This summer, more than 82 percent of Americans will take a family trip, according to the annual summer travel study conducted by Gas Buddy. But while travel and vacation can be fun for kids, studies have found that family travel can be stressful and exhausting for parents.
“Family travel and vacation doesn’t have to be a stressful experience,” says local DC mom and wellness expert Kristy Rodriguez, author of the newly published book Pure Nurture: A Holistic Guide To A Healthy Baby.
Below are some easy and quick ideas from Kristy to go from stressful to smooth sailing when traveling with the family this summer. These self-care travel items are inexpensive, easy to find and helpful for the entire family.
- Self-massage with a tennis ball or lacrosse ball—These can be used to massage your own back, neck, glutes or hamstrings by resting the ball on your body part and a wall or floor, or even just holding it in your hand. They’re small, easy to pack, and great both while traveling and at your destination!
- Essential oils for relaxation and rejuvenation—Plug in a car diffuser and enjoy some uplifting, de-stressing or relaxing essential oils. Favorite oils for travel: lavender for relaxation, orange for a mood boost and peppermint for an energy boost.
- Kids’ club is fun for everyone—Prime destinations that cater to kids and give parents much needed alone time: all-inclusive resorts. Check out kid-friendly resorts in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. They are relatively low cost. Food is included, which means you won’t be paying for a meal that your kids don’t end up eating (I know this situation very well). The kids’ clubs offer fun for all ages. While your kids are having a great time, you will have some down time to do whatever fills you up—reading on the beach, taking a nap, getting a massage, etc. Check out cheapcaribbean.com and applevacations.com for great all-inclusive travel destinations.
- Coloring books: adult and kid varieties—They say coloring is the next best thing to meditation, so pack up some colored pencils and your favorite coloring books for you and the kids. They’ll keep everyone busy, especially on the plane or in the car. It’s relaxing and fun.
- Pack your own travel snacks—Aim for a nutrient-dense variety that both you and your kids will enjoy. Highway gas stations and airports are two of the most challenging places to find healthy snacks. Grab a small bag and pack your own—ones that will keep your blood sugar and mood stable, as well as boosting your immune system, which is really important when you’re traveling.
- Mandarins/clementines: they come in their own packaging, are easy to peel and full of vitamin C.
- Trail mix, filled with raisins, nuts and seeds: is packed with protein to keep your blood sugar stable and help you stay fuller for longer.
- Snack bars: look for low-sugar and whole-food-based bars. A few of my favorites are Lärabar, Pure Organic bar, and Probar.
These are just a few ideas to help make your next family getaway feel more like a vacation and less like a trip. The better care you take of yourself, the better you’ll feel . . . and the more energy you’ll have to keep up with your kids, giving you a better chance of coming home feeling more relaxed and refreshed.
Kristy S. Rodriguez, pre- and postnatal wellness expert and advocate is the owner and founder of Pure Nurture, LLC, a business devoted to educating and inspiring women to nurture and nourish themselves through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. As a Holistic Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher specializing in pre- and postnatal wellness, Kristy works with individual clients, as well as teaching classes and workshops, both in person and online. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram and Facebook.