Four Tips For A Better Family Vacation

June 11, 2024

Vacationing as a parent. What does that sentence invoke in you? If it s anything other than fun and joyful experiences, then there might be a chance you are not doing it right!

Vacationing as a family unit means you get the unique opportunity to make memories together in new places, learn more about each other, and uncover different parts of each other’s lives, whether it is seeing your toddler grow and experience their new home-from-home or your teen putting their life skills into practice.

But if your vacation is not filling you with joy and you are unsure how to make it fun and not stressful. These tips can help:

Lower Expectations

You have spent a lot of money on this trip, so, understandably, you want to have a great time. However, setting the bar too high for everyone and having unrealistic expectations can lead to frayed nerves and high tensions. Instead of setting yourself up for failure, be more realistic about what to expect. You know your kids and family members well, so try to anticipate how they will react in certain situations, e.g., after a flight or being stuck together in a small hotel room, or behaving on a day trip, and then keep this in mind so as not to be too disappointed, you never know they might surprise you!

Pick Accommodation Carefully

Gone are the days when a family vacation meant squeezing into a small hotel room. There are now plenty of options that can serve as a comfortable base for your adventures. For instance, furnished short term rentals can provide a home-like experience for city breaks or longer trips, offering the space you need to unwind and recharge.

Alternatively, booking a villa at a popular resort for beach holidays can work better than a hotel room. Alternatively, upgrading a family room if you prefer to stay in hotels can be worth the added expense for increased space and comfort.

Allow Added Time

Do not be tempted to cut connections for flights or transfers short; you need to allow plenty of time to get from where you are to where you need to be. Whether it is rushing to make sure you get the early flight or not giving yourself enough time to make checkout or to make dinner plans, always allow yourself more time than you think you will end, especially if traveling with young children. New experiences can be overwhelming and even exhausting, and dragging around children who are tied to a packed schedule will only result in tears for everyone. So before you put that itinerary together, check your timings and allow yourself longer than you think you will need. This extra time can be used for unexpected delays, like traffic or long lines at the airport, or for a quick break if you are feeling overwhelmed. It can also give you the flexibility to change your plans if something more interesting comes up, making your trip more enjoyable and less stressful.

Give Everyone A Say

A family holiday is all about making memories together, and with this in mind, you need to ensure that you are not dictating what each person will be doing. Instead, you need to include them and take opinions on board so everyone can have a good time and not feel like they are at some type of strict boot camp. Ask what everyone wants to do, and then make appropriate plans for them to do this. Allow family members to have downtime, do nothing, or explore without pressure or judgment, and you will all find you will have a much better time.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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