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Travel Tips for Busy Parents: How to Plan a Vacation to Remember

The thought of a vacation is probably very enticing, yet you feel overwhelmed by the expense and options. Drill down your decision to a specific area and start planning from there. Once you decide on your destination, you can start to focus on details, such as where you will stay, what you will do, and how to manage “couple time.”

Budgeting for Fun

Peak times for key family destinations can price you out of a vacation. Travel experts recommend researching rates for what they call “shoulder season.” This window of time includes the months between peak and off-peak seasons — even scheduling an extended weekend may result in a better experience for your family and your wallet.

Dining and lodging are two of the major expenses you face on vacation. Where to stay is an important decision because the cost can influence how many nights you reserve. Renting a vacation home is one way to save money on lodging and dining. Sharing a home with relatives and friends can greatly reduce your vacation expenses. Utilizing the kitchen can reduce food costs, leaving more money for fun attractions.

Strive for Structure

Keeping some sense of structure is important for reducing stress during your vacation. While one attractive feature of vacations is the lack of a schedule for adults, kids are often lost without one. Days without any structure and planning lead to tired, hungry, and grumpy children — and cranky adults.

Depending on a child’s age, a vacation to someplace unfamiliar can cause anxiety. Introducing them to fun activities can lessen their uncertainty about the trip. Stick to regular meal schedules and bedtimes as much as possible; this enforces their regular routine, making for an easier transition when they return home.

Family Resorts and Cruises

For couples who want both a family vacation and a romantic one, family resorts or a cruise may fit into your plans. Certified childcare staff are available on most cruise lines and offer activities and programs for children. Knowing your little ones are in good hands gives you the peace of mind you need to relax together.

Many family resorts also offer supervised activities for children, along with opportunities for couples who want to reconnect with romance. There’s no need for guilt, as many of these programs go beyond basic babysitting. Children participate in different learning exercises, such as nature walks and art projects.

Rekindle Your Romance

Children demand attention, and as loving parents, you strive to meet their daily needs. This often results in both parents feeling exhausted with no time for romance. Rekindling your romance, especially after a baby, is important for the health of your marriage. The chaos of everyday life can easily cause you to drift away from one another as work and kids pull at your attention.

Romance isn’t always candlelight and soft music. As Kindred Bravely explains, sometimes it is an outdoor activity, such as hiking or biking together. If it is a romantic dinner, then make a rule of no talking about work or the kids for your time together.

Investing in quality time together by doing something you both enjoy can put a spark back in your marriage. Don’t let the spark end with vacation; start a tradition of a Saturday hike or a Sunday brunch once you return home. Ask friends and family to help with the kids — chances are they want to help you and spend time with the children.

Life is a series of stressful days, making a family vacation all the more important. By planning a vacation you can afford, sticking to a familiar schedule, and stealing time away, you can all relax. Traveling with children is indeed often stressful; however, their smiles and laughter are a great reward. Vacation memories are priceless, for your children and for you as a couple. A little strategic planning can go a long way to making your next vacation a dream one for everyone.

Image via Pixabay


shoulder season - Renting a vacation home - vacations - regular routine - programs for children - Rekindling your romance - outdoor activity - planning a vacation - Pixabay -

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