Planning and Surviving a Summer Family Vacation

Summer travel means a transition from routine and structure. Summer break means just overall excitement. All of this can add up to a stressful vacation for a parent of a child with ADHD. However, there are some steps that can help you have a happy, stress free family vacation.

Hold a planning meeting Solicit the family's ideas on what they want to do for a summer vacation. Whether it's a trip to the beach or a voyage overseas, every family member should have a vote. After all, how relaxing is the vacation going to be if everyone hasn't bought in?

Be Realistic If your family vacation has time limitations, don't plan one far away. It will be no fun to be in the car for three days and at the beach for two, just to turn around for a three-day road trip back home. Try to plan a vacation that will only take a day of travel time each way.

Assign Duties Once you've determined where the family will go, assign duties needed to make the vacation happen. This ensures the burden of preparation is not just placed on one person. For instance, if your vacation takes you to the beach, someone will need to research accommodation options, travel arrangements, meals, etc.

Calendar Out Dates Use a calendar to set deadlines for planning the vacation. This will allow all family members to know when they have to complete their duties. It will also help build excitement as the vacation date gets closer.

Plan the Travel Day Talk to family members about what to expect on the travel day. If you're flying to your destination, explain what will happen. I'll flying out early in the morning and land in Georgia at lunch time. We'll have lunch at the airport and fly out to be beach after lunch. We'll drive from the airport and be at the beach house by about four o'clock.  This will help, but may not eliminate the Are we there yet statements. Do the same if travelling by car. Planning out the day with stops for meals, bathroom breaks, and any site seeing you'll be doing along the way.

Create Down Time Bring along activities that your child can do to slow down the pace a bit. Packing a vacation full of activities will leave everyone exhausted. Since vacations are designed to decompress, be sure that you are taking time to do just that.

Pack Wisely Packing all of your childs favorite toys may not be the wisest move. Favorite blankets can be easily left behind in hotels, causing a multitude of meltdowns and derailing even the best-planned vacation. A better idea is to pack one favorite toy and make the rest things that won't cause a problem if lost.

Relax and Enjoy With the hectic lifestyles that we all lead, summer family vacations are precious time that we have to relax and enjoy our family. It's time to throw away bedtimes, wake up times, and strict schedules just relax. The time you spend as a family just relaxing on the beach will be better than an activity-packed week where everyone ends up exhausted and cranky.Have fun!

Remember you can travel with your Play Attention system! Start your Play Attention program now and take advantage of the summer months to prepare for the next school year!

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