Family vacations can be a trying ordeal. Mum and dad have been looking forward to probably their first real break in months, they’ve chosen the destination and are all set to go. Without some common sense planning and other considerations, family vacations can easily turn out to be a disappointing affair instead of a relaxing, rejuvenating experience. Here are a few general pointers just to help out with some of the problems you can experience when trying to escape the pressures and stresses of everyday life with family vacations.
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1 Pack the Holiday with Fun-filled Activities
It is certainly good for children to appreciate the smaller, quieter things, but more often than not, just staying on the beach all day while you lay out with the latest best seller just won’t do! It is very important to plan enough activities to keep the little ones busy and, hopefully, tire them out for mummy and daddy’s relaxation time!
2 Be Flexible
While it is important to fill vacations with the family with plenty of activities that keep the kids amused, it is also important to be flexible. A schedule should never be written in stone. All too often, something unexpected can come along that can alter plans entirely - such as the weather.
3 Long Distance Rest Stops
If the journey will be a long one, it is important to ensure that you have booked an extra night, giving the kids (and you) time to adjust to their new surroundings and to rest before the real fun, and exhaustion for the parents, begins! As exciting as it is to be able to take family holidays on the other side of the world, starting them off with jet lag is no fun.
4 Choose a Place That is Both Exciting and Educational
Vacations with kids should be a mix of fun and educational activities but, of course, the more you can blend these two together the better! Learning while having fun, has been proven scientifically as a good way for children to learn.
5 Let the Kids Make Some Decisions
It is important that your kids are included in the decision making process when choosing the location and activities for your family vacations as this will make them feel part of the process. This is really what vacations for families are all about, team building and spending time with each other.
6 Choose the Right Type of Travel
This is an important consideration for families who have children of many different ages, from babies through to teenagers. Ensure, when planning your family holidays, that the type of travel you are opting for is right for your family and that you are prepared for that kind of travel. For example, a long distance car journey with a baby will need a baby seat in the car- will the other passengers be comfortable?
7 Don’t Pack Too Much
Family vacations are somewhat pointless if you end up bringing your whole house with you. By packing light, you will help to show children that they are not so reliant on material possessions and emphasise the importance of family time. It also saves you time and effort.
8 Children Should Be Polite
There are also considerations for when you have arrived on your holiday. Family vacations should be exercises in a child’s ability to reach out to the outside world, so it is important to teach them in matters of respect and politeness, especially in foreign countries. It can also teach valuable lessons in communication and social awareness.
9 Always Keep Your Eyes on the Kids
Parenting class 101 always reminds you never to leave your younger children unattended or out of sight and for families on holiday, this is even more important, especially in an unknown place or country.
10 Be Realistic in Your Expectations
Finally, it is important when planning your family vacations to be realistic, to not plan too much, and to always remember the needs of your family. A vacation that involves a lot of long distance travelling from place to place in a short space of time probably isn’t going to be the best experience with three kids in the back seat, not to mention a toddler or a baby, nor is transferring between 3-4 flights in a week. Common sense should prevail!
By following the above pointers, you can help to ensure that your family vacations are as successful as possible though, of course, with kids it is always difficult to be sure of anything!
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