Hassle-Free Traveling with Kids
A family vacation can be a source of wonderful memories or a potential disaster. This article will help keep you from needing a vacation from your vacation.
Occupied children are happy children. Make sure your kids have plenty of age-appropriate activities for car trips or plane rides. Even a trip that seems short for an adult can seem long and boring for a child, so make sure kids have something to do during any travel time. Keeping kids entertained doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. A new coloring or activity book can keep kids happy, especially if you introduce it as a special treat. Books, portable movie players, and video games are also good ways to keep kids occupied. You may be enthralled by the scenery, but it isn’t fair to expect children to have the same appreciation. Bring a book or a game so you and the other travelers can enjoy the view.
It’s important that you and your spouse enjoy the vacation, but make sure your destination provides something for children to enjoy. Most cruise ships provide children’s spaces and activities for younger passengers to make friends and have fun while their parents enjoy the rest of the ship. Almost any destination can be made fun and interesting for children, but if you’re staying at a resort, make sure there are facilities available for children.
Sharing a hotel room can be easily managed. If children don’t want to share a bed, use extra blankets and chairs to make a “special bed” or ask for a cot, especially if you have more than two children staying with you. For older children, a second hotel room might be the best choice. The kids will enjoy getting their own room, and you’ll be able to enjoy some alone time. Regardless of the number of people in the room, try to make a schedule for showering and bathing and remind children that certain items are being shared. If necessary, divide up the towels in advance.
Look ahead to see what museums offer children’s exhibits or displays. Many children enjoy seeing local wildlife in zoos or aquariums. Use activities like this as a reward or a treat for going to an attraction that’s more interesting to Mom and Dad. Smaller children may not be able to walk long distances and may have difficulty with a new routine. Keep things like walking distance and usual meal and nap times in mind when planning activities. Also, keep your children’s interests or school subjects in mind when planning excursions. These activities can keep a child happy and entertained as well as reinforce learning.
Bring nonperishable, easily transported snacks to save money and avoid meltdowns. Children may become irritable if hungry, and they may be tempted by high priced theme park or museum food. Having a few granola bars or pieces of fruit available may make everyone happy.
For theme park visits, consider traveling while school is in session. There will be fewer crowds and shorter lines for your children to wait in. Also consider the time of year. During the summer, theme parks in Florida can be incredibly hot and humid. Finding a temperate, less crowded time can prevent unhappy children and a miserable experience for you. Children of any age will enjoy the experience, but again remember that young children may not be able to walk all day. Rent a stroller or be prepared to carry them.
By planning ahead, you can make a family vacation something you and your children will fondly remember for years to come.