As a mom, I dread going on vacation with my kids. I love my kids. I love spending time with them, but taking them on trips is basically torture. Not only do we have to pack for everyone, but we also have to think of all the extras that need to come along with us. I always forget something and inevitably stress out about whether we can survive without that item or not.
One of my friends put it best; we lose the home-court advantage. We don’t have their toys, their favorite cup, plate, or spoon (If you’re a mom, you know this is important!), their bed, all of their stuffed animals— the list could seriously go on forever. Kids from birth through 6-years-old can seriously struggle with these things leaving mom and dad to struggle right along with them.
So here are some tips that can help you make sure that your vacation with kids is a little less stressful:
- Lower your expectations. Don’t expect to get to do everything you want to do. Don’t expect that your kid won’t eat sand. These things will happen.
- Take a high schooler along. Bring a teen or someone old enough to watch your kids/listen to the baby monitor while they sleep so that you can have some relaxing time on the beach or a game night.
- Make time for naps. It doesn’t have to be at the regularly scheduled time. Just some time to rest and recharge for everyone will help. Even if it is a car nap, it is something.
- Use Dollar Tree, and stores like it, to your advantage. Go buy cheap toys that you can use as bribes. Get stuff that is new and fun that they can play with on the beach, and if it gets ruined, no big deal.
- Don’t be a stickler about what your kid eats on vacation. They are out of the routine and likely will become more picky for the time away. Didn’t you know that the Oscar Mayer hot dogs in South Carolina are different from the ones in St. Louis? I kid you not, they may just eat cheeseballs for a week, and if they do, they’ll still survive.
Despite these tips, you will likely still have struggles on vacation with kids. It’s okay. We all do. And you know what? You’ll also have vacation detox where the kids have to acclimate to home again as well. Buy yourself a pair of new sunglasses and comfortable sandals because you can do this, but new shoes always help.