Ah, children. Our sweet angel-faced offspring who bring us so much joy, right up until the moment they start karate kicking the seat in front of them on an airplane… Or fighting with their siblings in the back seat during a road trip. Here are five ways to survive traveling with your kids, before you go diving for Xanax or a boatload of tequila…
Have them, lower them, and then keep repeating them to yourself. Traveling with children is different than traveling kid-free, and is often more of a ‘trip’ than a relaxing vacation. Knowing beforehand that you’ll be making memories, having fun, but quite possibly not sleeping in or getting much rest will help shoulder any disappointment at a vacation that ‘could have been’.
Sure, we’d all love a culturally rich day of strolling museums or enjoying a ten-course tasting menu at a new restaurant – but will that keep your smallest travelers happy? Finding activities that can please everyone from tiny tots to adventurous teens may be tricky – but it’s certainly not impossible. The right destination, resort, and especially the right travel advisor can arrange activities that suit the entire family’s interests, abilities, and ages.
Say Yes to Help
Many resorts offer licensed nannies or babysitters – and in return, you get a few hours to yourself. Have a doting grandparent that would spring at the chance to spend more time with their grandkids? Not a luxury that everyone has in their lives – but if you do, this may be the perfect opportunity to invite them on a dream holiday, and get a bit of built-in babysitting to boot!
Bend, But Don’t Break
Bedtimes, healthy meals, and routines are all great. However, it may be worth bending the rules just a bit to not be bound to super-strict guidelines while you’re traveling. You’re on vacation, remember? Know your hard lines and choose when to bend your rules to allow for a memorable vacation where everyone’s having a good time. This could mean your kids don’t touch a vegetable for days or stay up a bit later than usual. Whatever works best for you, your family, and your sanity!
Entertainment Coordinator: At Your Service!
Consider building a special ‘vacation’ bag, for your kiddos to only open during their travels. Fill it with some new toys, books, stickers, whatever your kiddos happen to be into these days – pack it chock full. Got a tablet and are ok with your kiddos watching tv? Download a few programs in advance, so WiFi issues won’t hinder their entertainment (aka your sweet moment of silence), and for the sake of all that is holy: GET THEM HEADPHONES, this is your moment of silence, remember?
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