How To Have A Stress-Free Vacation With Kids

Your child is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the holiday break. They can’t wait to be home from school, have freedom in their schedule, and are super excited about the upcoming holidays. —  

Children are a joy to be around, but having them tag along when going on a trip is a bit stressful.  No matter how excited they are, they can still be annoying when they get bored.   The solution to having bothersome kids when on vacation is to keep them happy and busy.


We went on our weeklong trip to the River Murray.  It was our second time to spend a week there.  My children loved it when we first visited the river.  They played around, did fishing, laid on a blanket by the shoreline staring at the night sky, and ran around the campfire.  But kids are kids and they have their meltdowns at times.  The tension and pressure of having them around can ruin the relaxed atmosphere.  Parents should always have a plan to bring back peace when things get out of control.


I’ll share here some tips that have helped me manage the chaos during our family vacation.  That way, you can make the most of your vacation, enjoying every moment stress-free.


  1. Let The Kids Get Involved With The Planning.

“Research shows the biggest boost in happiness comes from planning the vacation.” Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP said. Before our trip, we sat down and had a chat about our previous trips.  We looked at our photos and reminisced on the happy memories.  We talked about the things they enjoyed the most, and what makes them excited about the coming trip.   We let them decide what activities they wanted to do, something that they have done before or something new.  This made them more excited about the trip.   We also talked about the problems we encountered, and how things were resolved.  This helped us do the planning with less problem and full of excitement.

Put on some music, play a slide show of previous vacations on the laptop in the background, and discuss which activities or places everyone is most looking forward to experiencing while you fill the suitcases. — Guy Winch Ph.D.

  1. Let Them Be Aware Of Their Manners When In Foreign Places.

They really enjoyed fishing and other activities along the river.  When kids become excited about activities, they seem to overdo it.  That was one of the problems we encountered the first time we were there.  No matter how kid-friendly the staff and other people are, kids must learn to behave themselves.  They shouldn’t be too loud (which they often are), push each other, and do some crazy things around people.  For us to all enjoy this adventure, they should follow the rules and respect others who might join us on this trip.


  1. Itineraries Should Be Well Planned, And Schedule Should Be Followed Up To The Hilt.

As I mentioned above, kids get bored quickly.  Once they get bored, disasters happen.  So as much as possible, organize their activities ahead and do the best you can to keep their schedules.  If not, you’ll end up with annoying and irritable kids.

  1. Watch For Their Food Intake.

Always be ready with snacks to nibble when on a trip.  Kids throw tantrums when they’re hungry.  If your kids have allergies, be alert with the food being served in a restaurant or cafeteria.  Always be ready with the medicine.

Running around all summer without a moment to spare leads to burnout. Make sure to leave space for down time. — Sean Grover L.C.S.W.

  1. Have A Nice Chat Before Saying Goodnight.

Lie around with your children and listen to their stories before putting them to bed.  Ask them what their favorite activity is or thing that makes their day memorable.  You can also talk about things they look forward to for the next day.  When they encounter problems, don’t quickly jump into conclusions or suggest a solution.  Just knowing that you have time to listen to their stories or complaint is enough assurance that you acknowledge how they feel.  This could be a chance for your kids to figure things out on their own.


  1. A Hug In The Morning.

Everybody wants to be hugged.   When outside the comfort of your home, kids tend to find assurance of safety and love.  A hug from you means a lot to your kid.  Sometimes, it’s enough assurance, and it boosts their confidence that today will go okay or better than yesterday.


Having kids around when visiting the Murray River is indeed stressful, but knowing how to control the situation allows you to handle their moods.  Yes, “The stress of work and daily demands can distract us from what we find to be actually meaningful and interesting,” says Dr. Tamara McClintock Greenberg, a San Francisco-based clinical psychologist. Luckily, getting ready and having plans for your kids’ activities can lessen your stress.  Cruising the river while learning its history, fishing, exploring the playgrounds, and camping can make the trip enjoyable.


Having them try the Mildura Waves and Formula K Go Karts and Skate will surely make them want to have another vacation at Murray River.  My kids truly enjoyed their time and activities in Mildura.  I’m pretty sure your kids will enjoy it, too.


“Vacations are coping mechanisms that help us adapt to the everyday stresses in our lives.” John Mayer, PhD said. To have a more relaxed and fun vacation, get your kids involved in the planning.  Be prepared and think ahead, anticipating what is expected of your kids (you know their moods better).   Trips become more memorable when organized and packed with activities they enjoy.   Make your vacation a moment to reconnect and make precious memories that will be engraved in your children’s minds forever.

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