6 Tips to Stress-Proof Your Family Vacation

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Spring break is almost here. Are you looking forward to getting away and having a worry-free family vacation? Advance planning can help you to stress-proof your family travels so that you can have the most fun and relaxing experience possible without undue worry.

A vacation with the family, while intended to give everyone a break and some relaxation, can be a stressful event in itself. Several factors can increase everyone's stress levels - the actual travel, unfamiliar surroundings, and perhaps a different language and culture. If all family members are dealing with their own stresses related to the different surroundings and lack of familiarity, the potential is heightened for conflicts among family members.

Lack of communication is one factor which can greatly increase holiday stress and worry. It's important to discuss the trip in advance and talk about what everyone's expectations are in terms of activity vs. quiet time, time spent alone, and the degree to which your days are planned or scheduled in advance. You should discuss your expectations of the vacation as well. One family member, for example, may crave activity and diversion while others may simply want to rest. Finally, people often get caught in the trap of unrealistic expectations while on vacation. For example, expecting anxiety and stress over work-related problems to magically disappear, or thinking that a conflict-ridden relationship will work itself out on vacation. Financial issues are often a source of stress for families on holiday. If you're on a budget, discuss how you'll handle things such as impulse purchases and eating out in restaurants.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/27/2013