Traveling is very popular during this time of the year – especially because kids have a break from school. Whether it is a family trip to getaway for the holidays or it is a trip to visit family who may live in other parts of the country, taking advantage of the downtime from school and work can be fun! Traveling with kids, however, can be a bit of a challenge.
You can’t not go on your trip because you have children. They get very used to the structure and routine of their school days and at home. Removing the routine can send some kids down a slippery slope of confusion. Throw in a dash of traveling and you may end up with a mess.
So, what do you do when you have kids and you want to travel?
We put together a few ideas for you to consider. Take a look below and let us know what you think.
Pack Fun Stuff for the Kids
When packing a travel bag for your kids, make sure to leave room for the fun stuff. If everything around them is going to be new to them, you will want them to have some of their favorite toys or gadgets. Not only will this hold their attention and keep them occupied, but it will also allow your kids to feel a bit more comfort.
Their stuff may just very well be stuff, but it is what your kids know – and its important to them. Don’t leave that favorite toy behind! Packing video games, DVDs, and board games isn’t a bad idea either, especially since they can help pass the time if your kids get restless.
Bring their Pillow and Blanket
It’s hard for some adults to fall asleep in unknown places. That feeling is amplified for kids. They have a trust and a comfort level in their own home. Change that location and falling asleep may be a chore. This is especially true for those kids who scare easily.
There is something to be said for having your own pillow and blanket, though. Be sure to pack your kids’ pillows and blankets so they may find comfort and a bit of ‘home’ when they close their eyes at night.
Stick to Foods They Know
Changing up routines, resting places, and everything else is enough to leave your kids a bit off kilter. Changing their diet can make things a bit, well, messy. Many kids are picky when it comes to eating. Don’t let your kids go hungry by forcing them to eat unfamiliar foods. Pack snacks that you know they will eat. And, when you arrive at your destination, buy a few items to have on hand in case your kids don’t like what is being served.
Yes, of course, you want your kids to try new foods. But, vacation is not necessarily the time or place to do that. Keep your kids happy and their tummies full of the foods they know and love.
Help Kids Explore
When in some new place and new surroundings, your kids may not know what they should or shouldn’t do. Or, they may be hesitant to venture out and explore their new temporary location. This is where you come in. Help them explore.
- Take them to see the touristy sights. Don’t skip the museums, zoo, etc.
- Visit local parks or other fun spots where they can let loose.
- Point out important buildings or landmarks in the new area.
- Talk with your kids about the differences between where you are visiting and where you live.
Remember that you are on vacation and as much as you want to relax from work, your kids need some stimulation. If you take some time to introduce them to their new area, the benefit will be two-fold: they will expend some energy while becoming more comfortable with their surroundings.
Keep the Routine
Although it will differ from your normal day-to-day routine, try to develop a new one. This is a temporary way to add a bit of security to comfort your kids, whether they realize it or not. And, it will help you stay organized, too.
Here are some ideas:
- If your kids normally take showers before bed, then stick to that. If they take them in the morning, then let them take a shower in the morning.
- Set a bedtime and stick to it.
- If possible, leave toiletries out as if you are at home. For example, toothbrush and toothpaste, hairbrush, etc. This will make your kids feel more at home, rather than living out of a bag.
Believe it or not, the more you keep a routine, the more comfortable your kids will be. They may act like they don’t like it – but they do!
Spend Quality Time
While on vacation, you may just want to relax. After all, you work hard, and this is your downtime. But, that doesn’t mean you can stop being a parent. Your kids need you and they need your attention. Spend quality time with them.
- Read books.
- Play board games or card games.
- Go for hikes (if your kids are old enough).
- Watch movies together.
- Bake cookies, cook dinners, spend time in the kitchen.
- Pick a local adventure and take it. This will allow you to build memories with your kids. (Diamond Resorts offers some exciting vacation excursions.)
There are so many ways to spend quality time with your kids. Take advantage of the opportunity while you can. It isn’t often that you can spend uninterrupted time together. Having your attention will also relax your kids and make them feel comforted while away from home.
Where do you intend to travel this holiday season? Wherever your travels may take you, be sure to take a bit of home with you, as well. Your kids may show excited to be at a new place, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get homesick. If you are prepared for it, you can combat it. Keep a routine, surround them with their favorite things, and show them what an adventure is – as a family.