Be a step ahead this March Break: 5 must-ask questions before you hop on that plane!

Have you ever found yourself wandering along with a crowd..on your ‘vacation’ thinking “I don’t even like (insert whatever you are currently doing)?” 

Too often, we get so excited about the concept of a holiday that we just follow along with what the guide book says and don’t customize it to fit our own wants and needs, or the strengths and limitations of those traveling with us. You do the “must sees’ according to someone else, or hop on a pre-planned itinerary and skip the necessary steps to make it yours. You forget to ask yourself the meaningful questions about what you are wanting out of this time, and instead find yourself on holiday thinking “it would have been more relaxing to just stay home.”

The reality is, when it comes to vacationing (especially with kids), one size does not fit all. And, when ADHD is in the picture, you need to be even more honest with yourself and your family about what would be fun for the whole group.

For example, you know transitions are going to be challenging.
You know there will be forgotten items.
You know that there will be some unplanned spontaneity involved.
And you know that your family will likely need more structure than they would like to admit.

Even something as simple as setting up a daily routine for your crew can make a big difference.

So this march break, before you pack up your children, a random assortment of extended family, hop on a plane, and hope for the best, take a few minutes with your partner to be mindful of your holiday experience.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before hopping on that plane: 

1. How many transitions can your family happily do in a day?

Less is more when ADHD is involved. Fewer transitions in a day can make the ultimate difference between a good and satisfying day and one that goes completely off the rails. It may be important to implement a 'one activity a day' policy or set up a loose schedule that has flexible timelines. You don’t have to do everything. Instead, quality over quantity is the name of the game.

2. What type of one-on-one time might help with the vibe?

Switching up dynamics can be such a great way to fill up your (and your family member’s) energy tanks. A mother daughter manicure? Hike time on the beach with dad? It’s important to be aware of helping all individuals in the family get some space, and a few different vibes. In your normal day to day life, you’re not usually on top of each other as much as you usually are during a holiday.

3. What helps your family start their day on the right foot?

Trying to keep as many of the routines that work well at home can be crucial to starting the day in a way that builds positive momentum. Even subtle things, like familiar breakfast food, relaxing music, a quick jog/outdoor play time, maybe a yoga video, or some lego or art time; taking the time to build a good and individualized feeling in the morning can help center your family. It may sound overly simplified, but will really make an impactful difference!

4. How can we find some adult-only time?

Budgeting to have some childcare help can be one of the most important priorities of your vacation costs. This is supposed to be a relaxing time for you and your partner too, so finding a few slots of time where you can just be with each other is key to feeling rejuvenated. Nowadays there are often great local resources. Call ahead to the hotel/community you are going and see if you can get some time put aside with help. Even if you don’t feel comfortable going too far, just setting up some space for yourselves will do wonders. Don’t have babysitting available? Consider an adults only dinner when your children are in bed or watching a movie.

5. What’s each member of your family’s favourite type of activity?

Taking a few minutes to connect with each of your family members to find out what they are most into about the holiday can help you avoid surprises and set reasonable expectations. Having this conversation will help you understand where they are coming from, and allow you to set up a game plan far in advance. Sometimes their answers will surprise you and their ideas may be better than what you could have come up with!

 

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