Reducing Family Holiday Stress
Ah, holidays. Once upon a time, you could book a last-minute city break without a second thought. Now you’ve got nappies, feeding schedules and tantrums to navigate. Which can leave you begging the question – is a family holiday even worth it? Luckily, it absolutely can be - with some (okay quite a lot of) preparation, and a healthy dose of expectation management. Here are some tips on reducing family holiday stress.
1. Manage Their Expectations
Going on holidays involves lots of potentially new experiences for kids, from moving through airports to sleeping in a different bed. Get them used to the idea before you go by chatting about the holiday, who’ll be there and what you’ll do. This will help build excitement rather than apprehension.
2. Manage Your Expectations
Family holidays involve a lot of organisation, and all that pressure can leave you stressed out. Remember though, you can only control so much. Plan for what you can, but at some point you just have to let the holiday unfold as it will. And remember, NO-ONE has the perfect holiday, no matter how it might seem on social media! Blips (and major meltdowns) happen to everyone. Not every moment will be picture-perfect, but if you can savour the little wins and roll with the rest, you’re doing great.
3. Pack Practically
Along with the obvious bits, don’t forget to pack extra medicine to avoid the headache (literally) of finding a pharmacy at 2am to treat a temperature. You’ll also need lots and lots of sun cream. Don’t forget to check the expiry dates on your own passports as well as the kids’ if it’s been awhile since your last holiday abroad.
4. Arrive Early
Airport security is stressful enough without any added time pressure. When travelling with kids, give yourself lots of extra time to handle things like toilet trips and emergency snack stops.
5. Distraction is Key
Don’t forget to pack a few activities for the plane. A little backpack filled with toys and books can offer much needed distraction on the flight. An iPad or similar is great too, but it’s a powerful tool. Save it for a moment when you really need to pull out the big guns!
6. Stick to a Routine
Children love routine, especially when on holidays – it makes them feel comfortable in an unfamiliar setting. Try to keep bedtime as similar to home as possible, and stick to the same eating schedule if you can too.
7. Factor in Some Downtime
Kids also need to feel safe and secure when they’re in a strange place. For your child, this could mean quiet time snuggled up with you reading a story in the evening, or time alone playing with their toys. Make sure you don’t try to pack too much into every day, so they have enough time to decompress. And remember, you need time to recharge too! If you’re travelling with your partner, take turns to have some alone time. Whether it’s a walk by the sea or a quick solo swim, do something that relaxes you – it is a holiday after all.
Heading on a family holiday? If you buy or switch to our Kick-Off Plan and choose the travel and sports package (at no extra cost), you’re automatically covered by a free travel insurance policy.