Summertime is the most popular time for vacations. That being said, it can also be the most stressful time. Lots of people traveling here and there. Lots of waiting in lines at different popular locations. Lucky for you, I created this post just in time for your family vacation. Here are vacation tips on how to make your vacation happy and relaxing!
Service your car before you leave for vacation.
If you plan on driving to your relaxation spot, it is important to make sure your car is working properly. Get that oil change, don't forget the tire rotation, and get the breaks checked. Many service stations now do an overall inspection when you take your car in for an oil change. It's good to do this at least a week before to allow for any repairs that need to be done before vacation. You don't need to have car problems while on vacation. Read this post from Firestone Complete Autocare for details on ESSENTIAL CAR MAINTENANCE BEFORE A LONG ROAD TRIP.
Have the kids involved in the planning process.
Especially if they are old enough to complain about what they are doing. =) Give them small tasks to review, like read the destination city to find out more places to go. Have them find places to eat online for particular days.
Are you celebrating a birthday while on vacation? Have the kids pick a place to eat for the special family member. Getting them involved will allow them to take ownership of their vacation trip.
Pack for activities.
Make a list of clothing and stuff you will need for your different activities. Doing this a few weeks before you leave will allow you to think about what is needed. When you create a thorough packing checklist, you can revise it for future trips as the kids get older.
Here is a two-page checklist for your to share. It has columns for up to 5 members of the family.
There is always something to do before going away. This page allows you to write it all down. If possible, staple or double side these two pages to help you keep them together.
NOTE: There are extra spaces for you to write in other items you need to take on your vacation. And, extra columns to add children as well.
Below are two other packing checklists to help you with specific types of vacations.
HOW TO EASILY PACK FOR A SHORE VACATION WITHOUT STRESS
THE ULTIMATE CRUISE PACKING LIST EVERYONE NEEDS
Think ahead and schedule daytime and evening events with the entire family in mind.
Decide ahead of time the different evening activities you will be doing. Will the kids need to be watched by someone? What will you be doing while the kids are doing their activities? Ask these questions before you go and decide on a plan. Visit our post about packing for long trips.
Add some exploring time to your schedule.
Not everything needs to be scheduled while on vacation. Try visiting local landmarks in between events. You can visit local parks, museums, trails, shopping areas, outlet malls, etc... that you didn't plan to see for something spontaneous to do.
Teach the kids about the area they are visiting.
It doesn't have to be a formal history lesson. A causal online learning about the area the kids will be visiting works well. Research the culture. Show them where the destination is on a map. Is the city famous for something? Find out. And, how it was founded are simple things to learn with your kids to help them. A little information will help the shyest kids feel more comfortable with the trip.
Have a positive attitude and get excited.
Every family vacation should be a happy one. If something happens that is not planned, be flexible in your schedule. Share with your kids the pros about this vacation and what is fun about where you are visiting.
Turn off your messaging and data plan so you can concentrate on family and friends.
This can be difficult for everyone to do throughout the entire vacation. But, how about turning off the cellphones when you are eating at every meal. To generate conversation, try talking about the day's activities and what family members are looking forward to. At dinner, you can talk about your favorite thing that day and what you would want to do again in the future. This will help your family members feel more involved and more willing to take part in the trip.
When looking back on their childhoods, kids remember their vacations. So, make every vacation a happy and memorable one. Taking the time to plan and get your vacation in some order will allow you and your kids to be much happier and more relaxed during the entire trip.
Now it is your turn. What was your favorite childhood vacation? Please leave a comment.
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