08:20pm Wednesday 20 September 2017

Take a Mini-Vacation to Reduce Stress

Why? Because you go from zero to sixty in about 2 days. The kids go from lounging around the house to needing rides to/from school, soccer and basketball practice, homework time, school field trips, not to mention clamoring “When’s dinner ready!” every time they come home. 

Yikes. 

Every parent knows how stressful going back to school can be, but most parents don’t know how to promote smooth transitions (or even how to avoid growing a substantial amount of white hairs) during those first few weeks. Today, I want to talk about an unconventional idea that can really relieve a ton of stress for parents during this busy season:

Having a mini vacation. 

Mini Vacation Ideas

“Mini vacation?!” You might say. “Where am I going to find the time for that?” 

Well, you’re right – making this idea work isn’t going to be easy. But if you manage to pull it off, you’ll have earned some definite father-of-the-year points and will have had a fantastic weekend with the wife and kids. 

The goal here isn’t to spend a fortune on an exotic trip – this works best with weekend getaways for a few days. Depending on where you live, here are some destinations and activities that you can consider:

The Desert

Supplies: consider renting an RV for a few days, or simply bring a tent. Bring a grill, a cooler with drinks, some warm sleeping bags, and enjoy a spectacular view of the stars with the kids that you could never see in the city.

The Forest

Supplies: RV or tent, your choice. Hiking boots, warm jackets, and don’t forget to buy some little trinkets for the kids – they eat up things like compasses, walkie talkies, and survival tools (but make sure they’re not too sharp)

The City

Supplies: Hotels are generally more expensive, and so is the food. But if you’re looking for tanning by the pool and even some room service, this is the place to be. Jeff Bartel, an experienced travel agent, also suggests bringing some other guys along to have a golf outing. While the kids are swimming with their pool toys, work on shaving off a few strokes at the golf course with the guys. 

How You’re Going to Swing the Trip

You’re probably reading this thinking “Look, that all sounds great, but there’s just no time for that.” There isn’t going to be a lot of time, true; but let me tell you, these are totally do-able.
 

First, I’d recommend doing a Friday-to-Sunday trip. Get some brownie points from the kids by pulling them out early on Friday, and staying until Sunday morning. Campsite and RV rental fees aren’t going to be that expensive for a few days, nor is packing a cooler with sandwiches and drinks. A lot of major cities have these campgrounds at places less than an hour or two away. Again – totally do-able.

Make sure to budget your time for the weekend getaway. The best part: you’ll have successfully taken a meaningful family break during one of the most stressful and bumpy times of the year.


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