Family vacations are meant to be a refreshing respite from our busy life. You still have fond memories of those fun family trips from when you were a kid, and you want your children to have similar memories. But now that you’re the parent, family vacations can be the complete opposite of relaxing. Poor scheduling, wrangling cranky toddlers (or teenagers) and even being unprepared for bad weather can quickly zap your energy. The result: You’re so exhausted that you start to wonder why you took this vacation in the first place.
Luckily, there are ways to reduce and eliminate this extreme exhaustion and fatigue while on vacation. Here are six tips to help you have a relaxing family vacation.
A Quiet Getaway vs. a Bustling City
You may have always wanted to visit a large city like New York City, London or Tokyo, but navigating a metropolis can be a taxing experience for most adults. Add young children into the equation, and suddenly trying to get from your hotel to the city’s attractions seems more difficult than climbing Mount Everest. Instead, opt for a week at the beach or the mountains. There will still be plenty to do and the whole experience will be far less hectic.
It can be tempting to fill every hour of every day with amazing activities and must-see attractions. But staying that busy every single day guarantees burnout and exhaustion, not just for you, but for your kids too. Get rid of the pressure of having to do and see it all and plan less activity each day. This helps you feel less rushed and allows you to focus on quality experiences instead of quantity. Also, plan a lazy day during your trip. Sleep in, relax in the rental cottage, lounge on the beach and read a book. You’ll feel refreshed, restored and ready to experience more.
Put Your Phone Away
In today’s social media-obsessed culture, there’s pressure to post every little detail about your vacation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Don’t waste precious time trying to get that perfect family selfie at every attraction. Do take pictures, but then put the phone away and simply enjoy being in the moment. There’ll be plenty of time to share pictures of your trip on social media once you’re home.
Plan Time Away from Each Other
You don’t have to do every activity with the whole family. If you have teenagers, let them go off and do their own thing instead of forcing them to spend every hour of every day with you. If you have young children, rotate child-watching duty with your spouse. While your husband watches the kids, go down to the day spa and get a relaxing massage. Let your husband have an afternoon off to fish on the pier.
Sleep is your Friend
During your trip, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. For an adult, the average is eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. But studies have shown that during vacations, most people rack up a sleep loss of eight hours – one full night of sleep! Don’t try to stay up late and wake up early every day. Giving yourself time to rest will help you have a more enjoyable and fulfilled vacation experience.
Now, go off and enjoy your family vacation. Make wonderful memories that you and your kids will remember forever.