Family vacations, as glamorous as they sound, can also be stressful. For those with children, sometimes you can be so focused on ensuring that they are having an awesome experience, that it doesn’t really feel like a vacation to you. We recently took a family vacation. We usually spend our holiday time visiting family, so this much anticipated trip was our first family vacation in a number of years.
In the days prior as I prepared, I did question what possessed me to want us to take this vacation! Our staycation was so fabulous and stress free…why did I suddenly want to pack for 5 people for an entire week! This feeling returned when we had a flight delay prior to leaving Providenciales, and we had a crying baby, a over-active toddler and a restless kid on our hands.
Thankfully, our flight delay wasn’t long and InterCaribbean Airways provided a lovely flight to Kingston and on to Montego Bay. We were certainly happy to be able to access the region directly from the TCI! So fabulous!
We then were shuttled to the Grand Palladium - Lady Hamilton Resort and Spa. We enjoyed the benefits of being special guests of Travel Club members and everything was phenomenal. The service, the food, the facilities…we couldn’t have asked for a better environment to have a family vacation and to meet with some friends.
The thing is, no matter how phenomenal the environment, so much of an experience revolves around ones attitude and mindset. This is even more true when you are travelling with little people, as little people have very little predictability!
If you want to enjoy a family vacation, you need to take intentional steps to do so. Otherwise, it is very easy to miss out on the ordinary magic that takes place in front of you and come home feeling exhausted, frustrated and needing to re-fuel.
Here are my top 5 ways to actually enjoy your family vacations.
1. Disconnect to Connect. Detach from phones, tablets and computers. If tech communication time is needed, schedule it. With constant availability of cellular service and Wi-Fi, it is very easy to check a ‘ping’ and end up getting lured into the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
2. Make your expectation family joy. Worry less about packing in the activities and excursions and choose just a few that are in line with what your family sees as joy.
3. Get enough sleep. Make sure your children get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation in children can mean irritability, impulsivity, inattentiveness and a bunch of other fun stuff. When your children are sleep deprived, you may have more behavior challenges than necessary.
4. Schedule non-negotiables. If you have daily non-negotiables such as meditating, working out, journaling etc. find a way to get it in most days. Most peoples non-negotiables generally fuel them and have a positive impact on their lives. Taking them out during family vacations can have a negative impact on the individual and on the dynamic of the vacation.
5. Choose a destination in line with your family needs. When choosing a destination, be sure to keep in mind the age of your children, their personality, yours, your partners and anyone else that will be travelling. We sometimes choose pop0ular destinations for their practicality and what they offer, just be sure that what they offer is in line with the needs of your family of travellers!
Shifting Perspectives is a weekly conversation with Yolande. Yolande, a Canadian of Caribbean descent, now calls the Turks and Caicos Islands home and in this podcast challenges Caribbean woman worldwide to fuel themselves with diversity in the way they think, the way they work, the way they parent and the way they live.