The warmth of the summer sun creates the perfect setting for summer self-care. It’s the time of the year when many people are out and about among the masses. We’re on the beaches, in the woods, and on planes, trains, and automobiles, traveling to the homes of our families and friends, or to vacation destinations.
Summer can be stressful, especially when traveling. Even more so when you have children – toddlers or teens. The key is to remember that there is a difference between taking a trip and a vacation. A trip entails a lot of pre-planning, coordination, packing, unpacking, and re-packing, itineraries to be followed, and scheduling of everything you want to do and see. It feels a bit stressful just thinking about it.
Even if you are traveling to a vacation destination, you are still on vacation once you get there. Ask yourself: What is really important? Will you regret not seeing this or that for the rest of your days if you don’t actually see it? What is the purpose of your vacation? Are you going just to get away from work? If that’s the case, keep the decision-making to a minimum while vacationing. We get away from our work to relax and recharge. If your vacation is filled with decisions, isn’t it the same as working?
Take a cue from your kids when it comes to vacations. They splash in the water, or just sit around watching people (or their phones, which should be kept to a minimum on vacation) and just be. Have you ever noticed that kids whine the most when their sessions of “just being” are interrupted?
The important thing is to know why you are doing what you are doing. Is it adding joy and value to your vacation; or is it adding stress? Are you having to make too many decisions, or struggling with the kids to get them going? Seeing every major attraction in a tourist destination isn’t necessarily the best plan. Take time to see the little things that the place has to offer. Visit with the local shopkeepers. Check out a couple of museums. Slow down and enjoy the place where you are, as it is. Learn about the local culture, and just be.