9 Summer Travel Tips for Your Family: Stress-Free & Healthy Travel
Everyone looks forward to their summer family vacation. With these excellent summer travel tips, you can make sure that the whole family will enjoy a stress-free and healthy time away from home!
1. Scope out healthy eating options
Exploring new restaurants and indulging in delicious food is one of the best parts of traveling. But make sure that you’re balancing out indulgent meals with healthy options too. Do some research ahead of time and make a list of healthy, affordable places to eat that the whole family will love.
2. Put together a travel folder
It’s true that we live in the digital age. But it’s not a good idea to rely solely on Wi-Fi or electronic devices to coordinate all your travel plans. Before you leave home, print hard copies of all your travel documents, itineraries and reservations, and put them in a folder to take with you for convenient reference.
3. Calculate a realistic budget
As anyone who has ever gone on vacation knows, spending money while traveling can add up quickly. To feel in control of your vacation spending, and not come home to a massive credit card bill, set a budget before you go. Know ahead of time how much you’re realistically willing to spend, and keep tabs on it along the way.
4. Pack games, activities & books
Besides serving as boredom-busters on the plane or in the car, familiar games, books and activities will also save the day if you run into inclement weather on your trip and need to spend an afternoon indoors.
5. Have a (flexible) itinerary
It’s important to have an itinerary for your vacation so that you can prioritize the activities that you really want to do and when. But things rarely go exactly as planned, so remember to be flexible. Assume that you may not get to everything on your list, and prepare kids for that chance too.
6. Make time for downtime
Speaking of schedules, you don’t want to create a vacation itinerary that’s so jam-packed with activities that it leaves your family exhausted and cranky. Remember that vacation should be a time to relax and unwind a bit. Build in a free afternoon or two, and see where the day takes you. Taking time for an afternoon nap can reduce stress and increase your energy levels for the remainder of the day.
7. Be clear about rules & expectations
Kids can sometimes interpret travel as a magical time where rules don’t apply, but most parents disagree. Are they allowed to stay up a little later? Eat an extra serving of dessert? What about spending money? Discussing vacation rules and expectations with your kids ahead of time can help avoid stress and conflict while you’re away.
8. Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water while you’re out and about traveling in the summer is key to having a great time and feeling good. Proper hydration keeps your body cool, energy levels high and hunger in check. Bring reusable water bottles for each family member and take them with you when you’ll be out for longer periods of time.
9. Pack light
It can be tempting to overpack when going away. But hauling around heavy suitcases with stuff you probably won’t even use is a sure-fire way to cause stress. Make packing lists for each family member and use only one suitcase per person whenever possible. If you’re going for a longer trip, consider doing laundry while you’re away to cut down on the clothes you’ll bring.
For the best family-friendly tips and activities this summer, take a look through all of Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ great articles.