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10 Tips for Travel Success

by Irvina Lew

May 25, 2019

Volodymyr Tverdokhlib | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

At a recent event, I listened to a couple complaining — albeit separately — about a recent trip. Essentially, “he” treated his wife and high school-aged sons to an exotic foreign destination the boys didn’t enjoy; likewise, “she” was furious with him. He insisted on planning the trip and scheduled a daily, all-too-exhausting, sun-up to sun-down itinerary, even to the last day when he booked two separate, sweaty, three-hour excursions. They all had to check out before the tours started, leaving no place to shower afterwards. The result? Each one arrived home miserable. The incident reminded me that, even with great intentions, most of us can enhance our travel success by considering who is going and their needs and wants. Here are some ideas that work, perhaps for you, too.


Buy city passes and tickets in advance and book restaurant reservations if the effort saves the misery of waiting on line. (You can call to cancel.)


Establish some rules before leaving home. No devices at the dinner table might be a good start.


Schedule a low-impact activity for after arrival, when everyone is deservedly exhausted just to get a sense of place: a boat tour, a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus, or a chauffeured limousine tour. The style doesn’t matter, energy does and getting to sleep at a normal time is essential for the rest of the trip.


Build in downtime. Little ones nap; school-aged kids play; teens sleep; grown-ups shop and spa. Plan an early night before a full-day excursion and a late start, the next morning. Likewise, consider the kids’ pre-flight needs: Do they need to run before sitting still? Get calm before a sleep?


kids waiting for plane in airport.

kids waiting for plane in airport. Photo: Nadezhda1906 | Dreamstime.com


Give each person the chance to decide upon one activity for all, whether it’s a tour, a meal or lounging at the pool.


Decide to do one “new” activity — from someone’s to do list — if not each day or for each person at least once during the trip.


Contemplate your, or their, limited attention span. Plan to leave while they want to see more (which means they’ll want to return), not when they are bored (which means they’ll remember not liking the venue).


Separate once, if doable. Consider age-appropriate separations according to family situations. Someone might need one-to-one — or alone — time, especially whichever person is charged with caring for the most difficult family member.


Establish a meeting place (the café?) wherever you go and a time limit (60–75 minutes), especially for after a separation and in case someone wanders.


Allow some appropriate-to-age and responsibility-level freedom with parental stipulations: a safe venue, a time limit and a cell phone in hand. What is sure to make the parent anxious might well enhance a young person’s self-confidence!


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