Don’t Let Summer Vacation Terrorize You: Tips for a Fun Family Vacation and Taking it in Stride
We’ve all seen them before. They wander with their dead eyes, disheveled clothes and frazzled hair, through airports, or are seen tumbling out of cars trailed by crumbs and empty juice cartons. They are zombie moms; moms who are trying to navigate summer vacation but have become disoriented by all the hassle.
But summer vacation doesn’t have to be a source of stress. It should be about the fun of spending time with family relaxing, seeing new sights and relishing the memories that you’re building. To avoid becoming a zombie mom on your summer vacation, be prepared in advance by following a few of these tips from a fellow traveling mom.
1. Pack as though your sanity depends on it.
Consider what baggage is best before you start packing. If you’ll be traveling by plane, a backpack can be especially easy because it keeps your hands free in busy airports. Give the kids a backpack of their own that’s packed with snacks and entertainment for the traveling portion of your trip. If you want a trendier look for yourself, check out Polyvore for a variety of great backpacks in all styles, colors and price ranges.
2. Research, rinse and repeat.
Do your research. Think about what kind of vacation fits your family. Do you have young kids, teenagers or a combination of both? Look for family-friendly hotels and resorts that have enough activities to keep people of all ages occupied. Use travel services like Gogobot to find hotels with pools, playgrounds or kids clubs to keep your kids busy and occupied. With some research you might even be able to find a hotel that offers a kids program so you can sneak away for a romantic dinner with your spouse. I found a great list of Orlando hotels that offered tons of family-friendly tips and tricks when it came to making a decision.
3. Put down the stilettos. You won’t be needing them.
In this case, less really is more. You’ll look most fashionable if you bring a few simple pieces that coordinate easily and resist wrinkles. Be sure to include at least one dress that can go from day to evening. Dress up a maxi dress with a light weight jacket or elegant wrap. You’ll look good and feel comfortable too.
4. Don’t be afraid of small spaces.
If you’ll be traveling by car, try to make the space as comfortable as possible for small children. What parent hasn’t heard some version of “Are we there yet?” Long car rides can be a drag, but they can also be a good time for young ones to get some sleep. Bring some blankets and pillows from home and create an on-the-go slumber party. Invest in some blinds for the windows to keep out the bright sunlight and avoid those cranky wakeups.
5. Is it “forget to remember” or “remember to forget?”
Forget the strict schedule, but remember the routine. Kids – especially young ones – are used to routines. Plan time for naps if you have young children, and take plenty of breaks for snacks as needed. Everyone, including kids, needs to have some relaxation on their vacation. You’ll feel much more relaxed if you don’t have kids who are breaking down because they are over-tired or hungry.
Kendra Thornton: Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. I am a long time travel expert who has been packing my bags and traveling the world since I was 3 months old! I’ve found my utmost desire in life is right here in my own home. I have taken my excitement for travel and brought it to you with some of my favorite travel tips and tricks. Enjoy!