Long term travel is not for everyone. Living out of a bag, switching time zones, bouncing from place to place for months at a time. It can be stressful. It can be chaotic. It can be overwhelming. Perhaps even more so when you travel with kids, but especially teens with their specific needs.
An important part of a our travel plan to reduce the stress and disruption is to plan plenty of down time. I found that constantly going about as a tourist or traveling all day and then jumping right into exploring takes too much out of us for an extended period of time. Years ago I resolved to give us plenty of time to relax. It is just as essential to our travels as the adventures are. It is also another reason why we prefer slow travel – allowing ourselves the time to live in a place as opposed to just visiting a place. Many travelers are on a constant loop of go, go, go – but outside of seeing all the touristy aspects of a location, so much joy can come from giving yourself permission to relax.
Now it is an expectation and my guys’ need to balance the fun with the “chill days” is real. We recently spent a few days camping along the coast in Olympic National Park. It was a few hours drive from our current location, then three days/two nights at a campground. Limited facilities never mind practically no cell service and absolutely no electricity. Needless to say, this adventure took them completely out of their comfort zone. I expected it, but was still surprised how stressed it made them to be without their screens.
The planned two days of down time after this mini-trip-within-a-trip was exactly what they needed to restore everyone. What do you use to keep everyone tuned into the traveling?