When aspiring writer Arzel Ariosa contacted me about doing a travel-themed guest post here at This Mom Loves, I couldn’t refuse! Welcome, Arzel. Take it away!
Tips For A Successful Vacation With Kids
A family vacation is the perfect way to spend quality time together, but it should be carefully planned to make sure everyone enjoys the experience.
Try to interact while on the road. A car packed with kids and baggage can easily get stuffy. While some parents distract their kids with videos and iPods, it just doesn’t give them the chance to interact. Try quizzing them on spelling, provincial/state capitals, geography, multiplication facts or whatever you can think of. You’ll find it amazing just how quickly the time goes by.
Plan some entertainment for long flights. It really helps to bring some flash cards, puzzles, and toys for the younger ones. For older kids, have them bring along books, music, or anything else that will entertain them.
Bring food and snacks. Whether it’s a drive or a flight, bringing along food can save you money since you won’t have to purchase snacks while getting gas or spend money on the plane.
Choose kid-friendly resorts. Not every destination is child-friendly. You may have spent a vacation there when you did not have kids only to find out it’s completely inappropriate for a family trip. On the other hand, you may also want to get some adult entertainment. It’s all about balance. Look for resorts in advance to make sure you pick the right one.
Pick age-appropriate resorts. Look for one with programs fit for the age of your kids. If you have both toddlers and teens, make sure they each get the right activities for their age.
Get to know the person watching over your kids. Talk to the camp supervisor or the diving instructor. This will help you make sure the kids are in good hands so that you can also spend some time with your partner or with friends without worries.
Bond with your children for a truly successful vacation. Share new experiences with the kids. There are many destinations offering activities where parents and kids can participate together.
There are a lot of travel choices out there, but planning ahead gives you the advantage of knowing what to do in case of changes in plans. Think of alternate ideas in case there are disruptions.
Finally, enjoy! Make the most out of every moment spent with the family. A successful vacation is something that you and your kids can remember and talk about long after you have gone home.
Thanks, Arzel! I can’t resist adding a few of my own tips, from personal experience:
- Call ahead to see if your destination has high chairs, playpens, etc. Why pack your own if you don’t have to? Vehicle space is very precious when hitting the road.
- Try to get a room with a fridge and a microwave. Makes bottle-feeding so much easier!
- If you will be swimming, remember the right earplugs, water wings, etc. Some kids are picky about their swim gear.
- Although Arzel is right that interacting with the kids provides much better quality time, I have to admit that we have the in-car DVD player with screens for both girls. We just use it for long trips (honestly!) and Frannie’s the only real fan. Maggie prefers to talk, play with toys, or look at books. Do you think there’s something wrong with her?
- If you need tips for camping…well, you’re in the wrong place. We’re lucky enough to have a provincial park five minutes from our house, so when we “camp”, I come home to sleep! I still use the (two year old) “baby” as my excuse. I think this might be the last year it works.
- Finally: try bringing the grandparents. I mentioned this in my eating-out article as well, and it applies to any sort of travel plans. Multi-generational bonding is very important, and so is the extra help!
Feel free to leave your own travel tips here!