Stress-free family trips
Supersavvyme offers tips for making your family holiday stress-free, such as preparing the kids for their holiday destination and planning fun activities.
Five easy strategies for a memorable family holiday.
Even though the idea of a holiday is to rest and have a good time, family trips can have undesirable side effects: kids who are grumpy, bored or irritated, and frustrated, tired parents.
The following strategies can help make your next trip much less stressful, and instead make it a holiday you’ll always remember.
1. Tell them about the holiday destination
It’s a good idea to tell your kids where you’re going, so they know what to expect. If you’re going to visit your sister and she has three dogs and two cats, make sure to mention this, for example – ‘Auntie Ruth’s house is a little noisy because she has a lot of animals; it’s great fun!’ Children adapt much better to changes when they know about them ahead of time.
2. Be positive
Make sure you always have a positive attitude towards your family holiday. For example, if flight travel or someone you’re going to see tends to cause you stress, never complain in front of your children. It’s better to talk about subjects that help create positive memories, for example, how fast you can get from one place to another by flying, or reminding yourselves about how much the kids enjoy playing with a relative or friend you’re going to see.
3. Change the time gradually
If your holiday destination is in another time zone, move bedtime back (or forward) by 10 to 15 minutes every couple of days, a week or so before you travel. This gradual change will avoid exhaustion during the trip. Don’t forget to use the same plan a week before returning.
4. Plan Fun Activities
Keep the children busy and entertained. Ask them what they would like to do in the back seat of the car or during the flight; you can take a portable videogame and books or give them a new notebook for drawing. If they are bored by everything, try fun games from your own childhood. Some family favorites like ‘I-spy’ or song games.
5. Take Something Familiar
Children feel comfortable with familiar things. When their normal routine is changed, you need to help them ease into unfamiliar situations and new places. Take small objects that your child uses everyday: a favourite spoon for breakfast; their most-loved teddy; a plastic toy for the bathtub; a favourite book; and their own pillow. These will make your child feel closer to home.