Deeper Connections While on Vacation
Traveling with the whole family can be stressful. Children have different temperments, and they are interested in different things at different ages. It’s basically rocket science trying to perfect a family trip.
So, let’s all accept that we are not all rocket scientists and realize that being perfect isn’t all it’s cut out to be. Sometimes bumps and hiccups are what makes a trip memorable and also what leads to the best laughs. Below are some quick tips to make your next trip the best one yet!
SCHEDULE PLENTY OF FREE TIME
When traveling with your family, realize that pretty much everything will take longer than planned. Keeping your schedule loose and leaving time for adjustment will make the occasional lost toy, meltdown, or hungry fury a bit less stressful.
At the moment, it may seem like a good idea to schedule a non-stop fun-filled day, but realistically this isn’t easily accomplished with kids of any age.
Instead plan a few specific things per day, but leave free time for naps and other things that may pop up. You also may discover other activities that your family loves that you never even considered!
EXPLAIN THE TRIP
Introduce your kids to the trip ahead of time. This will make them excited and also let them know what to expect. Oftentimes when kids feel uncomfortable they are not happy; many unknown factors can take away from the trip’s enjoyment. Imagine a kid going to breakfast at Disney with all the characters without ever seeing pictures of life-sized Goofy? They may get freaked out, but if you introduce them to it prior, they may go right up to Goofy and give him a hug.
This is also a good time to go over your expectations with your children about their behavior on the trip. Inevitably there will be meltdowns from sheer exhaustion, and not everyone will be able to get what they want at all times. Having this discussion with your kids will at least let them know the consequences for unruly behavior.
ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES
When traveling with kids we cannot emphasize this enough: things will go wrong. Lost phones, detours, missed busses, unexpected hiccups are unavoidable, and the sooner we all accept this, the better your vacation will be. There is beauty in imperfection, and usually a good story comes out of it. Keep in mind that traveling with your family is an adventure, and the memories are irreplaceable.
TRAVEL WITH ENTERTAINMENT
Keeping your kids entertained while traveling is crucial for your sanity. Long, grueling plane or car rides can be less than pleasant with bored kids. Bring books, toys, and electronic devices to keep them happy and entertained while trying to get from here to there. Don’t overdo it on the entertainment you chose to bring, but a few small items really can make everyone’s lives much easier.
Fun tip: Disposable cameras are a great gift to give children that are old enough. They can document the trip through their viewpoint and when you get home, it will bring them joy to develop the film and reminisce about the trip.
MAKE A LIST OF WHAT TO PACK
It may seem like a hassle to make a list of what to pack prior to your trip, but it is a lifesaver. This way you can visually see everything you need and prevent yourself from overpacking or forgetting key items. For some reason, it always seems to happen that we pack things we never even touch and forget the most important stuff.