Tips for a Great Vacation with Kids
The problem is so 21st century: too many choices, limited time. And surely, the stakes are high, especially for parents who want their family vacation to be more than R&R. It’s a chance for the family to get together and for the children to enrich themselves with new learnings. Of course, as budget is an unavoidable factor, you need to find that sweet spot between price and profit.
Here are tips to help you get the best family vacation ever – each time:Below are tips that can help you do just that – every time:The following are helpful tips to make your family vacation a blast – each and every time:
1. Give the kids a voice as you decide on destinations and activities.
The best way to get the kids involved in a family trip is to make them part of the whole planning process. Start by telling them how you think it’s a wonderful time to go a family adventure. Be clear on the parameters from the get-go – for instance, no traveling longer than three to four hours, and the destination should make everyone happy.
When the rules have been set, let your kids to fill in the blanks by making suggestions on places and activities to do. With the rules set in stone, let the children provide the details – with some suggestions from you – regarding places to go or how to have fun there, and so on. Ask them what they love to do – for some, this may be fishing, surfing or mini-golf.
But make sure you know beforehand how much latitude you’re giving, or this approach can backfire. If you say they can go anywhere they fancy, make sure you mean every word.
2. Pay attention to what the kids are saying.
Say the group has decided to go to this famous exotic island. So what comes after that? Give everyone their time to talk. This is a time to get a sense of what works for everyone. Promise to look into all possibilities.
3. Create a momentum for the arrival of the big day.
Truth is, kids don’t have a very good understanding of time and distance, which is the main reason traveling and travel plans can be confusing to them. Child-friendly literature about travel and your specific destination can be helpful. (Whatever helps them make sense of present events leading up to vacation will work great!)
As the big day approaches, help your kids handle their anxiety and even their excitement. Talk to them in more specific terms. For instance, rather than saying vacation is five days away, you can say something more exciting, like “Five more lunches and we’ll see the penguins!” Rather than saying you’re four days away from Africa, make it more interesting by saying, “Four more dinners and we’ll see the zebras!”
Finally, have the children pick and pack their own clothing and other essentials, including one or two stuffed toys they may want to bring for comfort. It’s best to practice their autonomy and independence during their early years. In fact, it should be part of your whole vacation agenda!