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Last Updated on February 5, 2018 by Diane Hoffmaster
Family travel has always been very important in our lives. Several times a year, we head out to visit family, explore new locations, or just visit a touristy hot spot or two. We have been tackling the open road since my youngest was 6 months old and have had our share of both good and bad experiences. I thought I would share a few tips for family travel self care from Kristy Rodriguez, author of the newly published book Pure Nurture: A Holistic Guide To A Healthy Baby. If you have family travel scheduled for the coming months, put some time into planning how to reduce stress, in addition to booking the airline tickets!
Family Travel Self Care Tips
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 don't have to be a stressful experience,” says local DC mom and wellness expert Kristy Rodriguez. Below are some easy and quick ideas from Kristy to go from stressful to smooth sailing when traveling with the family this summer. These travel self care ideas 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 between 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 pick 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
Eating healthy while traveling is challenging. 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 [email protected] or on Instagram and Facebook.
Do you have any other family travel self care tips to share?
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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.