6 Green Ways To Make The Most Of Your Family Vacation

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As summer approaches, it’s time to start planning for a family vacation fun. Whether it’s going to be an extended road trip or a short weekend getaway, family vacations can be the source of a lot of anxiety but can also result in many happy life-long memories.

family vacation, green travel

What can you do to ensure that you have more of the latter and less of the former? Here are 6 simple tips to help parents plan better:

1. Start your preparations early

Not forgetting anything important in the packing process can make or break a trip. The trick is to make a packing list well in advance. Start several weeks before the trip and place the list somewhere obvious, so that there’s ample opportunity to continue to add to it as things come to mind. By having a list, you can pack the supplies you will really need. Nothing more and nothing extra. The list can help you avoid buying extra things on your vacation, that will have no use after. It is also a really good idea to pack some healthy snacks for your family while you are in transit and without access to nutritious food. Simple ideas such as Ziploc bag with mixed nuts and dry fruit, naturally-sweetened granola bars, or homemade oatmeal cookies or plantain banana chips, can make a huge difference when you are on the road. Sitting in the car for hours with children is a challenge but itself; keeping them happy with nutritious snacks will make the process much smoother while you know they munch on healthy stuff instead of roadside junk food! Including a travel water bottle with water filter is always a good idea as you might not always have access to drinking water.

healthy snacks

2. Include everyone’s interests

Make sure you plan something for every member of the family. For example, if you’re going fishing but not everyone is exactly thrilled to sit by the lake, include another activity that others will enjoy while you fish. To keep it green, consider packing few bikes, canoes or kayaks, instead of motor-operated vehicles or equipment. To help you with the load, you can choose efficient utility trailers, such as those at Hillsboro Industries. Besides recreational use, they can be used regularly to haul furniture or large equipment, so they will come handy. Adding a trailer to your car can really save energy and lessen the amount of pollutants you would be putting in the air by taking two cars.

3. Limit media

In our over-digitized lives, media and electronic devices can take over our free time. Vacation time is family time, therefore encourage everyone to put the electronics away. It will allow for more quality time to bond with your kids, possibly in new ways than you are used to. Get creative or keep it simple. Even simple talks with your children about their lives and goals, may feel like a luxury you can hardly afford during everyday busyness. By engaging with nature, and enjoying the world around, you will also help save energy. Take this opportunity to teach your kids about the world and how to protect it.

4. Foster curiosity

Check out a book from the library before the trip to get everyone excited about the places you’ll be seeing or passing through. Travel guide or even a story set in the same general area will give kids something to look forward to, knowing they will get to see and explore the “real thing” soon. If you are heading for a beach vacation, teach your kids about the ocean and what they can do at home to protect it before they visit. Once at the beach, they can understand how to respect the environment and its life, and they will be proud knowing that they can make a difference.

5. Plan not to plan

Leave some wiggle room in your schedule to do something unexpected. Sometimes spontaneity pays off. Vacation is definitely a time to relax and enjoy yourself. You don’t need to worry about anything. Just kick your feet off and enjoy a break from the stress of everyday life. The reward is priceless.

6. Keep the memories alive

Take lots of photos! When the trip is over, make it a priority to save your digital photos on another device or backup disc. This way you can view them over and over again without wasting any printing ink or paper. Along with taking photos, collect unique little trinkets such as rocks, sea shells, bottle caps, stamps, postcards, etc. When you get back home, get creative and make souvenirs for your family and friends. They will be able to enjoy parts of your vacation with you and will always appreciate your unique gift. You can also use them to make a picture frame or a collage for your favorite photos. Or gather all of your trinkets in a mason jar and have a “Vacation Jar” that holds all of your memories! That is an inexpensive and fun way to always remember your vacation.

green tips, homemade souvenirs

A family vacation is a time to get away from our busy lives but also to spend quality time with the ones we love most. Make the most of it!

If you need little inspiration about the places to visit with your kids, check out this Travel Guide with 100 Places That Can Change Your Child’s Life.

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Author:Kara Masterson

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

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