Wednesday, June 22, 2011

5 Secrets for Surviving a Family Vacation

Family vacations can definitely be a challenge, but Gretchen Rubin found 10 strategies that help keep that time enjoyable.  In the article below Gretchen writes about how to take charge of a family vacation and have fun at the same time.  The following are the first 5 tips:

1. Make time for your own kind of fun. Gretchen has learned that she needs to take time for the activities that she finds fun on vacation. Everyone will have more fun when everyone has fun, so it's not selfish to prioritize some time for yourself.

2. Leave plenty of time to get where you need to be. Nothing takes the pleasure out of a vacation faster than missing a plane, arriving late to a show, standing in an enormously long line because because you arrived at a peak time, or having to keep screaming, "Hurry up! Hurry up!"  Gretchen identified a speed rule: When you're trying to get out the door, for every child, add 20 minutes to the time it would usually take to accomplish any action. (The same applies to slowpoke adults.)  Set your departure time with this in mind.

3. Document happy memories.  One of the best ways to make ourselves happy in the present is to recall happy times from the past, so making the effort to take pictures and videos, keep trip books, or gather souvenirs (meaningful ones, not just knick-knacks from a gift shop) will really boost your happiness later.  After all, when you think of the possessions in your home, aren't your photographs and mementos among the most prizes?

4. Recognize your children's limits.  You also need to remember your own limits too.  When you keep children at the table too long, mess with their schedules too much, let them skip applying bug repellent, make them walk too far, or let them get too hot or too cold, things can get pretty challenging.  Never travel anywhere without a few bags of almond, raisins, dry cereal, or other treats.  You will learn the hard way if the kids get hungry.

5. Take time to exercise.  Some people view vacation as an escape from daily burdens, such as exercising.  Don't think that way! Exercise is energizing and cheering, and it promotes sleep and relaxation.  Vacation is an opportunity to make exercise fun, not a chore, by taking a new class or adding a new backdrop to your usual routine.

Tune in tomorrow for 5 more secrets for surviving a family vacation.


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