Family trips usually sound great in theory, but in reality, so many of them end up being a disaster. Often times parents come back feeling so tired and drained that they need a vacation from the vacation. If you don’t want to experience a failed family holiday ever again, here are some handy organizing tips for you that will turn every vacation with kids into a dream stay.
Even though you’re the one paying for all of this, let your kids have a say when choosing the destination. Also, have in mind that some destinations are just not family-friendly, so select wisely. It doesn’t mean you must go to Disney World every time you’re taking a vacation with kids, but maybe a food and wine tour in Provence isn’t the best choice either. Additionally, if you have kids of various ages, look for a destination that offers something for everyone.
Light and simple is always the way to go when packing for a family vacation. Don’t bring those just-in-case things, because there’s a 99% chance you’re not going to need them (and if you do, that’s what stores are for). Another practical idea is to pack all kid s’ swimwear and swimming gear into one bag. This way you can just open the bag and send them off to the pool without the need to dig through the luggage. If you’re flying, don’t forget to pack a “24-hour survival kit” for kids in case your flight gets delayed or your luggage gets lost. The kit should contain games and books to keep the kids calm and occupied.
Don’t overcrowd your schedule
Depending on the location you’ve chosen, there might be a lot of things to see and do, but kids can get easily bored and tired of all the walking and rushing through the crowd. Older kids usually want to have time to check what’s new on social media and hear from their friends at home. Therefore, the best idea is to plan two activities per day and leave the rest of the day for playtime, relaxing and bonding with your family. You can go through photos and videos you took, review things you saw and discuss everyone’s favourite parts of the day.
Have a backup plan
Rain and flue – traveler’s worst nightmares. Hopefully, it won’t rain and no one will get sick, but there’s always a possibility and that’s why you always need to have a backup plan. It will not only give you something to do in case your original plan fails, but it also minimizes the stress for everyone.
Keep the kids busy
Even though you might want to sit peacefully on the beach or relax in your hotel room and read a book, you have to remember that kids will be kids. Since they are known to have short attention spans, they will easily get bored and start making a fuss, so try to keep them entertained as much as possible. That doesn’t mean you have to run around the city all day. For instance, cycling is a fun (and a lot less tiring) way of exploring the city. Bikes are a perfect way to get to know the place, get some physical activity and even have an adventure. If you’re not in a tip-top shape for cycling all day long, you can always get some electric bikes that provide that same bike-riding experience but with a lot less sweat. There are even brands such as Riese & Muller (https://eurocycles.com.au/electric-bikes/bike-brands/reise-muller.html) that offer child-friendly models with kid seats for your little travelers. You can also visit kids’ museums, zoos, and entertainment parks. Each kid can choose a spot they want to visit or an activity they want to do, so set some time aside for it and make sure everybody gets the chance to do what they want.
No more “Buy me this, buy me that!”
At the beginning of the trip, get an envelope for each kid and put some money in it for souvenirs. Each kid can spend the money from their envelope in any way they like, but make it clear there will be no more money once they spend it all. Once they have their own money, they will be much more frugal when it comes to spending.
Vacation with kids doesn’t have to be a disaster. All you need is some careful planning, fun activities and a backup plan just in case. From now on, your family vacations will always be full of joy and adventure instead of fuss and exhaustion.