My sister-in-law and I always share a joke about vacation – that it should be called “relocation” – because for moms, the work just doesn’t end. So how can moms and dads make vacation more relaxing and actually feel like a...well...vacation? Every year, my family travels from NJ to New England where we stay in Rhode Island. We love it and the experience it gives our three children.
Over the years of taking this trip with three little kids, I’ve learned a trick or two for making it a bit more relaxing and I’m happy to share them with you:
Choose to Rent
This one is first because it’s the tip that makes ALL the difference and July is National Vacation Rental Month, the time of year when the greatest number of travelers enjoy this better way to get away. We’ve chosen rentals every year that we’ve gone away from the time my son was born six years ago. It’s the only way I’ll travel.
Renting does a few things for you. It gives you extra space, lots of privacy and convenient in-home amenities like full kitchens, living rooms, multiple bedrooms. You can create ‘home-cooked’ meals, have guests over, and have perks like a washer and dryer. Anyone who has kids knows this is awesome!
Bottom line, rentals offer a home away from home and with Wyndham Vacation Rentals, you’ll find a wide range of valuable benefits for all types of travelers. Additionally, you get the bonus of hotel-like amenities at many properties – like shuttle service, a concierge desk and housekeeping. The best of both worlds blended together to make your trip fantastic. You also book knowing your vacation is backed by the Vacation Rental Bill of Rights, an industry-first service pledge that lets you know they are there for you before, during and after your stay
Get Local Help
Since we vacation with just our family, we often will seek out a mother’s helper or local college student to assist us from time to time. I hire them like I would any other sitter (background check, etc) but the internet and many online sitter sites make it possible to do this far from your location. Usually, I just need someone to come to the beach with us and assist in making the beach fun for everyone. With three little kids, having an extra set of hands is never a bad idea. We have a local college student that meets us at the beach and plays with the kids for a few hours – helps me with lunch, changing diapers, adn even gives me a few moments to actually sit in a chair…and *gasp* relax a little!
You probably have seen the popularity of many boxed meal plans that offer fresh, convenient meals that are easy to prepare. I usually order a box to be delivered to me either at the location of my rental (if possible) or at my home and I drive it up on ice. This gives me 3-4 home cooked meals ready to prepare in my rental’s full kitchen without the prep work, shopping or extra time in the kitchen.
The meals have everything you need to prepare the meal – so it’s easy on the chef. Other nights, we head out for dinner making this a vacation from meal prep and heavy cooking.
Consider Supply Rental
Many vacation areas offer stroller rentals (and other baby gear) as well as beach chair and beach toy rentals. We always use this option wherever possible. If my rental does not provide it (which most provide so much!) I rent it from a local company for a week. It is usually delivered to your rental and you can have some extra space in the car or to check-in for travel. Some companies even offer to do the baby shopping for you – by having your chosen diapers, wipes and baby supplies for you at your rental. Again, it’s less packing and easier on you.
A Good Flow
You’re on vacation, so I’m definitely not suggesting a tight schedule, but when you have kids, try to keep the same “flow” each day. For example, when we’re in Rhode Island, we wake up, have breakfast and go to the beach til after lunch. Then, we come home for showeres/baths and rest. We then hit the town for the afternoon or visit an attraction/attend an event. We’ll usually go home again, either make dinner or go out to eat and then hit the town again for an evening out. My kids know what to expect and it helps us fill the time when we have a flow to the day that works for our family. Find a good flow for your family. It doesn’t have to be planned out but might be as simple as saying your youngest needs a nap in the late afternoon and revolving things around that.
A vacation rental will help you with that flow with more freedom and an ability to discover the local scene. You’ll be immersed in a neighborhood and might discover things you might not discover otherwise. We discovered small parks and a small beach that was never crowded because of the location of one rental.
No matter what you plan, keep it fun, keep it simple – and remember to relax!
To enjoy your own vacation rental experience, visit WyndhamVacationRentals.com
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.