It’s that time of the year again when your family is off for a long vacation. They say family travels are great ways to experience new things with your loved ones. You get to teach your kids lessons they can’t learn at home and at school. Your travel choices can reflect your values. It can even help your family unplug and realize that there are far better ways to enjoy their free time than with their gadgets alone.
But for parents, family trips are nowhere near relaxing. It can actually be more stressful traveling with the family than staying at home. This is especially true if you have a cranky baby, a toddler who can’t sit still, or a teenager who would rather stay at home and play video games.
Luckily, there are things you can do to better prepare yourself for the trip. Don’t simply indulge in making the necessary physical preparations. The best gift you can give yourself on a trip is a mentally prepared mind.
Here’s how you can mentally prepare yourself for a family trip:
Prep Everything You Need Before the Big Day
There are so many things that can go wrong on the date of your trip. You might forget something extremely important, your car can break down, someone can get sick, or you can end up traveling in the middle of bad weather. The more prepared you are for these emergencies, the better peace of mind you can have while traveling.
Create a list of everything you might need and help the kids pack smart but light. Make sure you are ticking more items off of your list as the big day draws near. Double-check reservations and make sure everything is all set.
So, make sure you already calculated measures to avoid all these. Take your car to your local mechanic and have them prepare your vehicle for the long trip. Clean your car at least three days before the trip and slowly pack the things you will need.
If you find that your car incurred any damages, make sure to have the car checked and repaired before you go. This will help ensure your car stays in good shape despite the many miles it already traveled. If, for instance, your car needs hail damage repair after a recent hail storm, don’t wait for the damages to pile up and have this repaired asap.
Don’t forget to check the weather forecast and the climate of your destination. You don’t want to end up getting caught up in the middle of a rainstorm, a hailstorm, or even a blizzard. Make sure to check the weather forecast each day and adjust your schedule accordingly for your family’s safety.
Prepare Engaging Activities for the Kids
Traveling with kids can be both fun and overwhelming. Some kids don’t like getting strapped on their car seats for long hours at a time. They can easily get cranky if you don’t keep them happy, full, and engaged. So, make sure you bring things that can keep them busy and plan activities to keep kids engaged.
Bring their favorite healthy snacks and pack their food and drinks in spill-proof containers. Make sure you have a mini trash can in your car to keep their trash in one place. Place everything they might need on an organizer strapped in at the back of the seats, so they can easily reach out for them.
Plan your route and where the family can eat, take bathroom breaks or stretch after a few hours on the road. Prepare a special box or kit for all of your kids. This should contain the things that can keep them preoccupied while you drive.
Bring Your Sense of Humor
Lastly, make sure to take your sense of humor along when you travel with the family. Many things can ruin your mood when traveling. If you leave your sense of humor behind, you can end up feeling bad for the whole duration of the trip.
So, make sure to be flexible and allow yourself to relax. Let the kids enjoy themselves for as long as no one is hurt, and they are not disturbing anything or anyone. Open your mind to new experiences and allow them to explore their surroundings with your supervision.
Learn how to let go and let loose. You can enjoy a family trip without losing your mind. Just make sure you set road rules to keep them in check while you are traveling.
Family travels don’t have to be stressful. You just need to be creative so you too can enjoy the trip without losing your sanity. Plan your trip ahead, anticipate problems you may encounter, and bring along your open mind and humor. Focus on the memories and stop wasting time trying to turn this into the perfect travel. As long as everyone is safe and having fun, then you’re already doing a great job keeping yourself together.