Road Trip! The summertime rallying cry of families everywhere went sadly silent in 2020. With good reason – the global pandemic made most travel unsafe. But as of June 2021, Covid cases have quieted in the US, and summer travel is back on.
For lots of people, this is great news. But for some, summer travel may trigger big feelings.
- Excitement! Vacation means adventure, variety, rest & relaxation.
- Stress! Logistics, itineraries, and long hours in close proximity to each other can be taxing.
- Anxiety! Leaving the house for so long, and going so far away, might feel unsafe after months of self-isolation.
Managing Big Feelings
For families who decide to get back on the road again, we have a few recommendations for managing the big feelings that might accompany post-Covid trips:
- Check-in with your children about what they think it will feel like to be out in the world, away from home, in places they haven’t been in a while, or have never been before.
- Normalize big feelings, in part by sharing some of your own. “I’m excited that we’re going away. Sometimes I feel a little nervous about traveling. Does anyone else feel that way?”
- Make family coping plans to deal with big feelings:
- What if we get so excited about our trip that we can’t sleep? Maybe we’ll all listen to a meditation app before bedtime, or read stories together.
- How about if being in a new place and trying to figure out how to get around feels stressful? If we’re feeling stressed, then we’ll tell each other about it. And we’ll make sure we build some relaxation time into our days.
- What if we’re feeling nervous about germs, or viruses, or other things that come up when we’re away? We’ll bring things on our trip that help us feel comfortable, like our favorite clothes or stuffed animals. We can also talk about it together. We’ll take deep breaths., and we’ll do what we can to keep each other safe.
Is your family is finding a way to get out and travel this summer, for day trips or longer vacations? We’d love to hear what you’re doing to make summer travel manageable and fun!