Heading off on an action-packed holiday with your family this year? We all love getting away and forging memories together. However, when you travel sometimes the stress levels can be peaked. Or is that just in our house. We have a running joke that Chris gets stressed on travel day!
Here are my top tips to ensure you all enjoy a stress-free family holiday.
Make a rough draft of your schedule
This doesn’t have to be stuck to religiously. But it would definitely be helpful to come up with a rough idea of where you want to go and on what day. We have planned and booked our evening meal for the first couple of nights our trip to Greece next week, so we know the boys will have planned meals, whilst we plan the rest.
This will put your mind at rest when you arrive, as you’ll have a basic footing for what your next few days in a new and exciting location will theoretically look like.
Utilise an online holiday planning tool, or simply use the old-fashioned pen and paper method. Craft an loose plan of what your schedule is going to look like. Remember, this doesn’t have to dictate your entire trip – it’s just a device to make the first few days less stressful.
Keep a constant supply of snacks handy
An empty stomach leads to a very disgruntled child (or adult for that matter). Keep everyone in good spirits by taking along a number of (preferably healthy) snacks, especially when travelling with a diabetic teen. This should have the desired effect of making sure everyone stays healthy and doesn’t suffer from a “hangry” outburst or even worse a hypo.
The earlier you book your trip the better. Generally as we now know flights are cheaper. But we wont talk about that I am still too angry at the cost of our Greece flights. I should have booked the day the flights came out and saved hundreds. It also takes a great deal of stress out of your trip. Having the peace of mind to know exactly where you’ll be and when is priceless. Nobody wants to leave it late only to find they have to book a hotel, which is miles from their desired destination – that’s if they can even find one at all.
Read up on where you’re going. Finding out what you can about your destination, such as local customs, prices and popular spots to visit will make things considerably easier when you arrive. This will naturally be tied into the stage of planning which sees you drawing up a rough plan of your excursion.
Give teens more freedom
The older your children are, the more time you should give them to themselves, should they want it. While you’ll need to keep some sort of control over them at all times, don’t be afraid to let them explore and forge their own memories within a safe environment. For us that is all about finding a resort that has lots arranged for their age groups, sport being a key factor.
Plan for the flight
Arguably the most stressful part of any holiday – whether you’re traveling with kids or not – are the flights. Make sure to think about this step of the process well in advance of your trip, and try to pick up some tips for flying with children while you do.
Ensure you are all well prepared so prevent boredom. Check that tablets can be taken on your chosen flight, and if so are fully charged. Pack snacks, magazines and a book so ensure teens are kept occupied to prevent dreaded boredom setting in!
Make sure you don’t overdo it when it comes to packing. At the same time, it’s also crucial to remember not to pack too lightly. I have made the fatal mistake of packing too lightly. Finding the balance isn’t easy, but you’ll be able to if you take a good, hard look at everything you’re packing, plan in terms of days and outfits needed and assess accordingly.
Oh and if weight allows you can never pack to many shoes!
Holidays are about chilling and enjoying family time. Forget the routine and have fun. Eat when you want to, plan meals outside of routine. Splash in the pool till the sun goes down, and dance the night away. Holidays are for making memories and if you are worrying about your routine too much to miss a gorgeous sunset then that would be such a shame.
The true fact is, we soon slip back into the routine when we are home. But life is for living and holidays are for kicking back and forgetting the dreaded routine.
No matter what you are doing have a wonderful Easter, and if you are off somewhere with your family, forget that routine and enjoy a few sunsets.