A few weeks ago, I was chatting with my friend Jess at a kids birthday party. She had just gotten back from a whirlwind trip with her baby and toddler to Central America. Her trip sounded incredible! But then, she paused and told me how wiped out she was. She suggested I write a post about how to recover after a family vacation. That really got me thinking about my own experience after we get home from big family trips. I’m always exhausted! So, I’ve created a list of self care tips for moms after traveling with kids. Plus, I added in self care ideas that would be perfect Mother’s Day gifts for moms.
Family Vacations Are Not Always Relaxing
The first vacation I ever took as a parent was to Thailand. We first went there on our honeymoon where we relaxed at a resort in Phuket, explored the island and soaked in the sunshine. We couldn’t wait to go back to Thailand with our 6 month old baby.
However, when we arrived at midnight after hours and hours of flying, the air conditioning didn’t work…in July. We were hot and sticky and had a hard time sleeping that first night.
Things got better and it was a great trip, but we never quite recovered from that first night.
Fast forward a few years. I just got back from a trip to Oahu with the boys. My 4 year old threw up in the lobby of our hotel as I was checking in.
This was after there was a glitch with our car rental and we had to wait in the heat for longer than we expected. He also threw up on the flight home. My son rarely vomits, so this was quite unusual. I was so thankful that my mother-in-law flew with me to help with the boys.
Even still, I found I needed to hibernate the next day just to function. Contains affiliate links.
Self Care Ideas for Moms After a Family Vacation
Come Home on a Saturday
I’m known for maximizing vacations. I liked to eek out every last moment and make the most of our family travel. Before kids, we’d plan on arriving home late Sunday night and then head to work the next day. I’ve even done red-eye flights and gone to work after landing.
Now, I try to schedule our flights to return on Saturday so we’ll have all day Sunday to get back to real life. We actually just scheduled our first trip to Walt Disney World and we’re coming home a couple days before Christmas to ensure we’ll have time to recover after all the Disney festivities!
Schedule a Massage
After hauling luggage and sitting on an airplane for hours, your body is probably achy. I like to schedule a massage for the day after I get home so I know I have guaranteed down time.
I like to go to my favorite local massage practice, Customized Massage in Kent, WA. Their rates are really affordable and they have the best customer service. Or, if you don’t want to leave your house, you can hire a massage therapist to come to your home.
If you are lucky enough to live near family who will watch your kids, ask them to help with your kids the day after you come home. Or, hire a babysitter or Mother’s Helper. Or schedule a drop-off play date for your kids.
It’s easy to come home after a family vacation and feel like you are behind at home. You need time to do heaps of laundry, grocery shop, and possibly even start unpacking your suitcases. Otherwise, they may sit semi-packed until your next trip. I’m speaking from experience!
A few years ago, my husband Googled “the most relaxing song ever” and discovered Marconi Union’s song Weightless. Since then, that’s been my go to meditation song.
After planning our travel itinerary and executing it, my brain is usually a hot mess. Meditation has been so helpful in sorting all my random thoughts and calming my mind. It’s the only way I can reset and take care of myself.
Create a Spa Day at Home
One of my favorite things to do after family travel with little kids is to make my own spa day at home. We’re lucky enough to have a jetted bath tub, so I can soak my tired muscles. I like to add oil into the bath and just relax.
One of my favorite products right now is Malie Organics. It’s made on Kauai and they have Hawaiian body butters, oils, hair products, candles and more. My skin is always so dry after traveling, so I use Malie Organics to do a DIY spa day at home. I like that the smells transports me to a Hawaiian vacation for a fraction of the cost!
Put Yourself First
However you like to relax and recharge, this is the time to put yourself first. You know that saying about putting on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. This also applies to self care for moms. If you are depleted, you have nothing left to give others.
So, if you love binge watching TV, cue up your Netflix! If you want to hit the gym, go for it! If you need to catch up on sleep, nap away!
Gifts for Moms Who Travel
NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES
I have these Bose Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones that I like to wear when flying with kids. Usually, I listen to an audiobook while I keep an eye on the kids. These are also great for binge watching TV on my laptop after the kids go to bed in our hotel room.
MALIE ORGANICS PRODUCTS FROM KAUAI
I’ve been obsessed with Malie Organics products ever since I stopped at their shop on Kauai several years ago. I love the smell of their lotions and I appreciate that they are made on Kauai.
I got this Mer-Sea & Co Cozy Wrap Scarf in my FabFitFun Editor’s Box and it’s one of my favorite items to pack for the airplane. Not only does it keep me nice and warm on chilly flights, but it’s also perfect for snuggling with my kids. I also like to wrap myself in it over my jammies while traveling.
SCARF CAMERA STRAP
I just started getting into hobby photography this past year. I tried using my husband’s old camera straps and I just found them to be a bit cumbersome. Plus, they are just so blah.
So, I was stoked to get a scarf camera strap that was girly and gorgeous! I’ve been complimented just about every time I wear it on vacation. Bluebird Chic has so many lovely prints and they are always getting new products.
As a mom who has traveled with babies and toddlers, my lifesaver has been my Tula baby carrier. It’s perfect for rocking babies to sleep in the airport or on an airplane. Plus, it’s great for walking around exploring cities.
And the cool thing about Tula carriers is that there is an almost cult-following on social media. And you can get so many Tula accessories on Etsy to fully customize your baby carrier. I *may* currently own 4 Tula carriers, one of which has a customized reversible Mickey Mouse/Goofy hood for our Disney trips!
PORTABLE PHONE CHARGER
One of the most important things I pack in my carry on bag is this mophie powerstation. It’s a portable phone charger that can also charge a tablet. My phone is my life and I have panic attacks when I run out of battery. Especially when I have our electronic airplane tickets, hotel confirmation, car rental reservations, and travel itinerary on my phone.
So, this isn’t the most glamorous gift idea, but I swear my TravelWise Packing Cube System has saved me hours of trying to pack for family vacations. Anything that saves moms time is the gift that keeps on giving! I love the different sizes so I can separate out my clothes from each of my kids’ clothes.
Plus, I’m able to pack more compactly so I can take a smaller suitcase.
Malie Organics sent me products for review purposes. I’ve been a Malie Organics customer for years. All opinions are my own.