Shaking things up a bit is part of the fun of travel. You get to leave the tedium of your daily life at home and wake up each morning facing a brand new adventure.
But if you’re on the road for a significant amount of time, and especially if you’re bringing along the family, you may quickly discover that keeping at least some semblance of your daily regimen goes a long way toward keeping everybody happy. (Or at least keeping you sane.)
Think about it. While it might sound fun at first to forego bedtimes, breakfasts, and your fitness plan, that “freedom” can quickly turn to chaos. The kids might sleep until noon, pushing back your planned adventures — or, perhaps worse, wake you up in the wee hours before you’re rested and ready to take on the day. Without planned meals, everyone ends up snacking all day long… which doesn’t bode well, especially if exercise doesn’t have a place in your travel schedule.
But it’s not actually very difficult to create and stick to a travel routine. And trust us, it makes you anything but a wet blanket! In fact, we’re certain your whole family will end up thanking you for providing just a little bit of predictability during your adventure.
Here are some guidelines to help you create and stick to good daily habits on the road.
Healthy Daily Routine
One of the first things you’ll want to consider when you make your daily schedule is the time you’ll set aside for sleep.
Although nobody wants to set an alarm clock while they’re on vacation, studies show that people who maintain a steady sleep/wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, are healthier than those who shift their rest around to fit external circumstances. For that reason, it’s a good idea to keep a similar sleeping pattern as you would on a normal day at home — and that goes for everyone on board the camper. This can also help you have a more reliable idea of when everyone will be up and ready to go, which can help you plan accurately for the activities and entertainment you’ll enjoy at your vacation.
Another important consideration when crafting a travel day routine is when to designate meal times. Everyone’s got to eat, and doing it together is a simple way to ensure you’re connecting and spending quality time during your vacation. Plus, eating together as a family can even help you save money — after all, it’s a lot less expensive to fix a homemade dinner at your RV than to fund everyone’s separate snacking habits all day long.
By knowing what hours are blocked off for sleeping and eating, you’ll have a much better sense of the time left over for planning other fun things to do. But what else goes into coming up with creative travel routines that will help your family stay happy and balanced?
Morning Routine for Travel
If you and your family are like most, mornings can be a bit of a struggle. Getting everyone up and at ’em can be a challenge, from pulling unwilling parties out of bed to figuring out a fair and balanced bathroom schedule.
But if you set up a basic morning routine ahead of time, you can get through wake-up time with a minimal amount of grumpiness.
When you travel, a great morning actually starts with a night time routine. First of all, make sure everyone knows their bedtimes — and understands what time they’ll be expected to be fresh and ready in the morning. Staggering bedtimes and wake-up times can help make getting ready in the morning a smoother process, since not everyone will be clambering for the bathroom at once. An RV is a small space, after all!
Then, set aside at least half an hour after everyone’s up and dressed to sit down to breakfast together. It doesn’t have to be a big deal: maybe just a protein bar and coffee for mom and dad and a bowl of cereal for the kids. Even if you’re not big on breakfast, eating together in the morning is a great idea. You can discuss that day’s upcoming plans and also know for a fact that everyone’s got some fuel in the tank for whatever you’re doing before lunchtime.
Even just implementing a bedtime and a daily breakfast will go a long way toward making your vacation more productive and less stressful. But there are a few other routine ideas you may also want to add into your travel schedule.
Travel Fitness Routine
When you’re traveling, it’s almost too easy to let your fitness pursuits fall to the wayside entirely. Who wants to spend time working out on their vacation?
But if you don’t want to come back from your trip feeling weaker and less ready to take on the world than you were when you left, it’s a good idea to plan for some exercise. And don’t worry, it doesn’t have to feel like work!
Especially since camping lends itself so well to outdoor adventures, it can be easy to stay in shape through the everyday activities you have planned for your journey. For instance, you might end up hiking, kayaking, or swimming at a state park — and all of those count as exercise! It doesn’t have to take place in a gym to get your heart rate up.
The important thing, however, is to make sure you purposefully include a sweat sesh at regular intervals during your travels. Route your trip with destinations you know are outdoorsy, and make sure to get in a hike at least a few times a week.
And, if you’re really dedicated to your fitness regimen, you could also invest in some simple travel workout equipment, like resistance bands, dumbbells, or a jump rope.
Finally, don’t forget that some of your travel routine success actually depends on choices you make well before the trip. By having a regular routine in place pre travel, you’ll make it easier for your family to adopt a schedule during their vacation.
You can also optimize your travel schedule to make your daily routine work — for instance, by avoiding activities and destinations that require staying up late if your family’s routine calls for early mornings.
Although it might seem like a pain at first, setting a travel routine can actually make your vacation better. We’re sure it’ll be much easier to relax knowing the whole family is well rested, well fed, and won’t face a lengthy reacclimation time as soon as you get back home.
Enjoy your trip!