Relaxing family holiday tips

I started writing this blog post while we were away on our epic journey through the Western States. Needless to say…. it didn’t happen. Except for a couple of days in Canon beach at the start of our trip and a couple of days in Portland, our trip consisted of driving for half the day, seeing destination (National or state park or other sight) for half the day, getting in at 7 or 8, cooking dinner, putting child to bed and working for a couple of hours at the end!! Oh, and depending where we were, trying to get some photos at sunset.

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Crescent City, California

I thought I would give a few suggestions on how to have a relaxing family holiday (ie: mostly the opposite to what we have done!):

  1. Leave the kids at home. No, really. Not kidding. Pity we moved halfway around the world away from the grandparents….
  2. Head to a resort. Somewhere with a kids program and spend the days by the pool, at the beach and seeing the sights. By yourself/ves. Again not really a choice when you are determined do sight-seeing trips to see the continent!
  3. Make sure you leave the laptop at home. Sounds like a silly thing to have to add, but with us going on so many “holidays” while we are in Canada, leaving work behind is not really an option. And starting a couple of hours of work at 9pm when you get in from a long day’s travel is not a great way to wind down at the end of the day!!
  4. If you insist on taking your kids on the family holiday, make sure you have plenty of bribes. Food, screen time, a pony, stuffies (stuffed toys) – whatever works.
  5. Hire an enormous SUV no matter the size of your family. You will be able to luxuriate in having room for your legs to fit. Hiring this car won’t be a problem in the US. Good luck to finding something in Europe.
  6. Assume the Wifi at the hotels will be crap. Anything better than that is a bonus. And no, don’t believe those lies on their website citing high-speed internet. They fail to tell you this only applies between 3 and 5am when most people are asleep.
  7. Of course, staying somewhere the lights aren’t plastic wrapped might help too ;). I say this mostly in jest, as this was definitely the dingiest place we stayed and some of the nicer accommodation we stayed in still had terrible internet!
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Dingy motel, California

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Crescent City, California

Some serious things:

  • Do lots of planning before you go. I know it is a bit boring, but having a clue for what you want to see and do before you go makes for more relaxing time on holiday. Hopefully it means you will miss less of the cool stuff too.
  • The above point especially applies if you are going somewhere touristy and in the middle of nowhere – accommodation, especially of the budget variety, can sell out early
  • Plan to do less in the day than you think you have time for. Being able to relax at a destination rather than having a fly-in visit is fantastic. Pity we haven’t managed this since leaving Cannon Beach at the start of our holiday.
  • Buy some activities / activity books for the car rides – these have been a lifesaver in the car.
  • CD books are brilliant too. Consider headphones if you don’t want to listen to the reading of Frozen 50,000 times.
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South Oregon coastline

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