404 Rest planning

Rest planning

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When I was a travel agent, I used to preview customer itineraries for the trips they were planning. I love planning itineraries. Seriously, send me a question about yours anytime.

Anyway, I like to plan, but my travel style is different. I prefer to have a simple goal of the day. It could be a site I want to see, a region I want to explore more in-depth, or just a day for strolling around aimlessly (which tends to be my preferred method of travel – and why I often leave a place wishing I saw more!)

Regardless of how someone plans an itinerary, one important part to consider – whether you have kids or not – is rest. Back at the travel agency I worked with many young adults visiting Europe for the first time. Because they had limited time and wanted to maximize their trip, their schedules were very go – go – go. City after city, train ride after train ride. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, it’s a good idea to take a break every few days. If you’re scheduling everything in advance, take a break from the big cities by heading to the beach or a small village. If you’re going with the flow, the easy tip is when it all starts to feel the same, change the course.

(Please note: the slow traveler approach lends itself to more rest than the “I want to see as much as possible” approach does. And, to be honest, you know yourself and what you can handle. If you want to travel to a new city every day for a week without a break, that’s ok, too! I wouldn’t suggest it, but I’m not going to get upset if you do. 🙂 That said…)

When you have kids, these rest days are crucial. We all know that we should plan for a kid’s day or two while on a trip. That’s a day where the sites are more geared to them, as oppose to say, Harrods food court. It’s also important to plan a rest day for trips that are kid-activity-centric. Say you’re going to the popular theme parks in Orlando. Instead of visiting four back-to-back, take a day to enjoy something more relaxing.

In addition to having a day for resting every few days, make a plan for rest during busy days. Even if the kids no longer nap, it’s a good way to decompress before facing the rest of the day. A good time to do this is after lunch. Go to a local park or cafe and just relax. Or just head back to the hotel. Grab a book, or give the kids some time to reflect in their journals.

To me, resting during a busy trip is the key to making it a successful trip.

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Lynne is doing her second A-to-Z Challenge on her blog Winnie’s Views. She writes about her travels with her dog, Millie, in her winnebago. Visit her site today!sun cover carApple WatchPrology TFT

Comments

  1. All very true, and not just with kids. As we get older (both nearer 60 than 50 these days, sigh) we try to stay longer in each place on a road-trip. First the one night stops went, now we’ve eliminated two-nighters. And there is ALWAYS enough to do.

    • We’re in our 30s and I’ve started really eliminating the 2-nighters. The 1-nighters are very, very rare (a stop along the way, or a day trip that we want to spend more time at) We will only do that if we’re close enough to the place that it feels ok. Whereas there was a time when I picked the fewer nights because it automatically made it cheaper.

  2. I think rest days are extremely important for kids of all ages. In fact, the younger ones seem more able to go with the flow than some of the older ones!

  3. Good point Ann, even as 20 somethings that want to see it all we’ve quickly realized the importance of rest. Without it you just hit a wall.

  4. I know exactly what you mean Ann. I used to tell my clients that they would be coming home for a holiday! These days we only ever book 3 day stays as a minimum but we prefer to plan for 5 days which more than often extends by a day or two if we are loving a place!

  5. We know all too well how important rest is to the family on a trip 🙂 Unfortunately (as you know too well) when Mom gets away it’s usually for a short period of time and not ‘restful’ at all 🙂

    • Funny you should mention that. I was going to go on a tangent about our trip to London and how we didn’t get too much rest time and we had a busy, mostly preplanned itinerary. But, I decided to keep it out. I loved our preplanned itinerary because we saw what we want to saw and, other than that first day, I didn’t feel too rushed the rest of the time.

  6. Hubby and I just tried something new – a few overseas days purely for rest. Great advice here.

  7. “Back at the travel agency I worked with many young adults visiting Europe for the first time. Because they had limited time and wanted to maximize their trip, their schedules were very go – go – go. City after city, train ride after train ride.”

    Haha, I was one of those young adults you helped back in the day that was planning some go go trips! Though I did mix that up when I could and spent awhile in some places. It costs a lot more to travel so fast but when you’re young you have the energy and it was exciting to constantly be in new countries. We prefer to travel slow these days ourselves, even without kids, but we’ve already seen a lot too, as you have.

  8. haha I know what you mean about trying to fit as much in as little time. For me, part of travel being a good experience , you need to feel good while you’re travelling. if my memory of a place or city will just be running around going train ride after train ride, then its not going to make for a pleasant memory. As I’ve aged my “rest planning” has become more and more frequent 😉