Traveling with my family is my favourite thing in the world but there’s no doubt that it can be stressful, especially when the kids are young, the sun is strong and you’re moving about a lot (we’ll have stayed in five different spots by the time this trip is up). I suppose we’re quite experienced travelers and over the years I feel like I’ve developed a few small ‘coping’ mechanisms that help when things can get a bit hot and sweaty and to ensure that mama gets some holiday time, too. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Try to eat fairly lightly and healthily
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely indulge when we’re away and will indulge in chips and ice cream but equally, I try not to eat too much junk food which only leaves me feeling sluggish and wanting to nap (which isn’t ever a possibility, let’s face it!). Instead I try to eat mainly plant based food, drink a tonne of water and try to drink alcohol moderately – as tempting as it is to down that bottle of wine at the end of a long day, I know it’ll make me feel rubbish the next day.
- Stay active
I always try to practice a little bit of yoga, either first thing in the morning or at night to unwind. And if I’m really lucky, Sam will watch the kids whilst I attend a local class I’v found in the area – heaven! Also, because I’m often blogging, I always have my laptop on me so sometimes I’ll do a quick work out first thing in the morning. Finally, we walk a lot when we travel which is an instant way to exercise and boosts moods.
- Take advantage of screens
We’ll often put the TV on for the kids at some point during the day when we’re on holiday – it allows us a moment to breathe / enjoy some sun. At first, I felt guilty about it but I’ve realised that the kids are experiencing so much the rest of the time, that I’ve come to be OK with it.
- Get enough sleep
This one’s crucial for me – and something I massively prioritise. I know that traveling with small kids is tiring and I need all the energy I can get so as tempting as it is to stay up late once they are sleeping, I always try to get to bed earlyish and allow for some proper time to re-charge.
It’s important to have some a few hours or ideally, even a day without tech just to totally switch off. Being a blogger, this is probably where I most struggle the most but if I do feel it’s starting to dominate in any way, I’ll always take a step back and refocus on where I am, right there.
- Switch out with your partner
It took us a while to work out the power of this one, but it’s such an easy one. Offering your partner even just 20 minutes off from any childcare can do wonders – for everyone. It’s great to change up the dynamic of the family and be able to focus on just the kids, for example. Right now for example, Sam is with the kids in the pool allowing me to have some time to work whilst he enjoys some quality time with them. Win win.
- Less is more
When we first started taking the kids away, I’d forget we were parents and want to visit a tonne of places in one day. Nowadays I’ve really come to realise that less is more when you have kids and rushing around is literally the least fun thing.
- Practice gratitude
Look up at the sky, take a deep breath and remember where you are – probably somewhere beautiful, with the people you love most in the world.
Got any tips for helping us parents enjoy holidays that bit more?
P.S More tips for family travel here