(editor’s note: Today we have a guest post from Alisa Gilbert. Please comment make her feel welcome!)
Traveling with kids can be a challenge, to say the least. But it’s a great opportunity for families to bond and for parents to show children the wonders of the world outside their own back yard. These family vacations can create lasting memories that children will reflect upon later in life, so it’s important to make sure the experiences are enjoyable. With a few helpful tips and tricks, jetting or driving off with your entire brood can be exciting and even stress free (mostly).
I think the most important thing to do before a family vacation is to plan ahead. This might seem obvious, but planning ahead will save you time, anxiety, and the frustration of making decision on the fly or the anger of realizing you forgot to pack something essential. Parents should sit down to brainstorm the best vacation destinations, attractions, modes of travel, and packing logistics before any reservations are booked. Making this “roadmap” for your vacation will free you up to enjoy the trip, rather than stressing about where to take the kids each day. It will also help you pack more effectively, which we’ll discuss later.
When driving to a vacation destination, it’s important to stop often when kids are in the car. Most kids have fairly short attention spans, no matter how many games, toys, videos, or entertaining items they bring along. Stopping every two to three hours may make for slow goings, but it will keep your backseat passengers from rioting, and help you keep your sanity. Breaks do not have be longer than ten minutes and can include jogging in place, visiting a road-side rest area, or buying snacks from a convenient store. Everyone in the car can benefit from these short breaks.
Packing appropriately will also help a family vacation remain enjoyable. This includes bringing the right clothing, footwear, accessories, snacks, and toiletries. Making sure you pack all the necessary essentials might take a little research, like checking the weather in your destination or reviewing hotel guidelines concerning children, but the benefits will be worth it. For example, a family traveling to California might assume the weather will be warm and sunny during their vacation, which will lead them to only pack light clothing, sunscreen, and bathing suits. If they had done their homework, they would know that California towns close to the ocean often get fairly chilly at night, and sweater or jackets are always recommended.
Traveling unprepared leads to spending extra money, making rushed decisions, and just more stress than is necessary. With these helpful guidelines, parents can work to ensure their family vacations are fun, enjoyable, and kid-friendly, without any of the unwanted stress.
This guest post is contributed by Alisa Gilbert, who writes on the topics of bachelors degree. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks Alisa!
Image courtesy of bluebirdsandteapots via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to travel calmly.