There are many reasons a vacation or travel adventure can become a nightmare. Stolen passports, weather problems, lost luggage and illness are just a few of the common issues that ruin the experience. However, one mistake that gets overlooked is indulging in too much of a good thing.
For most traveling with their kids, they tend to pack in as much “fun” and non-stop entertainment for them. The idea of the little angels sitting around the hotel room seems like an invitation for trouble. Kids can become over-stimulated easily and, the younger they are, the easier it is. When you pack everyday with roller-coasters, 4-D shows, crowds, noise and toss in a giant mouse…it’s a recipe for a breakdown that will turn into begging, bargaining, promising, bribing, and eventually anger.
“It was our third day at Disney,” one mom confesses. “We spent a fortune on the tickets, the flights, the hotels, the car and the souvenirs. They just had no interest in doing anything but going to the hotel and playing in the pool, watching tv and playing on the iPad. I was furious and dejected. But, by day three, my kids became restless beyond just being tired of lines and crowds. I didn’t understand that they were craving a break from the fun. We didn’t go to Disney the fourth day as we planned, but the rest of the vacation went so much smoother by letting them have more down time.”
Psychologist Jennifer L. Fee of Health Guide explains, over-stimulation can trigger anxiety. It may feel like your family isn’t appreciating their surroundings, but it’s just a case of too much of a good thing.
By the way, a one day ticket for the Magic Kingdom runs about $99 per adult, but when you add on those extra days, the daily price drops to $60.80 per adult for 5 days. It’s a bargain when you can divide those days at EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But, it’s smart to ask yourself what you really need. Also, guests can upgrade their tickets in the park for the multi-day discounted price as long as they make the change before the park closes on the last day of current ticket plan.
So, it might save you money and sanity by opting for fewer days to begin with. If you get there and want more time, you can still have the time and the savings. This is also true for Universal Studios. When making your ticket arrangements, ask about ticket upgrade policies.
Even if you aren’t traveling with kids, remind yourself that it is still a vacation. If you don’t allow yourself time to relax and yes, trundle along life without a schedule, you will find yourself saying, “I need a vacation from my vacation!”
Itineraries are a wonderful way to ensure you see every monument, attraction, rock and pebble the location has to offer, but they can also become something you resent by day two. Give yourself wide time frames if you are making plans. Be flexible enough to skip a planned event when you have made a discovery of something intriguing.
Also, be willing to step outside comfort zones. You could be missing out on something amazing just because you found something pretty good and decided to stick with it. Occasionally, you will stumble into those situations when you tried something new and it didn’t pan out. But, trying something new, good or bad, creates experience and memories.