It’s almost Summertime. That means school breaks and family trips. There are three keys to enjoying vacation as a mom and they deal with planning, packing, and participating.
A familiar saying in this house is going away with just the grown-ups is a vacation, going away with the kids is just a trip. But it doesn’t HAVE to be that way! Here are some things YOU can do to enjoy your vacation as much as the rest of your family!
3 Keys to Enjoying Vacation as a Mom
Outsource Travel Planning:
While it may not be the case for all families, I know for mine and many others, the task of planning the trip falls squarely on Mom’s shoulders. This means mom needs to balance the budget with the fun. Planning activities while away from home that will appeal to all members of the family. If something has to be cut because of the budget, it’s almost always whatever she had planned for herself.
If you find the idea of finding and booking transportation, lodging, and activities for your whole family for your whole vacation daunting, DON’T DO IT! Find a travel agent and let them do the work.
A lot of people think that Travel Agents are a dying breed, but you can get great prices and fantastic service with one. They will be able to head off travel drama and help with canceled flights or overbooked hotels. So if planning stresses you out, just don’t do it!
And whether you are planning or handing over the reigns to a travel agent, make sure there is something fun planned for YOU! Don’t skip an activity you really want to experience just because one member of the family might not love it. Getting that time to do what you love is an important part of feeling like it’s a vacation for you, too!
Then after all the planning comes the packing. Mom packs for the whole family. She creates packing lists and makes sure that swimsuits and flip flops still fit. If they don’t, she goes out to the store to pick up new ones in the right sizes. She buys the sunscreen and travel toothbrushes and toothpaste.
I’ve read some really great advice about packing. Bring half the stuff you think you’ll need and twice the money. You really don’t need as much as you think you might. Get SMART about packing and you won’t have to worry about having a special outfit or shoe for every occasion.
Participate in The Fun
And finally ON vacation Mom is the trip manager. She makes sure everyone is awake when they need to be, dressed and sunscreened appropriately and fed with the healthiest thing that can be managed while on vacation. She is taking the photos of the family memories, snapping shots of the kids building sandcastles or hiking in the woods or posing with their favorite Disney character.
It’s so easy for moms to be the directors and cameramen during the family fun. But while recording memories is important, MAKING memories is more important. Moms have to remember to step out from behind the camera and live the fun in the moment.
Instead of trying to catch the perfect shot of the kids in the pool, hop in there with them. Set down the camera phone and pick up the fishing rod. Participate in the activities you’ve worked so hard to plan and organize for your family to enjoy.
And don’t forget to ask hubby to take some pictures, too. Make sure he knows you want some pictures of you having fun with the kids. It’s important for kids to be able to look back and remember that mom was involved and invested in them.
By making a few changes you can turn a “family trip” into a vacation. If you hate the planning, pass it off. Stress Less about packing by packing SMART. And finally, be a part of the vacation. When you’re getting in on the fun, your trip really becomes a vacation.