6 Secret Travel Tips To Re-Connect With Your Family

During spring break last week, my family and I had the pleasure of spending a week at Cabo Azul Resort & Spa in the beautiful city of San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico. By keeping my personal and family’s wellness in mind, this trip left me feeling incredibly grounded and connected with my husband and 2 daughters. How do you plan a stress-free family vacation? How can travel bring you closer as a family? Here are my secret travel tips for making your next family vacation enjoyable and intentional.

  1. Set Your Intention - It’s not uncommon for the goal of a family vacation to be “fun” or “relaxation”, but it’s important to go a little deeper than that. Before you step on an airplane or begin your road trip, talk with your family about what they are each looking forward to most and how they hope to feel during and after the trip. With this in mind from the beginning, you can more thoughtfully plan different aspects of your vacation that will fulfill some of these needs and wants.

  2. Be Flexible - While it’s great to have a plan of what you’d like to see and do, being flexible will allow your family to experience the unexpected. These surprising moments can be so much fun and create lasting memories that you all can share. Resist the urge to plan out and over-schedule every moment of your trip and instead, go wherever the day takes you.

  3. Let the Kids Plan - This is critical to a successful family trip with children. Would you want to go on a trip where you have absolutely no say in what you do or where you go? I think not! Battling over how you’ll be this precious time can take the fun out of your vacation altogether. Instead, allow your children’s creativity to shine by assigning them the task of planning out a full day (you’d have to set a few parameters, of course). From activities and locations to food, your kids will have a great time with this and so will you!

  4. Check In - At some point in the middle of your vacation, have some one-on-one time with each family member. Whether it’s a quick chat over dessert or while you make a run to the local store, hearing what their experience has been like through their eyes will allow you to have a greater understanding of how they experience the world around them.

  5. Try Something New - There’s so much good that can come from trying something new, especially with the ones you love. It’s easy to feel stuck in your day to day routine. You can even get stuck in day to day routines on your vacations too! Break up the pattern a bit by trying something as a family that none of you have experienced yet. Doing so will bring you closer together and you may learn that you love something you never thought possible.

  6. Reflect As a Group - At the end of your trip, have a family gathering and share what each of you learned about yourselves and something new you learned about another family member. The insights you hear from your family about who you are and what they observed from you can help you strengthen your bond and initiate further conversations on similar topics in the future.

While putting together a family vacation can be challenging, the trip itself shouldn’t be! Remaining open and flexible throughout the process from the beginning will set the foundation needed for an amazing getaway.

Is Hidden Stress Hindering You?

While it’s normal to experience low levels of stress, severe and prolonged exposure can lead to serious physical and emotional issues. While trouble at work or family problems are common, here are some less notable situations that may be sending you into a tailspin:

1) Over committing – We’ve all been guilty of it from time to time, but saying yes to completing a task that you know you do not have time or energy for is bad news all around. This kind of pressure we place on ourselves will not only stress us out but can lead to letting others down, which in turn causes even more stress! It’s a horrible cycle that must be broken and it is essential that you make your physical and emotional state a priority. So, instead of committing to an appointment, errand, event, or task that you know you will struggle to complete, have the courage to just say no.

2) Holding Grudges – While it’s not uncommon to be upset by someone else’s actions, holding grudges keeps you in a constant state of anger, preventing you from experiencing any peace or contentment. People who hold onto these situations often relive the event in their minds time and time again, obsessing about what was said, what could have been said, what should have been done, etc. Prolonged anger leads to stress and its effects can have both physical and emotional implications. The next time you feel resentment building, focus on acknowledging your anger and the thoughts you are thinking when you become angry. Once you begin to breakdown your own thoughts and beliefs, you will feel some emotional relief, making it possible for you to forgive the other person for your OWN well-being.

3) Don’t be tardy – Being habitually late can place an unnecessary amount of stress on your plate. From the rush out of the house to racing through traffic, showing up late can be downright unnerving. So, take the time to set your alarm 20 minutes earlier. You’ll save yourself the headache (and angry stares) when you arrive to your destination on time.

4) Toxic Friendships – It’s tough when you have invested so much time and energy into a friendship, but not all friendships are meant to last a lifetime. There can be times when maintaining these relationships take an extreme emotional toll. Take a step back and assess your stress level while interacting with friends to determine whether the friendship is worth keeping. If so, accept them for who they are and how they enhance your life, understanding that each individual has strengths and weaknesses within a friendship. If not, cherish the good times you had, the lessons you learned and move on.

As 2016 comes to a close, commit to making 2017 less stressful by keeping an eye out for the hidden stressors in your life.