Let’s face it, vacations are supposed to be fun.
Though I too am guilty of getting wrapped up in the bustle of packing, clothes washing, work schedule rearranging, stress that this “break” in life creates. I’ve listed some tips below to lighten the spirit on the matter. I hope they help your chaos- or maybe even just give you a chuckle!
- Throw your expectations out of the window. Yes, this usually works well with most uncharted territory in life, it remains beneficial in this scenario as well. Begin the journey with a clean slate, and a nice cup of coffee wouldn’t hurt either!
- Be open-minded with your typical routine. Yes, children appreciate routine. Yes, I as well L-O-V-E routine. Vacation is not routine, do not try to mold it to be so, abort mission. Think- flexible. You know, like those ladies that go to those yoga classes you’ve been meaning to sign up for? Yes, you are a flexible swan.
- Bring snacks. Your husband will be happy and so will the kids. Everyone loves snacks, even babies. If your baby is too young to snack I would still recommend something orally gratifying, a teething ring? Favorite pacifier? Keep everyone’s mouths full so there is no chance of crying or whining (kidding, sort of!)
- Cheap flip flops are a must. Need to run into the gas station for a quick bathroom break? Flip flops. Not 100% comfortable with the shower at your hotel? Flip flops. Anyone else get excited at the mound of 99 cent flip flops at Walmart during the summer? No? Just me?
- Have a first aid kit handy. This may just be the nurse in me but what could it hurt? (No pun intended). I’ve never met a kid that doesn’t like a colorful bandaid. Even my teenage patients won’t pass one up. You are super mom remember? Prepared for any situation!
- Cheesy games while riding in the car are essential. I always loved taking road trips with friends and seeing the different traditions amongst families. Finding certain letters or words on street signs or license plates are easy for everyone. Also, I hear mystery podcasts can be quite the entertainment while passing the time!
- Ditch social media, there I said it. I always love when I know a friend is on vacation and I see zero posts from her all week long. I just know she is too busy with her family to scroll through her phone. The first day or so may be tough but you’ll learn to love the quality time I promise. Some memories are so much better without a smartphone in hand.
- Sleeeeeep. You’re probably thinking, “Sleep in? With my kids? Are you kidding?” Go back to those early days of having a newborn when people told you to, “nap when the baby naps.” Sneak some shut-eye whenever you can, your body will thank you later. 4 pm nap sound too late? Who cares? You’re on vacation!
- Pictures, pictures, pictures! Snap a picture here and there. Even if the moment doesn’t seem all that magical, snap it anyway. One of my favorite vacation photos is my husband playing cards with my grandfather the summer before he passed. At the time, everyone was sunburnt in their pajamas and I didn’t think much about it, but oh how I cherish it now.
- Lastly, on the drive home, have everyone take a turn discussing their favorite part of the trip. It sounds corny, but it’ll be fun seeing the different perspectives of what everyone enjoyed most. Though the late-night swim at the pool may not have meant much to you, your adoring preschooler may think otherwise!
Vacations are about making memories with your family. Let loose and enjoy little moments that your typical schedule would not allow. Explore new places and laugh, a lot! Come Monday morning at work, you’ll be glad you did.