The school year is over halfway there and even while kids are sitting in bed with the flu they are dreaming of vacation. Trips to the beach where they can build sandcastles and swim and surf in the rolling waves of the ocean and journeys to their favorite amusement parks are what they are dreaming of at night.
Spring break is just around the corner and families everywhere are preparing to head out of town for vacation. With that said, when there are children involved, things can get a little on the shaky side at times. Below are three ideas that may help your next family trip go smoother than usual.
Make Sure There’s Never a Dull Moment
No matter the age of your children, long trips, especially road trips, can be an entertainment disaster waiting to happen. All children have less patience than their parental counterparts and as such can make an otherwise pleasant trip rather nerve wrecking.
Make sure to take things that will keep them occupied during the slow moments of your vacation. For your little ones, take their favorite toys to keep them occupied and maybe include a few sing-along CDs that you can play while they ride. For your older children, about 5 – 10 years of age, bring some coloring books and crayons.
Play games with them that require their attention to detail, like I-Spy. You can also have your kids look for specific traits in tourists you see out and about like red hats or small dogs. As your kids get older, they will have the tendency to entertain themselves and when they are not being entertained, they will most likely be sleeping.
Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to make sure they don’t forget to bring things like their earbuds or their phone. The absence of these things could cost you your sanity.
Keep Them Safe
Kids will be kids. Who knows better what kind of trouble they can get into than you do? No one. As their parents and caretakers, you are already predisposed to make sure they are safe in every environment you find yourselves in. The only difference on vacation is that you are not familiar with the environment the majority of the time.
So, take the time to look around. Take note of things in your hotel room that could be a potential danger and make sure to remind your children of ways they can stay safe. A few examples might be minding them not to run around the pool, making sure they are accompanied by an adult at all times while out in public, and refreshing them on what actions to take should a stranger try to abduct them.
Also, make sure to carry a first aid kit and educate your children on current CPR methods and how to dial 911. Don’t forget the legal side. In the event that you or your child are injured, after lawyer could come in handy. Make sure to retain every piece of evidence you can for a future lawsuit.
Prepare for the Unexpected
As you probably already know, children can be the definition of the unexpected. Especially when you are out and about on vacation. Make sure you are prepared for the unexpected. Bring extra clothing. A parent who has any experience at all knows that one outfit per day is not going to cut it.
As unpopular as the idea might be, you may also want to bring some electronics to keep them busy when unexpected situations pop up, such as flight delays. Homework will work, too. Most moms know the value of bringing the medicine cabinet, as well. It almost never fails.
If you forget the Tylenol, one of your children is bound to run a fever. Illness doesn’t take a vacation. Be prepared. Last, make sure to budget a little extra money for things like lost toothbrushes and misplaced security blankets. Your rainy day fund could save the whole trip.
Family trips are meant to fill up an ocean of good memories. Follow these tips to help make sure that’s exactly what happens.