9 Surefire Tips for a Stress-Free Family Vacation

Your Keys to Relaxation, Adventure, and Memory-Making
(without the Anxiety and Arguing)

By Tami Root Frocchi

You’ve booked your flights and hotel, mentally packed at least a few things, and can practically feel the sunshine on your face! Get ready to embark on a rejuvenating family vacation without the baggage of stress and squabbles! Our 9 surefire tips are your keys to the ultimate family adventure–where relaxation and memory-making take the spotlight, leaving anxiety and arguing in the rearview mirror. Let the vacation countdown officially begin!

Ditch the Picture Perfect

As moms, we know the best laid plans mean pretty much absolutely nothing. But if we think back to some of our favorite family moments, they’re often those times you simply can’t plan, the ones that are just a little bit off–when you all laughed hysterically because that tour guide was wearing his pants backwards, or the time it rained at Magic Kingdom and the whole family got drenched in an impromptu dance party with Lilo and Stitch. 

It’s not always easy to turn lemons into lemonade (sometimes you really just need to hit the Restart button), but if you can try to stress less about that perfect picture and see some of the vacation imperfections as memories in the making, these unexpected moments might actually be the highlights of your time together (and you might still be talking about them in 20 years!)

mom and kids with popsicles at the pool

Plan Together (And Make it Fun!)

Getting everyone on board ahead of time will create a more seamless experience once you’re there. Create a wishlist of activities and destinations each family member is interested in and figure out the best time to fit in those that are top priorities. Each family member will be excited about their “thing” and about sharing it with others. And planning ahead allows you to skip the activities that not everyone is excited about (it’s better to know ahead of time that your daughter is scared to swim with dolphins than having to work it out after the experience has already been booked). 

mom and daughter on a boat in the caribbean on vacation

Extend your activity planning to restaurant reservations–making them ahead of time will allow you to avoid waiting to sit for meals or arguing about where to go.

Plus the vacation fun can begin while you plan!  If you’re heading to the Caribbean, make the family some tropical mocktails to sip on while showing off the resort website to the kids. On your way to Myrtle Beach? Put on some ocean sounds in the background and order in from your favorite seafood restaurant. Hyping up the vacation from the get-go will get everyone excited!

Packing Cubes for the Win

Ah, the unsung hero of stress-free packing – packing cubes! We swear by the unparalleled power of these organizational wonders. You’ll keep your suitcase organized (everyone in the family gets a packing cube!), save space (think less bags as you’re catching that connecting flight), and breeze through unpacking when you reach your

Dress to Impress...Yourself

We know you’re packing for basically…everyone. But that includes you, too. So take a few moments to think about what you’ll need to feel your best (looking good = feeling good = enjoying vacation more!).

mom taking a selfie by the pool in a large hat

Opt for pieces that make you feel confident, chic, and ready for anything. Versatility is key, and a piece like our Jenni Skirt is perfect to transition from poolside to lunch or cocktails without missing a beat. Pack pieces that will work hard for you on vacation–things you can wear multiple times throughout the week in different ways (Our Brooke Pants can be worn every single day–with a swimsuit, a tee shirt, or an evening top. And our Melanie Pareo doubles as a wrap skirt at the beach or a scarf at night!). 

change of scenery beach jenni skirt, brooke pants and melanie pareo

Another time- and sanity-saving tip–try everything on before you leave so you know you’re equipped with the outfits you love rather than trying to piece things together while getting the whole family ready for the day or out the door to dinner.

Send Your Essentials on Ahead of Time

It’s possible to send Amazon packages to almost any U.S. destination–air BNBs, hotels, ski resorts in the remote South Dakota wilderness… Order the things that might spill (like your favorite sunscreen or shampoo) or take up too much space (think diapers!) and schedule them to arrive the same day you do or the day before. You’ll be fully equipped with the products you love and need without spending time shopping for them, using up space in your suitcase, or dealing with leaky disasters. 

Plus, if the thought of hauling your baby and all the baby gear through an airport and to the hotel sends shivers down your spine - baby rental is for you. You can rent just about anything - portable crib, stroller, car seat, high chair - and have it delivered to the airport or your hotel!  This is even a great idea when you're travelling by car, it saves room in the trunk. Who doesn't love taking one or two things off the packing list, and keeping the schlepping to a minimum! 

mom with daughter in stroller on vacation

Planning for All the Personalities

Travel can be challenging when you’ve got different personalities and priorities, but prepping ahead of time can save lots of time, sanity, and maybe even a little cash. First off, you don’t want to be stressing from the get-go; set the tone for a relaxing trip by getting to the airport early to avoid tension and rushing. Pack your kids’ favorite sandwiches so you’re not relying on whatever is (or isn’t!) available in your airline terminal. And pack favorites for the plane from your kids’ regular snacking rotation, but also “special treats'' they love and rarely get to enjoy (kids can even participate ahead of time making their own personal snack bags!).

mom with kids having a meltdown in the airport

Ensure a Swimmingly Smooth Arrival

If you’re heading somewhere warm, pack bathing suits for the whole family in a carry-on. That way, if your luggage isn’t delivered until later, everyone can still go for a swim when you arrive. You’ll feel like you’re getting the (pool) party started instead of waiting around for your bags. And since you obviously need the perfect carryon swimsuit, check out our swim favorites.

mom on waterslide with kids on vacation

Be the Boss of the Beach

With these Mom-friendly tips, life really is a beach! Toss a trusty Sand Off mitt into your beach bag for an easy and convenient way to say goodbye to those sandy aftermaths. Simply clap the mitt, rub it on sandy skin, and voila–one swipe and the sand is gone.

You can also make your beach trip stellar without breaking the bank by picking up and packing some collapsible beach toys for the little ones. You’ll escape the “I want that!” battles with the kids when they see those $24-buckets in the resort shop. 

mom with little boys on the beach and sand toys and pails

And another great add to your beach supply list–extra bags. They’re handy for transporting wet clothing and towels–it’s no fun going back to your resort dripping wet with all of your dripping wet things! And they’re also an excellent way to pack up your trash. Leaving trash on the beach is harmful for wildlife and is actually illegal in many places (and just not cool). Bag it up and pack it out!\

Carve Out Grown-Up Time

Just as a little me-time back at home allows you to be a better parent, the same rings true while on vacation. Grown-up time allows you to refresh and reset. Trade childcare with other adults you’re on vacation with–you can all fit in your Moms Night Out or date nights while knowing your kids are in good hands. And it’s okay to take advantage of the kids’ club so you can spend a little time relaxing (read a book, work out, fit in a quick spa treatment!).

mom reading a book by the pool on vacation

You’ll also want to divide and conquer with your spouse so that you both get some me-time each day. And if you’re comfortable allowing the kids to stay in the hotel room by themselves, order them room service and head down to the resort bar for a drink and some apps with your partner (it’ll feel like a treat for the kids, too! #freedom).

So as you start the countdown to the adventure ahead, remember that the true vacation magic lies in the spontaneous laughter, rainy dance parties, and moments you can’t plan or create. But when it comes to the things you can plan, following these family-friendly travel tips will allow everyone to stress less and enjoy time together more. Here's to making memories that last a lifetime! Hold up that spritz–it’s Cheers time!🌴✨

mom with a cocktail in the pool on vacation

Have questions or need more personalized tips? Drop us a message at hello@shopchangeofscenery.com. We're always here to make your vacation dreams a reality.

Feeling fabulous? Share your vacation snapshots with us! DM us on IG @shopchangeofscenery or tag us for a chance to be featured.


Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published