November 24, 2017

Just Relax: 7 Ways to Enjoy Your Family Vacation

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It’s Friday. Thank goodness. I’ve been waking up super early every day this week to run or go to my personal trainer, and I’m exhausted, and probably cranky too. Well, definitely cranky. So this seemed like the perfect time to put together some tips on how to relax on a family vacation, or at the very least to not want to throttle someone at some point during much-needed time away.

1) Have Snacks at All Times. French parents may disagree – you’ll know what I mean if you’ve read anything about the new book, “Bringing Up Bébé” – but I can’t listen to my kids tell me how hungry they are eight times in a ten-minute span. It’s not like I keep caramels and lollipops in my purse, but I do have mostly nutritious snacks, like granola bars and goldfish crackers, on me at all times. Having a bottle of water is an extra bonus.

2) Pack a Backpack. Pack a backpack for each child when you travel (light enough for each child to carry their own, which is key if you’re traveling by plane) with their favorite activities, coloring books, snacks and books. Seriously, how annoying is it to be on vacation, whether at the beach or a favorite theme park, and you’re kids are still saying “I’m bored?” Really? So I try to head that off whenever possible.

3) Get Your Own Room. When we went to Walt Disney World in November we rented a house a mile or two away from Magic Kingdom and it was heaven. I had my own room (well, I shared with my husband), and it had a door. My kids shared rooms, also with doors. I love my kids dearly, but after a long day together, I need those doors and I need them to close.

4) Take Naps. The more tired my kids get, the more whiny and unappealing they can be. The same goes for me, so I advocate naps. By mid-day, everyone can use a nap. I actually fell asleep yesterday around 3 while I was helping my daughter study for a math test (I’m such a good mom). We all need more rest, and the time to get rest is on vacation, so don’t run yourself ragged every day. Make time for naps.

5) Go to Bed at a Reasonable Hour. I’ll never understand why some parents drag their kids around late at night. Young children don’t need to be out well past their normal bedtimes (so you know, fireworks shows are pretty much all the same). I’ve been out in Times Square at 11 p.m. and seen parents with kids in strollers there too. What is that about? Kids are less cranky with more sleep, which makes me less cranky. Enough said.

6) Pour a Glass of Wine. If you don’t drink alcohol, then don’t drink. But if you do, then pop open a bottle and enjoy a glass of wine (or two) at the end of the day once the kids are in bed. Again, “at the end of the day once the kids are in bed.” I’m not one to drink while out and about with the kids, and besides, wine can make me sleepy, so the closer I can be to my bed, the better.

7) Just Relax Already. I know, easier said than done, but when I say to relax, what I’m really saying is, “Don’t sprint to the other side of the park to get a FASTPASS.” If you get to ride Toy Story Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, that’s great, but if not, that’s okay too. When you start to feel rushed, your kids can tell and they start to get stressed, so let’s avoid that, okay.

Do you have any great tips for keeping your cool and relaxing while on vacation with your family? Let me know in the comments, and have a great weekend!

Photo Credit: Pierre-Yves Babelon

Comments

  1. Great tips! I always pack them a backpack, I try to throw a surprise of some sort in there too like new magazine or a puzzle book.

    I’ve been trying to figure out for years why parents keep their kids up until midnight just because it’s vacation! Not cool. We all suffer from kids having meltdowns.

    I’m proud to say that I’ve finally learned to take a slower pace on vacation and to remember to kick back at the pool once in a while. Turns out we still have a blast, even if we do miss Toy Story Mania.

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