This post is sponsored by Wyndham Vacation Rentals. who want to help moms #BeVacationReady make sure relaxing family vacations happen and that family travel is a vacation for mom too. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Have you heard the joke that moms don’t get vacations, it’s just the same responsibilities in a less controlled environment? When you think about the responsibilities to pack not only yourself, but another human, and one that comes with special needs and concerns (I’m looking at you blanky, pacifier, epi-pens, child-specific sunscreen, etc.) it really becomes quite the project just to pack for a family vacation. Then you add in entertainment during the trip and travel, naps and eating schedules, and keeping kids alive all in a new place- no wonder vacations for moms can feel so overwhelming!
It’s no secret we’ve been a traveling family since we had our little one and the first chance to go on a family trip offered itself, and as we’ve continued to do more and more family travel and our toddler has become more and more busy and opinionated, I’ve learned why so many moms feel like vacations are more stress than staying home may be.
I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to share an experience we just had that was a complete game-changer in the vacation realm and made me feel like I was completely on vacation, even with a very independent and busy toddler in tow!
We took a family trip to Palm Springs, California and had the opportunity to try a rental home from Vacation Palm Springs, which is a part of Wyndham Vacation Rentals.. which is a little bit different than just booking a hotel, and definitely inspired me to share that relaxing family trips can be a reality and a bunch of wonderful tips we learned from having one of the best family vacation experiences of our life- that was practically stress-free! If you’re looking to spend less time stressing and feeling overwhelmed and more time relaxing and having fun, here are our top takeaways from our recent trip!
- Book the trip, get it on the calendar as early as possible and shift the responsibilities to others well in advance so you aren’t stressed the week before or the week of. That may mean work responsibilities, volunteer or church, childcare, meal planning, etc. Tackle it before you’re in crunch mode and have it checked off long before you leave so you can leave those stresses behind.
- Use pre-made resources from experts to really help you plan your trip and timing. Check out bevacationready.com and find a load of resources for ideas to plan your vacation and plan family fun! We were aided in finding some of the top children’s attractions in Palm Springs, which I shared yesterday. Tons of our ideas came from this site and helped us have a good idea of timing and activities we’d all enjoy with zero stress of planning it all ourselves.
- Make sure you plan around all family members. I think so many parents forget their child needs a nap until they are an exhausted grouchy mess. Many parents plan a kid vacation that isn’t filled with much they will enjoy, and visa-versa! So many parents plan what they want to do and don’t realize you may need some time to allow kids to roam free, rest, and find activities they like. Find a mix of fun and relaxing, parent fun and kid fun, or things everyone will like if possible!
- Book a Wyndham Vacation Rental! I can’t say enough for this, so it’s going to get a few bullet points here! Renting a home in a residential area gave us a lot of peace and quiet and helped our toddler (and his parents) feel more at home and relaxed. That meant more sleep, a more familiar feeling allowing adjusting time to be minimized, and a team of local professionals that make sure it’s clean and inspected so the photos you see online are just what you’re getting. It’s the best of renting and feeling like a local, and having the high standards of cleanliness at a hotel mixed into one really amazing experience!
- Find a rental with multiple rooms. We’ve spent one too many travel days in a hotel room in absolute silence and dark while the baby sleeps, or even out in the hall or in the bathroom to let him adjust and sleep without us there. Oh my, what a difference having a home with multiple bedrooms for privacy and for better napping and sleeping arrangements makes!
- Find a rental with communal spaces.This is another reason we fell in love with Wyndham Vacation Rentals! We could all party in the room area, we could have fun as adults after we put the kid to bed and watch a movie or play games, there was room for me to set up shop and get some work done during nap time, and we had a space we could unwind from family fun and spend more time having relaxing family fun together very comfortably.
- Make sure you have kitchen access. In the old days of travel Jacob and I would wake up and get completely ready to the adventures of the day, and then head down to the hotel breakfast or nearest place we could pick something up on our way out. Having young children is a different story! We wake up every morning to a polite request of “Please I eat-eat!” It’s darling but also turns to far less polite quickly. We’ve learned to have food on hand, and when we get to stay somewhere with a kitchen it’s amazing how easy it is to always keep everyone fed and happy. We make a stop at a grocery store and get the whole milk our toddler needs, and some food for snaps and breakfast and it goes a long way in keeping our family happy! It also helps with the budget to ease stress there, you can pick and choose when to eat out and control what you want to spend much more easily.
- If there is a pool, go for the pool! One of my sets of grandparents lived in a tiny town that made visits, well, not super interesting to me as an older child. My parents would try to book a place with a pool or take us to the community pool in the summer which turned it into an instantly fun vacation. I can’t believe how much fun it is to have a pool ready to swim in, no matter where you go, it’s always a fun idea. I love having a private one so much on our trip, it was easy to walk out back and swim, easy to walk in the shower from the back door, very private, and made for a much less stressful pool experience.
- Do laundry before you get home. After our family trip to Spain last summer I couldn’t get over the piles of laundry three people had created on one trip that we packed light for! Staying at a Wyndham Vacation Rental was so amazing for this! After each pool experience, we’d rinse out swim suits, throw them in the wash with all our clothes from the past day (or two) and replace overwhelm with clean laundry ready to go. It was amazing! I came home putting clothes in drawers instead of dreading chores the next day. It also gives packing freedom knowing if you forget something or spill, it’s okay, you can wash your clothes and live on a lot less during the trip.
- Plan a little downtime into the trip. You may need a nap, your kids may need a break from other people, you may get caught in traffic, or reservations may not pan out. Plan some free time to just sight see, bond as a family, rest, and enjoy quality time together in a new space. That’s far more relaxing than stressing that a schedule is off, and a few free time hours can make the next family event even more fun with a well-rested and relaxed family, particularly a relaxed mom!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wyndham Vacation Rentals. The opinions and text are all mine.