Holidays mean traveling for a lot of people. Packing up those suitcases and hitting the road or hopping on a plane. Whether you are traveling to be with extended family, or traveling to get away, the most important thing is to be flexible.
Timing Your Trip
For our family, traveling is a priority, but we are also focusing on making good financial decisions to help us get farther ahead. This year for Christmas, we are visiting family in Florida. However we headed to Florida on Dec 12 instead of over the Christmas break. This one little switch has saved us a fortune!
Plus resorts, hotels, and amusement parks have more availability and are quieter. The money we save can be allocated towards other things. Keep in mind that Thanksgiving is the number one travel holiday so we avoid traveling that week at all cost.
Routine and Food
Flexibility is key when you travel, especially with kids. Your children will not be in their normal environment, which can be scary, tiring, and very trying for you. You aren’t going to be able to stick to your normal routine or your normal diet.
Of course, it’s helpful to be prepared and have snacks and a few comforts from home. But staying flexible is the biggest thing you can do to enjoy your trip.
Our family typically eats dinner around 4:30pm (I know – we joke that it’s the Blue Hair special) but when we are on vacation that can be troublesome. I know my kids are going to be hungry, so I pack a few snacks in a backpack, but I’m also going to let them grab something to eat even if it’s not “dinner time.”
Would I do that on a normal day? No, but there is no reason we can’t be flexible and really enjoy ourselves. It’s much better than listening to hungry kids whine.
Although we are creatures of habit, it’s okay to loosen up a bit. A little junk food isn’t going to kill anyone!
Go With The Flow
Are you the kind of person that focuses on every little thing that goes wrong? Having a plan is great, but don’t let it ruin your vacation if things don’t go exactly right. It’s not going to be perfect.
Adjust your expectations and focus on the positive. Keep your attention on the silver lining and you will have much more fun!
When things don’t go the way you anticipated, how do you react? Your response can make or break the situation. Remember, the adults set the mood of the crowd. If you are upset your kids will be upset, too. Laugh it off and go with the flow.
My friend Sarah is a perfect example of this. She has the best laugh! I think it’s because she has had years to perfect it. Her husband, Tom, is a combo of Clark Griswold and Chip Gaines. He is always doing something; forgetting the diaper bag on an European vacation, losing the keys, riding the kids mini bike (he is 6’ 3”), jumping in the neighbors hot tub. Sarah always laughs it off with a big smile!
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Remember, at the end of the day, you are traveling to create wonderful experiences and memories. You’re on vacation with your family.
My tip for you this holiday season is to be FLEXIBLE and have lots of laughs.