Do you ever feel like you need a vacation... from your vacation? Yeah, we've been there too. Vacations are so important. They build memories, bring people closer together, change your view of the world, and are so meaningful to everyone invovled. But whether you're traveling with parents, kids, cousins, or friends, getting a group together can add to the stress of any vacation. Today we put together a few tips to help make your next vacation as stress free as possible!
1. Agree on a vacation goal. It might sound silly, but it's one of the most important steps to having a great group vacation. Before you start planning your vacation, it's important to know what you want to do and what you want to get out of your trip. Are you looking to relax in the sun, or hike the ruins, or explore the city? Making sure that everyone in the group has the same expectations before you even start planning will help the vacation go smoothly. 2. Don't let melting ice cream ruin your vacation. Your vacation will inevitably have bumps in the road, but it's the way you handle them that will shape your vacation, and your memories of the vacation. Don't sweat the small stuff, and ENJOY the fact that you're on vacation. If your ice cream falls off the cone and sits there melting on the sidewalk on your last day of vacation, you can sulk over the melting ice cream, or you can move on and remember that the rest of the vacation was fabulous and get new ice cream. 3. Don't over pack. It's hard to decide how much you need to bring when traveling (especially with kids), but it's so much easier to travel with as few bags as possible. Don't waste suitcase space with disposable things you can buy when you get there – like diapers and wipes. You can also ship yourself a box before you get there, or splurge and use a luggage shipping service to take all the stress off on travel days. Always remember it's better to pack light and know that your destination probably has convenience stores too. Some hotels even have a stash of supplies that you can have for free if you forgot something - and what an adventure it will be to buy toothbrushes when you land! 4. Have an emergency plan. I always pack a small first aid kit when we travel with fever reducer, pain reliever, a thermometer, bandages, and allergy medications. No one expects to need a doctor or a hospital on vacation, but it's always a good idea to know your options. If you or your child needs to see a doctor while traveling, the front desk at the hotel should be able to help you find appropriate care. When traveling with kids, I like to look up ERs ahead of time to know where they are so that if an emergency happens we can get the care we need quickly and with less stress. (Once we needed an ER for one of the kids and drove 30 minutes the wrong direction only to find out that it wasn't an ER at all, but just a clinic, and still had to turn around and go to the ER. True story.) 5. Get insurance. Travel insurance is always a good idea and will give you peace of mind that your vacation will be protected in case an emergency arises before or even during travel. Most people assume that their regular medical insurance will cover them outside of the country, but that's not always true. If it won't, find an alternative before you leave, such as travel insurance. Each insurance plan is different so make sure that you know what your coverage is before you purchase your policy. 6. Pick a great destination. Know what you want and then pick the right destination for your vacation. Each hotel has different pros and cons for your group and to have a stress free vacation, it's important to pick the right place to vacation. If you are looking for larger rooms, all-inclusive, babysitting services, a kids club, great pools, museums to explore, or great adventure – the right vacation is out there for you. 7. Use a travel agent. Seriously, if you want a stress-free vacation stop DIYing your vacation. Using a travel agent can save you time and stress when planning your vacation. A travel agent is there from the early planning stages, to making sure you have everything you need before you go, helping with anything that arises while you're traveling, to checking in after you get back. When we plan your vacation together, the process will be easy and stress-free, allowing you more time to enjoy your vacation and relax.