make sure that the hotel rates include tax, service charge and free use of amenities. You don’t want to be surprised with hidden charges, do you?
  5. Restaurant: One of our kids might get hungry in the middle of the night. There would also be times that you’d be too lazy to drive and dine out.
  6. Parking: Of course this is important if you’ll bring your car. Know how secure the paking lot is and if here are extra fees for parking.
  7. Location: This depends on how you want to have your vacation. A centrally-located hotel that is near everything may be convenient but it may not be the best place if you want to relax and get away from it all.

All Our Bags are Packed and We’re Ready to Go

I can’t hide my excitement on our most-awaited vacation.  We will leave on Friday (hope it is sunny by then) but as early as yesterday all our bags are packed and we are ready to go. We are just waiting for Friday to come. I maybe packed things too early but because I have a child, I don’t want to miss anything important most especially her medications.

Whether we are having our vacation in the suburb or to another city, it’s a big family acitvity that requires a whole lot of packing. Aside of course from our needed clothes I see to it that we also have other essentials such as first-aid kit including medications, toiletries, ziplock bags, sunblock,  important accessories (caps/hats, sunglasses, slippers), light weight sweaters/jackets, cellphones, chargers, camera, extra duracell procell batteries, credit cards, a list of emergency phone numbers, snacks,  and last but not the least cash. Lot of things that made my packing look so stressful but because I always make my list ahead, everything turned out easy. Still, I made sure that we can lift and carry our bags with ease.

It is important to travel light so pack only the things you need. If you have baby or toddlers, here’s the list that you might want to consider:

Needed clothes
Bottles or sippy cups
Sneakers/play shoes
Formula
Distilled or purified water
Baby food and snacks
Pacifiers
Bibs
Diapers
Wipes
Changing pads
Waterproof sheets
Diaper ointment
Medicine for fever, allergies, cough and colds
Thermometer
Blanket
Sweaters
Few toys
Coloring books
Crayons
Favorite stuffed animal