Boy Scouts of America Recognizes Stress-Free Family Holiday Month

NEWS RELEASE

Boy Scouts of America Recognizes Stress-Free Family Holiday Month

Nation's Leading Youth Organization Offers Travel Tips for Reducing Tension and Boosting Relaxation and Quality Family Time This Holiday Season

IRVING, TEXAS (November 29, 2004)—Each year, approximately 80,000 youth travel more than 14 million miles with parents and peers to more than 500 Scout camps across the country. As the holiday season fast approaches and family travel increases, so does holiday- and travel-related stress. With nearly 40 percent of Americans experiencing holiday stress , the Boy Scouts of America is recognizing Stress-Free Holiday Month this December by offering consumers stress-minimizing survival tips to make this season more enjoyable as families prepare for and begin traveling this season.

Stress-Minimizing Survival Travel Tips include:

Involve Children in the Planning
Sit down with children prior to departing and explain where the family will travel this season. This will allow them time to adjust to the change in schedule and build excitement about the trip. Visually show the destination and the travel route and provide sightseeing options of vacation activities for children to choose. This allows children to be involved in the travel planning and lets kids contribute to the success of the trip.
Embrace Family Time
Changes in routine can easily make the holidays a frustrating time. Having to live up to family expectations can be extremely stressful. Express concerns with family members before situations become explosive. Clarify expectations of holiday trips and family gatherings so everyone can enjoy the holiday season. Recognize what makes trips fun for children and embrace the extra time or slight detours involved.
Stay Within Budget
Travelers should determine how much money to allocate toward family travel before planning a trip. Overspending results in tension and anxiety about unnecessary debt. Rather, calculate how much money the trip will require for gas, meals and sleeping accommodations. Before leaving, ask children what snacks are preferred and bring treats from home along to reduce superfluous spending at convenience stores.
Make Traveling Fun
According to the 2004 Domestic Travel Market Report, 91 percent of trips taken during the holidays are with children and nearly half involve visiting family or relatives. Parents should plan travel activities that will keep children entertained before hitting the road. Suggestions include creating an activity bag containing both new and familiar toys, audio books, as well as in-the-car group activities such as the "I Spy" game, treasure hunts or license plate games.
Get Some Rest
In 2003, 76 percent of American adults reported losing sleep between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day . Lack of sleep is a significant contributor to stress and holiday schedules pose challenges to finding adequate time to catch enough Zzz's. Travelers should avoid overloading schedules and extra-long driving sessions by planning time for family interaction, as well as much-needed sleep. While passengers may be able to sleep during travel, sleeping in car seats does not equate to sufficient rest. Plan travel breaks that provide proper sleeping accommodations to get sufficient sleep and a break from an often grueling travel schedule.
Plan Time for You
Families should recognize that traveling is stressful for not only adults, but children as well. Schedule time for all to relax and unwind. Plan quiet activities that children find relaxing to avoid restlessness and mood swings. Meanwhile, adults should also find a quiet place to relax, write a letter, read a book or listen to music.
Keep Calm
Holiday travel means visiting crowded places. Whether it's a congested airport or highway traffic, parents should stay calm during these stressful situations. The less stress parents exhibit, the less likely children will be stressed and contribute to the problem. Bring attention-absorbing, easily accessible toys along to grasp a child's attention during stressful situations. This will let parents focus on a solution to the problem while children remain content and entertained.
About Boy Scouts of America
Serving nearly 5 million young people between 7 and 20 years of age with 309 councils throughout the United States and its territories, the Boy Scouts of America is the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.

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