Traveling with your family can be fun, and in so many ways, there should be opportunities for bonding as you spend time away together.
On the other hand, traveling with your family can be stressful, and instead of bonding together, your relationships might fall away at the seams as you bicker and struggle with each other’s conflicting needs and wants.
To ensure your time away together has more of the former and less of the latter, you need to consider the 3 C’s of stress-free family travel.
In the planning stages for your vacation, the choices you make are vitally important for reducing the stress of a family holiday.
You should choose the right location, picking a place that has something for all of the family. It needs to be a place that offers you the opportunity for fun, rest, and relaxation, but if you have children along for the ride, it also needs to be a place that engages them in their downtime away from their regular life too. They might only utter those fearsome words, ‘I’m bored’ otherwise!
And you should also choose the right accommodation, deciding on the best fit for your family. Depending on the size of your family unit, you might prefer the option of summer rentals over a hotel if there are plenty of you. This might be cheaper than booking separate hotel rooms, and so there will be less stress around finances when away. On the other hand, if you value your privacy, and especially if you have teenagers along for the ride, you might want to book separate hotel rooms, as you can then have sufficient space without getting in each others way when you are trying to relax on your own.
Within both examples, consider the next point before making a choice.
This is about talking to each member of your family. Instead of making all of the decisions as to where to go, where to stay, and on every aspect of the itinerary while away, ask your partner and children for their opinions.
What do they want from a holiday?
What activities do they want to take part in?
What part of the world do they want to visit?
What kind of accommodation would they favor?
If you don’t take each other’s needs and wants into account at the outset, you might struggle to get along later on, especially if the holiday you have chosen is primarily geared towards your own ideas. Therefore, draw everybody together when planning your vacation, and get an understanding of each others wishes and bucket list ideas to ensure you all have a good time when away.
Following on from the previous point, you do need to compromise, not only in the planning stages but also when away. There will be times when you have to sacrifice what you want in service of another family member, and there will be times when they will have to adhere to your preferences.
Therefore, make compromise a habit. If you want to spend a day on the beach relaxing one day, ensure your children have a say in what happens on the next day of your vacation. If you want to eat at one particular restaurant one evening, let somebody else pick where to eat the following evening. When everybody has a say in the itinerary, there will be less need for squabbles and temper tantrums should somebody not get their own way.
Choice, clarification, and compromise. The three C’s for a stress-free family vacation. Ensure you stick to each within your planning, and hopefully, you will all have opportunities for fun and bonding aplenty.