Everyone on social media is packing up and heading to a summer destination. Sometimes, it seems like vacation is more stressful than staying home. The expense, the planning, the drive. But vacation is supposed to be fun. It’s a time to enjoy each other and reconnect as a family. It’s an opportunity to remind yourself why you got married. Why you love your kids. And why being a family is important.
Vacation is important. So in an effort to reclaim some of the excitement and purpose of vacation, here are a few tips to relieve some of the stress of the vacation blues.
1. Pack light. I’m not sure about your family, but packing the car for vacation is a delicate game of real life Tetris for mine. There is so much crap shoved in every corner of the car and the majority of what we bring we never use or wear. My feeling is this: the most of one thing anyone should have is underwear. The majority of vacation rentals (whether the beach or the mountains) have washing machines. Every family member each gets a bag and is responsible for carrying that bag in the loading and unloading. We will need a cooler and some beach gear but we grocery shop at the beach so that we don’t have to haul unnecessary food hundreds of miles.
2. Don’t over spend. Make a budget and stick to it. The worst is to overspend on vacation and not have enough to get you through the rest of the month. We actually save all year long for vacation and only use the cash we have on hand. That way we know we have grocery money when we get back.
3. Divide and conquer. As a couple, we give each other ‘alone time’ while we are on vacation. I get that my husband needs to go on a fishing charter or play a round of golf. Most days, he takes the kids into the condo for lunch and nap time and I spend 2-3 hours on the beach by myself. We talk through what we need and help each other out knowing that we will be better parents, spouses, people by dividing up the time a little bit and carving out some necessary quiet for ourselves.