Give Travel a Chance

Why the efforts of planning and taking a vacation are worth it

Just a minute, back-to-school sales—summer’s not over yet! Before July slips through your fingertips, it is more than possible to plan a summer trip or outing that will satisfy your itch to travel. But don’t expect a utopian getaway. While you may be undated with images of seemingly perfect vacations in your Instagram feeds from friends and influencers alike, keep in mind that no typical family’s vacation is devoid of whining, arguing, stress and threats to turn this car around. But we shouldn’t ditch travel for those reasons alone. Read on to be reminded of the benefits of travel for families, regardless of the chaos that may ensue. Despite any reservations you may have about taking a trip, make reservations instead. Expect a perfectly imperfect family trip, and you might just be pleasantly surprised.


Imagination Vacation

When her family’s busy life gets in the way of taking a vacation, young Sam finds a way to plan the perfect getaway with a little planning and imagination.

Product: I Spy Travel Card Game

This fun and interactive game limits screen time and has the potential to provide extended periods of fun during a road or plane trip. Cards such as, I spy someone wearing sunglasses and I spy a sign with the number 5 will keep kids alert and engaged as you travel to your destination!

Quote of the Month

“Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion.”

– Leigh Hunt

How Family Vacations Improve the Quality of Lives

Get out of your comfort zones and embrace the benefits of travel

Ask most people what comes to mind when they hear the word summer and you’ll likely hear a recurring response: vacation. No wonder that summer– associated with freedom and carefree fun– would align with vacation, also regarded as a period of pleasure, relaxation, and freedom from life’s demands and responsibilities. So why is it that we often return home from vacations with our families feeling simultaneously drained and on edge?

The reality for most families is that summer vacation is not always the picture perfect getaway that we imagined it to be. Vacation often feels simply like a relocation; no matter how beautiful (or expensive) the surroundings, the daily challenges of parenthood do not float away with those gentle ocean waves you were so excited to dip your toes in. At times, vacations can feel even more stressful than life at home– routines are thrown off, nap schedules may shift or be discarded, and personal space is constantly assaulted, all resulting in exhaustion and stress for everyone involved.

So why bother at all, right? If vacations involve so much money and planning and often result in increased levels of stress and anxiety, why would anyone actively take them? Well, because despite this realistic, yet grim perspective of how summer trips can be, the benefits of family vacations actually far outweigh the downsides.

Improve flexibility

Watching caregivers adapt to unexpected situations, which happen frequently on family vacations, can be a helpful learning experience for children. Whether it’s a delay in transportation, trying a new food or altering plans in order to take part in a spontaneous opportunity, children will take note of how you respond. When

you demonstrate flexibility and resilience, it provides a positive role model for them, not just for resilience but for patience as well.

Encourage curiosity

Young children have a natural wonder about the world, and it is arguably one of their most enchanting assets. The manner in which they perceive their environment is typically one of fascination, as their minds spin with innumerable questions that they assume you know the answers to. While this awe typically dampens with age, traveling to a new place often ignites a sense of curiosity, no matter one’s age.

Simply taking in new sights, smells and tastes can be enough to spark amazement, although you can further encourage curiosity about a family trip by talking often about your upcoming trip, reading online about places you’d like to go, renting relevant books from the library and watching movies or documentaries.

Teaches diversity

Traveling to new places often means witnessing cultures whose environment, physical appearance, customs, food, etc. look vastly different than your own. This is a privilege for your child to see, as it allows them to expand their world view.

Strengthens family bonds

While the aforementioned scenarios of fighting siblings and stressed-out parents can certainly result from being in constant contact with your family while on a trip, vacations are also incredibly special. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often get lost in our to-do lists, our devices and our own mental chatter, and removing yourself with your family allows you the opportunity to take space from those distractions and focus on each other for a set (and finite) amount of time. For better or for worse, this space is where core memories are made. So, take that chance and take advantage of the (finite) time you have while they’re still young. Years from now, you’ll be glad that you did.


Traveling with Kids with Special Needs

Tips to help trips run smoothly

While traveling with children who have special needs can make family getaways seem all the more intimidating, the benefits of vacations are no different. Consider the following suggestions to help ease your anxiety. Every family, no matter the challenges within, deserve a chance to discover the world together!

Be assertive

Many people, even those who are entirely well-meaning, are unsure of how to help someone with a disability. As justly as you can, be sure to communicate your child’s needs with clarity and without apology.

Prepare for challenges

If your child is cleared for travel by their doctor and any subsequent specialists, consult with them to cover your bases. Obtain a physician’s letter outlining their conditions and any needs in case of an emergency; bring along copies of prescriptions that may need to be filled; check with your insurance company to be sure medical needs are covered during travel; and get recommendations for physicians and specialists in the area you are visiting, should you need their assistance.

Divide your attention

Despite any jitters you may have about your child with special needs, be sure that you give your attention and support to your other children as well, if applicable.

Affordable Last Minute Getaways

It’s not too late (or too expensive!) for summer adventures

While summer already feels like it’s coming to a close once the Fourth of July passes us by, there is plenty of time to create some travel memories with your family, even with minimal preparation. Consider the following ideas to reap the benefits of quality time without breaking your budget:

Camping in the backyard

Pitching a tent and sleeping under the starts doesn’t have to involve booking and traveling to a campsite. Just stake claim in your own backyard! The extra benefits of this strategy include nearby bathrooms, easy access to meals and snacks, and a quick backup plan for sleeping inside if the outdoor floor plan just gets too difficult. It’s also a great way to introduce camping to children that have not yet experienced it in its true form.

Community Fests

Many community fests in the summer are free or request a donation to enter, and typically include music, food stands, and children’s games. Search for local events online or check out the site Mommy Poppins for some great event suggestions for families at this link.

Outdoor Movies

Many communities host outdoor movie nights in the summer that start at dusk and are free to attend. Added bonus: it becomes a built-in picnic when you bring snacks and a blanket to sit on. Get extra cozy with spare throw blankets and pillows, and dress kids in their pajamas before you go- if they fall asleep on the way home, it’s an easier process to put them straight to bed!

Content of this newsletter was written by:
Megan A. Miller, M.S., CCC-SLP

Please contact Megan with any questions or comments at: