5 Tips for a Stress Free Family Vacation
Summertime is finally here! The season of s’mores, pool days, playdates, and the much-anticipated family vacation. Though the joyous moments of summer are where most family memories are made, the euphoria of sunshine and relaxation is often overcast by antsy kids and the chaos that occurs once the structure of school days takes a three-month hiatus, leaving many parents grasping for sanity, especially during the family trip.
Don’t worry – with a little preparation and organization, you can count on the most stress-free vacation yet!
1. Pack strategically
When traveling, taking a little extra time to pack strategically can make for a more practical experience. I suggest packing your most used items last for easy access – like coolers full of premade sandwiches and kid’s backpacks loaded with games and toys. Also, consider consolidating as much as possible! Check out my post on how to pack the perfect suitcase.
2. Do something for yourself
Even if it means waking up early and sipping a cup of coffee outside while the rest of the family is sleeping, you won’t regret savoring a few quiet minutes alone. To really treat yourself on vacation while also saving money, pack a couple of facemasks and hair treatments in your toiletry bag and use them during downtime.
3. Research your destination
Before heading out on vacation, read up on the place you are visiting. Start with a Google search to look up pictures, reviews, and other relevant information. For the real deal, search Instagram to get a behind the scenes feel of your destination, including any exciting and picture-worthy parts of town worth visiting that travel sites don’t list.
4. Be prepared for travel troubles
As with any major event, it’s crucial to hope for the best but prepare for the worst because unexpected challenges seem to creep up on even the most meticulously planned trips.
Some of the biggest travel headaches involve car troubles and delayed or canceled flights. Stay one step ahead by keeping your car insurance information in your glove compartment. If you don’t have AAA, often, your car insurance coverage includes roadside assistance and towing. Check with your insurance agency before leaving for full details on your coverage. For flights, sign up for text alerts through your airline for notifications about flight delays and cancellations.
5. Be prepared for medical emergencies
You can plan for a change in the weather but you can’t always predict medical emergencies. It’s best to bring along a small first aid kit with bandages, antibacterial wipes, pain relievers, Dramamine for motion sickness, and your insurance cards in case you need medical attention. Keep this kit in your purse throughout the trip. Though emergency medications are important, many people often forget to refill and pack their prescription medication. Stay organized and on schedule by making sure your prescriptions are filled ahead of time. I recently learned about a subscription service called forhers.com that will send your monthly birth control prescription right to your doorstep, so you don't have to add “refill prescription” to your pre-trip to do list.
No matter how prepared you are, the most essential tip for stress-free summer travel is to let go of the plans that go awry and welcome unexpected challenges with a laugh. No matter what, your experience will only be what you make of it, and your kids will only remember the laughs and memories shared together!