Family trips and vacations are always fun. Sure there are minor fights and the whole trip can be stressful. However, if you practice your mindfulness on your trip, such situations can be avoided and the whole vacation can be calming. But, since all that stress can be overwhelming because you have to plan everything and watch the kids here something that can help you. For the most mindful trip and quality family bonding, here are a few tips to try out on your next trip.
Let go of control
It is hard to plan out the whole trip, but there are things that you cannot affect. Schedules and weather are unpredictable, some attractions might be closed for the day, and there is simply nothing none of you can do. That is why you need to let go of control, otherwise, you’re going to drive yourself crazy. Yes, the whole uncertainty of the travel can make you nervous, but you need to learn how to accept that not everything is going to be in your control. Or go according to plan, as a matter of fact. However, there is one thing you can do to make things less stressful when they go to bust. Have an “oopsie” list, write down all the things that went wrong and why that might be funny and simply have some fun with it.
Live in the moment
Your kids are probably on their phones and other devices all the time. It might be hard to get them to dispose of them during the trip and just embrace what’s around them. You might have to challenge them to do this, but it’s going to be worthwhile. Let them that it is great to observe with all of their senses. This is especially important if you’re traveling with a baby, so don’t just strap them in the back seat and give them a toy or a device. Rather, let them notice colors, sounds, any particular smells, and tastes in their snacks.
On the other hand, there is another way you can all live in the moment. This one does include electronic devices. Since those are part of their lives pretty much, it’s important not to fully ignore them. Take some time on your vacation to sit with your kids and their devices and let them share what they’re doing with you. Also, don’t pressure them to leave them behind, if they want to show you something on their phone, just let them and laugh at funny video and photos together.
Judgment free zone
Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit.
– Jawaharlal Nehru
When traveling a bit farther from your home, you need to keep in mind that people there do things differently. If you’re used to certain things, or not used to them, you have to remember that other people might be. Cultures are different, people are different in other countries, and simply keep an open mind and don’t judge. This is also a great lesson to teach your kids that just because someone is different doesn’t mean they are weird or crazy.
As we mentioned, it is sometimes hard to have all the fun in the world during your vacation because it’s stressful. The thing that might contribute to that stress is hearing “Are we there yet?” from the backseat. So, in order to avoid nervousness and restlessness, you need to make a small plan for the traveling, because that can end up being the most memorable part of the whole vacation for your kids. So, consider bringing along some playlists that you all love, audiobooks, books, and some classic car games.
Additionally, in order to get along better, you should plan breaks as well. If you’re going to your destination by car, make sure to have enough stops to stretch your legs and go to the bathroom and relieve stress. However, if you’re in a plane, take occasional strolls and keep your kids from frustrating both you and other passengers.
Every vacation is special on its own, and there are plenty of memories to be made. Don’t get your head stuck in all the planning and scheduling. Make sure to have time for your family and yourself, because when all of you are relax and having fun, that’s when the best memories are made. However, all of you have to be present and participate in order to make those memories, so you can start by relaxing to some calming sounds of nature surrounding you. Also, have your camera ready at all times. There will be plenty of videos and photos to be made of all the fun activities you did and the funny things you saw.
Embracing the wait
Wherever you go, there will be waiting. Whether it’s at the airport, bus stop, check-ins at the hotel, you will have to stand in line. At those times, everyone might get fussy, but you can practice your mindfulness while waiting. Tell your kids to just stand still and watch. Take that time to look at your surrounding together, to notice fun or odd things, take a look at people, new culture and everything else. Listen to the languages you hear, what people are wearing and simply interact with each other and exchange your thoughts.
Yes, traveling and vacations can be hectic and stressful. However, that will only wear you down instead of letting all of you enjoy the blissful moments. That is why you should give your best and practice mindfulness while on the road. Plus, with being present at every moment with your mind and body, the entire family will get to chance to bond even more.