Family vacations can be hard work, whether it is just for a weekend getaway or a long trip of fun activities. Packing, planning, and prepping can overwhelm any mother and cause her to dread the trip all together. In order to survive family vacations, I have created these rules for myself so I can be sure to have some fun, too!
1. Fit in Alone Time
Being in a new place with all the fun excursions can take its toll if I don’t get some quiet time. So I bring a book with the purpose of actually reading it. The kids will usually be up late with dinners and activities so we have some variation of rest time in the afternoons. This also gives me a bit of a mental break from the on-the-go attitude that family vacations can bring.
2. Make Some Fun Purchases
I create a little budget for something special to take home. My husband knows I love earrings so he makes sure I have time to shop for a pair. He collects carved wooden objects so we get excited if we see those. We give ourselves permission to get something we enjoy, and there is no guilt or frustration between us.
3. Go on a Mini Date
If we go on vacation with extended family we try to squeeze in a mini date here or there. Whether it’s a morning coffee at the local cafe, or a walk on the beach before bedtime while family members babysit and watch a movie with the kids.
4. Trade Chores
I don’t always want to have to get up and cook breakfast like I do at home. Some mornings I would like to relax and sit on the porch with a cup of tea and enjoy the view. My husband and I take turns with breakfast duty so we can trade off sleeping in, or enjoying a peaceful morning. Exchanging household duties on vacation gives your spouse a break from the mundane. My husband might change more diapers than when we are at home, but I get a break from the everyday obligations.
5. Embrace the 3 Ps
Planning, packing, and prepping can be giant tasks when leaving for a family trip. I know that my work will pay off on our trip, so the more organized I am before the trip, the less stress I will have on our family vacation. I prep and plan and pack my little heart out, so I won’t have to worry about where the medicine is at 3 a.m., or if I brought enough diapers, and so I don’t spend my morning figuring out what the kids are wearing that day.
6. Convenience Wins
Bring on the paper plates and the pre-shredded cheese. Convenience on family vacations allows us more time to play and less headache over work. Before we go on our family vacation, I grab a few dollar store toys for the kids to play with so I don’t stress about them losing their favorite toy or stuffed animal. The kids love their new gifts, and I don’t care if they break or disappear. If they are enjoying their time, I am enjoying my time.
We are blessed to go on several family vacations each year and these rules have come to surface after lots of practice. I sure hope they inspire you to think of what will help you enjoy your next family vacation!