3 Ways to Relax on Vacation
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3 Ways to Relax on Vacation

Thursday, June 21, 2012 4:20:39 PM

Being the parent of a growing brood, requires you to become an expert at multitasking - heck, can you remember a time in recent memory when your mind wasn't running 1,000 miles a minute? Although it can be easy to let your operational and logistical self take over while on vacation, all parents need to remember the reason for the trip: to have a break. After you've picked up your car rental in Maui and you realize you're still finding it hard to mellow out - yes, even in this tropical paradise - take a few tips listed below:

Stay flexible

You've planned out your entire schedule for the week, but inevitably, it's going to change; your Wednesday plans for hiking the Hoapili trail now don't seem so fitting, as those dark clouds ahead mean some mid-morning rain. However, you've got plans already in place for the rest of the week, many with reservations, and you don't want to cancel … so don't. Spend the day doing something else as a family. Splurge on lunchtime room service. Go see a movie. While it's great to explore an area, plans should never be so steadfast that they can't be changed should Mother Nature intervene.

Let the kids decide

To take even more of the planning burden off of your plate, why not ask the kids what they want to do? If your children are old enough, have them research the spot and choose an attraction to see during the trip. Having the kids help with the planning will also give them each something particularly special to look forward to, and will make them feel more included. If your kids are barely out of (or still in) their diapers, you can still let them "choose" by observing what they find fascinating. If your toddler can't seem to get enough of the sandy beach, why not stay a little longer? If your preschooler has taken a particular liking to local flora, it might be a good idea to plan a trip to the Kula Botanical Gardens or the Kula Forest Preserve.

Give yourself some space

You likely spend every day (if not waking hour) with your kids, so if you can, spend some time apart during the vacation. Many hotels now offer babysitting services for a few hours or the day, so you can slip away for some much-deserved alone time at the spa or have a nice date night with your spouse. If babysitting services aren't in the budget, The Learning Channel's website suggests that parents take turns watching the kids while each goes out for a walk, hike or jog during the day. Just an hour or so of alone time every day can really make a vacation all the more rewarding, and can also offer a time for your spouse to do an activity with the kids that you may not have been as thrilled about in the first place.

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