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I love lake trips. They are so fun! And a great way to spend time with the family. But, it isn’t always easy to relax at the lake. Sometimes, the work that goes into these trips makes it hard to relax, especially for parents. So, to make your lake trips even better, here are 7 tips for a relaxing lake trip. Regardless of whether you are camping or staying at a lake house, these tips will have all your stress melting away during your next stay at your favorite lake.
Tip #1: Make Breakfast & Lunch Easy
One of the things that makes going to the lake with your family so much work is meal prep. So, to make your trip more relaxing, eliminate as much of this work as possible. The easiest way to do this is to make breakfast and lunch easy. Pack food that can be eaten as is or with very little prep. Make breakfast and lunch “no cook meals.” Great choices for breakfast and lunch at the lake include sandwiches, cereal, donuts, fruit, and bagels.
Tip #2: Rotate Dinner Duties
Another way to eliminate some of the work of a lake trip is to rotate dinner duties. Now, if you want, you can make dinner just as easy as breakfast and lunch, but my guess is that you will want to have one real meal of substance each day. For most of us, that is going to be dinner. But, just because you want a hot meal each night doesn’t mean that you have to do all the cooking yourself. One way to give yourself a relaxing lake trip is to rotate dinner duties. Assign dinner during each night of your trip to a different adult (or child who’s old enough to cook). Then, instead of one person having to do all the dinner work, you spread it out. This will give you time to relax while other family members take on some of the work. And don’t forget about the clean up duties! You can either assign these to a different family member or have the cook clean the kitchen too.
Tip #3: Ditch the Routine
Our third tip for a more relaxing lake trip is to ditch your normal routine. Remember, you’re on vacation. So, sleep in as late as you want. Let your kids stay up late. Tell everyone to eat whenever they get hungry (except for dinner, if you are cooking). Let your kids skip a bath one night. You will be amazed at how much more relaxed you feel simply by relaxing your family’s normal day to day routine.
Tip #4: Adopt a “Come as You Are” Attitude
In addition to ditching your routine, adopt a come as you are attitude during your trip to help you relax even more. Embrace this as a no frills kind of trip where you can just let your hair down and chill. If your kids want to stay in their swimsuits all day, let them. Don’t bother putting on makeup or doing your hair. As long as it is not a safety hazard, let your family do whatever they want when they want. Not only will this allow everyone to decompress, but it will help you relax more because you won’t be spending time nagging your kids to do something. You will probably find that adopting this anything goes attitude is refreshing and freeing for you.
Tip #5: Get Outside
It’s amazing how relaxing it can be to simply get outdoors. And isn’t the whole point of going to the lake to spend time outside with your family? So, to have a relaxing lake trip, get outside as much as possible. Go swimming. Hang out in a lawn chair. Take a nap in a hammock. Get some sun. Breathe some fresh air. After a day or two, you will feel the stress melt away.
Tip #6: Bring a Book
One of the worst parts of becoming an adult is not having time to spend on your hobbies or doing things you enjoy. So, to relax more while at the lake, spend some time doing those things you love to do. If you love reading, bring a book. If you are a crocheter, bring some yarn. Like to scrapbook? Bring some of your stuff and work on a few pages during your trip. Give yourself permission to do something just for yourself while your kids play or watch TV. Embrace this time as your vacation too. Enjoy your hobbies!
Tip #7: Enjoy Your Family
And of course, the best tip for having a relaxing lake trip is to just enjoy your family. Spend time with those you love. Play games and go swimming with your kids. Teach them to fish or make smores over the campfire. Tell stories while gazing up at the stars. Share some of your childhood memories with them. Laugh together. Cuddle up, be present, and just enjoy living in the moment with your favorite people.
Lake trips can be a fun way to spend time with your family during the summer months. But, unfortunately, they can also be a lot of work. These tips will help eliminate some of that work and give you a more relaxing lake trip. So, ditch your routine, embrace an anything goes attitude, and spend time enjoying your family. Have fun on your next lake trip! For more on family travel, see our top reasons to take a family road trip, why you should travel with your kids, and why you should go hiking with your kids. Happy travels!
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