Holiday Stress: How to Avoid It
Holidays are supposed to bring rest and relaxation, but some families find them horribly stressful. With less time to enjoy, many people try to compensate by planning jam-packed itineraries, which can end up with exhaustion, arguments and disappointment. Here are some parent tips to consider…
Ease the ‘annual holiday’ pressure, if possible, by planning a few short breaks during the year. That way, the annual holiday won’t have the entire weight of your expectations upon it. It is also is a min-rehearsal for family travel, which does need a different kind of organisation than at home.
If possible, take longer annual holidays, rather than shorter. You have a better chance of feeling relaxed after three weeks away rather than just one. Action-packed itineraries could be intermingled with decent spells of ‘just bludging around’, so you don’t need a holiday from your holiday.
Preventing potential problems
Holiday stress can be brought on by bad luck, but you can avoid many potential upsets with forethought, planning and commonsense.
Research your intended location and accomodation very well.
Make sure you have adequate travel insurance. Check that it covers the needs of everyone in the family.
Pre-think your location and make sure you have enough sunscreen, insect repellant etc (all the specifics for that location).
If you’re keen to try out adventure sports with a family in tow, use the correct equipment and go with a reputable, well trained professional.
When travelling overseas, make 2 copies of all important documents (such as passports, travellers cheques and credit cards) in case of theft, keep one at home and pack one separately to the real thing.
Take extra pre-cautions when eating out to avoid common holiday gastro disturbances. Take a basic first aid kit. (be prepared to deal with basics.)
Travelling with young children
Ask your travel agent for family-friendly possibilities. Eg, you may prefer two-bedroom accommodation, or a facility with child-minding services, kids club etc.
Try to balance everyone’s needs when planning. The whole family should understand that everyone is there for a holiday so divide your day into adult choices and those more for kids. This definitely helps to avoid holiday stress. Keep it simple.
Just spending additional time together can be stressful. It is common to expect to have a good time on your holidays. However, in reality, during the year, most families only spend a few hours per day together because of work, school and other activities. Little habits could turn into holiday stress, even nightmares.