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5 Ways to Actually Relax on Your Family Vacation

Thanks Club Med for providing me this trip for free. All opinions represented in this post are my own.

Vacationing with kids rarely feels as relaxing as it should. Sure, you can wave sayonara to your job, your bills, and that weird sound the fridge has been making for the last few days. But, you can’t exactly leave your parental duties behind. The rule usually is: if they’re with you, you’re in charge of them.

Too often, vacations just swap out one hectic daily routine for another. But I’ve learned in our recent trip to Club Med Punta Cana that with the right mindset, you can leave your day-to-day cares behind you and recharge (even with kids in tow).

Here’s how we did it:

1. Start the Day at Your Own Pace

For the love of God, break your routine. Don’t exchange the day-to-day hustling to get everyone on the school bus for running around getting them fed, suited up, and lathered in sunscreen to hit the beach. Embrace a leisurely morning. The beach will still be there.

I eased into our day by having breakfast brought to the room. From the moment you wake up, you should be in a vacation state of mind. That means, taking it slow and relaxing throughout the day.

Image source: Elizabeth Stark

2. Make Plans Without the Kids

It can feel weird to do things on your own during a family vacation, but sometimes kids want to do their own thing too.

Image source: Elizabeth Stark

Plan some time apart. Club Med Punta Cana, like many resorts around the world, offers childcare that includes pool time, crafts, and play.

Image source: Elizabeth Stark

Use that adult time to seek out new experiences, either in the resort or vacation town itself. I ended up taking a circus skills class with staff trained by Cirque du Soleil. How cool is that?! There, I tried my hand at the trapeze and flips on the aerial bungee. And that was right before heading off to a sailing class. (OK, this proved to be harder than it actually looked.)

Image source: Elizabeth Stark

These new challenges took me outside of my comfort zone and reinvigorated my sense of adventure. So much so, that after I got back home, the circus experience had me looking for other new exciting classes to take.

3. Visit the Spa

Most parents’ day-to-day is woefully short on spa treatments and professional massages. But spas are abound at vacation spots, so make a point of booking some time at one.

Image source: Elizabeth Stark

I booked a leisurely essential oil massage that melted me into a puddle of relaxation. And there, without any cares, I was able to brainstorm my upcoming projects with a state of optimism and excitement (which isn’t always the case at home).

4. Enjoy the Nightlife

No matter what’s happening in your hometown after dark, you probably aren’t enjoying it as often as you’d like. Remedy this by arranging childcare while you’re on vacation and hitting the town. It’s a great way to enjoy carefree moments with your partner, and reconnect.

For us, this was enjoying a fantastic meal, poolside cocktail, and an evening on the dance floor.

Image source: Elizabeth Stark

5. Disconnect from the Daily Grind

At least in my world, vacations are a rare and beautiful thing. And now that I’ve learned how to embrace vacation as a chance to disconnect from the worries of daily life, while also revitalizing my sense of creativity and well-being, I get even more out of my travels than ever before.

Image source: Elizabeth Stark
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