Looking forward to a long-awaited family getaway? Here are six important factors to keep in mind when planning a vacation with children.
Plan to the last small detail
From the big stuff such as where to go and which airline to travel with, to the finer details, such as how to spend each day of the vacation and transit times to and from the local tourist sites, lay it all out to the last detail.
Planning a family vacation well is the first important step to a fun-filled and stress-free experience with your children. If you have very young children, you can never plan enough. So start early to avoid last-minute mistakes.
Be practical when planning
You may be dying to take your 5-year-old to a luxury beach vacation, but consider this: would your child enjoy the vacation as much as you think she would? Would she not have a more memorable experience on a trip to Disney World or such?
Similarly, when booking a holiday with your tween, you’ll want to visit a place where there are plenty of activities for her age group. You may enjoy a quiet vacation at a faraway resort in the middle of nowhere; your kid most likely won’t.
Pay as much attention to the time of year as you do to the destination. Don’t take your family on a budget holiday to an exotic beach location when it’s off season there. You will have a hard time explaining to your kids why you brought them there when there are no water activities or when it’s always raining.
Budget for a babysitter
This is your long-awaited getaway too. So keep the budget and space for some quality time with your spouse. The good resorts and hotels offer babysitting service for a fee, and for the older kids they have dedicated entertainment areas where the children can spend a few hours without you having to worry about them being alone. Taking some time off will rejuvenate you and your partner and energize you to have a wonderful time with your family.
Check for such facilities when looking for a vacation resort in your preferred destination. A great way to ensure that your children have a great time is to pick a resort that specializes in fun-filled family-friendly Vacation for all ages.
Leave the gadgets at home
It may be a lot of work, but convince your children to leave at home the tablets and the gaming devices. Suggest it to them as an experiment and see how they feel on a device-free trip. There are bound to be times when they’ll feel bored because they won’t have a gadget to turn to, but on reflecting back, they will surely tell you they had a much more fulfilling vacation because they did not have devices to distract them.
If they don’t tell you anything, you can still rest assured that it was a good idea and they will look back at it years from now as a memorable family vacation.
Don’t worry that they’ll get bored—children always find something fun to do with their time when they don’t have access to gadgets.
Add an educational experience to the vacation
Your kids may not be exactly thrilled about this idea, so you might want to keep it to yourself until you arrive. Build an educational trip or experience into the trip that feels more like an exploratory experience to your children. For instance, if visiting a South American island, take your children out for a trip into the city, talk to the locals and together learn about their culture and customs. Ask your hotel if they organize any special outings for children to explore the local way of life.
Such experiences teach children about the diversity of people and cultures and help them become more accepting of the differences in language, lifestyle and culture.
Don’t return on Sunday night
You might have to pay more for a flight out on Saturday, but returning from your family vacation is calling for a stressful next morning—or two! You need at least a day to get things in order, and having to rush to work on a Monday morning when the house is in a mess and there is no grocery for the next meal is not a great feeling.
So plan in such a way so that you and your children have at least one full day of rest before you resume your everyday life back home.