Guest Post by Leslie Campos of Wellparents
For many people, the thought of taking a trip can elicit feelings of excitement. For many parents, however, planning a family trip can cause feelings of anxiety and stress as well. The packing, prepping and the paying are all enough to drive even the most sane parent crazy. If you tend to stress out when it’s time to travel with your family, there are a few budget-friendly tips and tricks you can use to calm yourself down and focus your energies back on having fun!
Stock Some Travel-Friendly Supplies for You and Your Little Ones
You know you need a fully stocked diaper bag with travel essentials for the baby, but make sure you stow a few affordable and helpful items for yourself as well. Kindred Bravely suggests picking up some extra hair ties, bottles of hand sanitizer and an extra top, so you will be prepared for anything your travels (or your baby) throw at you. To get the best prices, search for deals on the items you need. Since finding healthy food can be tricky and expensive while traveling, you may also want to pack some cheap healthy snacks for you and your little ones. Options that are good for you, and that travel well, include dried fruits, trail mix, granola, and even cheese or yogurt. While most of these snacks can be easily transported in the car, if you plan on flying, you will want to keep TSA restrictions in mind for any liquids or prohibited food items. While peanut butter and soft cheeses can make for great car snacks, they are not allowed through security.
Schedule Some Alone Time for Yourself During Your Family Vacation
Taking some time for yourself, even while traveling with kids, is beneficial for your health. Doing so can be practical, too, but you will want to make sure your kids are in good hands while you take your time out. Thankfully, doing so can be as simple as finding babysitters online that are dependable and trustworthy, to give you peace of mind. Give yourself enough time to interview candidates and even run background checks, so you know you can trust your sitter. Once you have a sitter all lined up, you can get back to the fun of deciding what to do with your free time. Some ideas include scheduling a spa day for yourself or even planning a budget-friendly date night with your partner. Do your homework online before, so you can score deals on tickets, activities and restaurants.
Create an Itinerary for Your Family Trip, But Don’t Overschedule Your Time
As a parent, you know that schedules and plans can be a real lifesaver. You can save yourself a lot of headaches by planning and scheduling your trip as well. There are even travel apps that take the work out of creating plans, schedules and budgets for your vacations. Even if you use these apps, though, you don’t want to pack every last minute of your family travels with planned activities. Sure, activities can keep kids happy, but without a nap or some social media time, even the most well-behaved kids (or adults, for that matter) are bound to have a meltdown. So, factor in a few hours for everyone to relax and rest back at the hotel. You can allow children to use screens during this time if you’d like, but know that a screen-free trip is also possible. Just be sure to bring some inexpensive travel games and activities that will help prevent your family from getting bored. This is a useful trick for times in your hotel room or vacation rental, but can also be helpful for preventing problems during road trips and longer flights.
Traveling with kids shouldn’t cause you tension. You can use the tips above to save yourself some money and stress when planning family vacations. Then, you can focus on making meaningful memories with your family instead!
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