web analytics

6 Ways to Make Family Trips Less Stressful

Family vacations aren’t necessarily vacations for the parents, but they are worthwhile for the entire family. Not only are these trips good for bonding, but science now tells us that environmental enrichment has a beneficial effect on the brain.

6 Ways to Make Family Trips Less Stressful

Exploring a new space can turn on genetic expression of key areas in the frontal lobe, which enhances executive functions like the ability to learn and regulate stress.

Translation? Sharing new experiences as you would on vacation may help make your children smarter. So, how do we pull this family vacay thing off without having a nervous breakdown?

Here are 6 tips to help make those family trips less stressful:

1. Assume the worst yet expect the best

Optimism is great, but if you expect nothing but sunshine and rainbows, you’re likely to be disappointed at some point. Things will eventually go wrong. Try to keep some loose contingency plans in mind, so you’re better equipped to recuperate when they do.

Being prepared for the negative is different than focusing on negativity. Think about what you’ll do if things go wrong, but don’t let it bring you down. Creating a contingency plan gives you control, which means you don’t have to worry about “what ifs.”

2. Involve the kids in planning

Every family will handle planning in their own way. You know what your kids can handle, so be sure to tailor everything to their needs and capabilities. If your children can handle the responsibility, let them help you plan the vacation. If you don’t think they’re ready for that yet, you can still involve them by sharing helpful information about your destination. If they’re armed with knowledge, they’ll feel more like they’re part of planning.

3. Talk about acceptable behavior in advance

If your kids are old enough to understand, talk about acceptable behavior before you go on vacation. For example, the kids may not know exactly how to act in a museum or national monument. Talk about what you expect from them at important moments in your journey.

4. Bring snacks

No one wants to travel with hangry children. Bring more snacks than you think will be necessary because you’ll likely make fewer stops than you expect. When you’re running behind schedule, the quick stop to stretch your legs and grab some snacks is often the first thing to go.

Snacks are also great for breaking up a long day. In addition to sustenance, they also give kids something to focus on between activities. Furthermore, healthy snacks will occupy your children without sending them into a sugar rush.

5. Stay organized

It’s great to be prepared, but if you’re not organized, all that preparation may go out the window. Utilize car organizers and three-ring binders to keep everything you’ll need for your trip neat and organized. This way, you’ll have everything at your fingertips when you need it.

6. Let go of perfection

Even with the best plans and contingency plans, you may encounter some unexpected things. But when you let go of your need for perfection, you’ll be able to react better to any troubles that go your way. Some of the best memories come from detours. Embrace the journey.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.