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Stress-Free Summer Vacations

Hannah Hovrud, Staff Writer

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Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer travel season for many families, and family vacations are not just about getting away — they’re about coming together.
However, travel can be an expensive, time-consuming, stress-inducing exercise without proper preparation. When planning a family vacation the most important thing to remember is to include the entire family in the financial and destination discussions.
There are many different things to discuss as a family when planning a summer vacation to make it fun and enjoyable for everyone. There are many tips for families getting ready to get away from it all this summer, and for a stress-free summer vacation.
A good tip is to be all-inclusive. Families have to help children feel invested in vacation planning by giving them five possibilities of places they all would be comfortable going on vacation, and then letting them choose from those structured, pre-approved choices.
Parents have to work with each child to contribute realistic outing ideas for the vacation. A good idea would be to select at least one activity from each child’s wish list, depending on the family’s time and budget.
On a summer vacation, children have to be sure they know the rules. All families should discuss appropriate travel behavior well in advance.
During the vacation, children could be having the time of their lives and want to go buy many things they see with money they had saved up, but they have to be sure and set limitations. Something parents could do is give them a set amount of money upfront that they could use to buy souvenirs or what not.
Depending on where families will be spending their summer vacation, they have to be sure and pack appropriately for the trip. Families should be prepared with clothes for rainy or colder weather.
Other things families need to have planned if there is inclement weather are indoor activities. Going to a movie, or a museum, or the mall would be good activities to do when the weather is not good for any outdoor activities.
Families who can’t afford a big exotic trip shouldn’t overdo it. There’s no need for it when there are numerous vacation spots close to home that can be just as enjoyable.
If families are traveling on a plane, they should make plans to make the trip as easy as possible, especially for the kids. Maybe scheduling a night flight could make things easier because the kids could just most likely sleep all the way through it.
Parents always have to have reasonable expectations. Children get cranky and tired; they have to make sure they don’t let their mood swings discourage them.
Families always have to plan well, but they should always pack a go-with-the-flow attitude. They should schedule as much as you can beforehand, but once their travels are underway, come to expect the unexpected – a suddenly tired child, transportation delays, unplanned but exciting detours — and go with the flow. Flexibility, along with a positive attitude, can go a long way in ensuring the family has an enjoyable summer vacation.
The best way for a “perfect” summer vacation is to keep it a peaceful trip. Summer vacations are about enjoying time with each other and having a getaway from your everyday life, so families need to make it memorable.

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The official student publication since 1918
Stress-Free Summer Vacations