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Although traveling as a family can be fun and exciting, it can also be stressful. Fortunately, there are several ways to minimize the amount of stress and anxiety that often comes with family trips. Here are five simple tips to use in order to make a family trip go as smoothly as possible.


Allow Extra Travel Time to Mitigate Delays

Whether traveling by car or by plane, it’s important to realize that delays are inevitable. Bad weather can cause flight delays or cancellations, and driving through a major metropolitan area around the end of a workday can add on several hours of traffic. Try to take these situations in stride and think of them as part of the overall experience.


Try Not to Pack Any More Than Necessary

While many people may think it’s a good idea to pack everything they may possibly need for a lengthier stay, they typically end up not having enough room to bring home souvenirs and items from the actual trip. Try to pack only the basics, and leave room for incidental purchases throughout the length of the trip.


Bring Along Plenty of Snacks

While traveling as a family, it’s important to pack plenty of food and snacks to keep hunger at bay. Let the kids have a say in what snacks to bring along for the trip. Try to bring items that aren’t messy, such as crackers, fruit chews, and string cheese.


Remember to Pack Medications

If a member of the family requires daily medications, be sure to pack them in a place that is easily accessible, such as in a backpack or carry-on bag. Also, be sure to bring commonly needed medicines like pain relievers, fever reducers, or motion sickness pills. No one wants to have to drive to the store in the middle of the night for medicine because someone in the family became ill.


Remember to Include Downtime

One of the quickest ways to turn a family vacation into a stressful trip is by overscheduling daily activities. If the vacation is for about a week, try to include at least one day off for some downtime and relaxation in the hotel. That way, everyone can rest, recharge, and be ready for the next day’s adventures.