I so remember the long car rides from Ohio to Florida and back again going to see Grandpa on our family vacation. The countless times I heard “Are we there yet?’ and “MOM, Jim is looking at me!”. Here I am thinking about a fun and relaxing time and this was the furthest thing from it.
A vacation is a great chance to bond and create some great memories with your family. Traveling with kids can be a lot of fun. I finally figured out that if I just took a little extra time and planned our trip, I was able to make it so much more enjoyable.
The whole key was in the planning. We take so much time planning where we are going and what we will do. It only takes a little more effort to plan for the car or plane ride and the down time while vacationing. Just doing this one little thing will change your trip dramatically, you will begin your trip much more relaxed and happy.
Plan things for your children to do in the car, or while waiting at the airport and the plane ride. Do not give everything to them at once. Bring them out one at a time as needed. Coloring, drawing, reading are some great activities. Be sure to include some things for your kids to do when you have a little down time, such as getting ready for dinner or just relaxing after a long day.
I also figured out that when my kids were older it was best to let them bring a friend. The kids had so much more fun when they could do things with a friend. Dad and I were able to relax more which made the trip more enjoyable for us too. Our kid’s friends still talk about the trips that they have taken with us and how much fun we had.
Another key is to prepare your kids before you leave, let them know what to expect and how long it will actually take. Discuss it in terms they will understand if they are younger.
The best tip that I can offer you is to just RELAX! Enjoy this time with your family and do not try to do it all.
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