Putting the Brakes on Pressure-Filled Vacations – By Stacy DeBroff

How do we contain our 24/7 tendencies and avoid pressure-filled family vacations this summer?

Dial it Back: Many families plan an annual vacation, hoping it turns into a “trip of a lifetime,” causing undue pressure and outsized expectations. Isn’t the idea of a family vacation to just spend more time together as a family? This year, why not focus on ways to make vacation time about fun for the family instead of focusing on exotic destinations and ticking off activities accomplished?

Consider Weekend Getaways: Unfortunately, even long-awaited vacations aren’t immune to torrential rainfall, food poisoning, or endlessly squabbling teens, but problems become magnified if they take place during a family’s one-and-only trip. Scale back the pressure by planning fun family getaways throughout the year, such as bike trips, weekend camping explorations, or family hikes.

Take a Tech Time-Out: Getting our “digital natives” to unplug – even briefly – often proves to be a challenge. Many Moms rely on vacations to get kids away from technology. To avoid angst and anxiety when gadgets are in shut-down mode, let kids know ahead of time when they can and cannot pull out their electronics. Involve them in vacation planning so that they can look forward to offline activities.

Keep it Low-Key: These days our kids spend a lot of time with highly programmed activities such as school, sports teams, and enrichment classes. Yet, many kids ask for more opportunities to engage in natural, unstructured outdoor play. Instead of a summer vacation filled with scheduled activities and agenda items, make sure that kids have an opportunity this year to simply play: riding bikes, climbing trees, building forts.

Focus on the Great Outdoors: Why not aspire to do more natural, unstructured outdoor activities with the family? Vacation time provides a key opportunity to get the whole family outside. From nature walks to camping trips to family bike rides, spend this summer relaxing outdoors.


Stacy DeBroff is the founder and CEO of Mom Central Consulting, the leading social media consulting firm focused on Moms. She has been featured in CNN’s American Morning and Headline News; Fox News and Fox & Friends; Bloomberg News; NBC’s Today Show; The View; The Tyra Banks Show, the CBS Early Show, The Daily Buzz, ABC’s Good Morning America, and the Rachael Ray Show. She has also contributed to USA Today, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Stacy has authored four best-selling parenting books. Stacy lives with her husband, Ron, and their two teens in Boston, Massachusetts. To learn more about Stacy and her work, visit: http://www.stacydebroff.com.