Contemplating a family vacation? Don’t let concern about the challenges of travel keep you from taking off with the kids.
Remember, attitude is everything.
Here are tips for five common travel hassles.
1. Lost luggage: If you’ve stashed medical necessities, proper documents and perhaps a change of clothes into your carry-ons, it’s all good. Buy what might be crucial (and get reimbursed by your airline or through your travel insurance). Then focus on what you do have. You and the gang will quickly learn that less is more. With fewer choices and a lightened load, there will be more time to enjoy the adventures at hand.
2. You’re lost: With GPS and so many directionally savvy phone apps, it’s likely you’ll find your way back on track in no time. Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, interesting sites or a cozy diner that may exist on the road less traveled. It’s also a good time to talk with the kids about how mistakes happen and positive ways to recover.
3. Bad weather: When it rains on your beach vacation or the wind howls during a camping trip, it is a great time to look for the alternate adventure. Search for seashells without fear of a sunburn. Break out the board games or learn a new card trick. Campers can stow the tent in the back of the car and check into a hotel with a great indoor pool. Stay flexible. Be creative. And uncover what is possible.
4. Someone gets sick: It’s no fun to feel under the weather away from home. So it’s extra important to have the family’s support. Depending on the severity of the illness, consider the divide and conquer strategy. Take turns enjoying planned activities and staying in to cheer the sick one. If you bought travel insurance, review your options for medical care and reimbursement for canceled portions of the trip.
5. The trip doesn’t unfold as expected: Some family members thrive on routine, and travel can mess with the order of things. But it’s also a good time to talk about how life will throw curveballs and it is good practice to learn how to respond to the unexpected. Embrace the serendipitous and know that when snafus occur it can make for a better story. Often, the pesky mishaps are the moments that become family lore and are cheerily recounted year after year.