Woo hoo! It’s summer! Maybe you let your homeschool out during the summer or maybe you school year round. It’s still a great time to travel with the family and enjoy the great weather while on vacation.
Here’s a few parent-tested tips for smooth travel with your family:
Ask the Hotel About Child Facilities
Some resorts are built for couples, with lots of spas and romantic nooks. Kids will hate this. You need a resort with plenty of indoor recreational facilities, where they can play safely, and happily. Some hotels will even offer babysitting or child care services, so you can do some shopping or sight seeing on your own, without someone tugging at your knee and saying, “Mommy, can we go now?”
Don’t Overload the Itinerary
Kids get tired more easily, or can rapidly become overstimulated and cranky. Make sure that the itinerary leaves lots of room for resting, snacks, or (if you’re taking toddlers) even naps. Ideally you should only cover two major destinations in one day (one in the morning, another in the afternoon). If you want to see more sights, make arrangements to leave your child to rest in the hotel (see tip number one) and do it on your own.
Bring a “Child Care Pack”
This includes lots of water (kids get dehydrated more easily), an extra change of clothes, and small toys to amuse them at restaurants.
If you are going to a warm place (like a beach or a tropical country) remember that kids are more vulnerable to sunstroke and sunburn. Bring sunblock, a handheld battery-operated fan, and sports drinks (which will help them retain water). Avoid bringing them out in the hottest times of the day.
Choose a Kid-Friendly Itinerary
Consider your child’s age. A toddler will not be able to appreciate a historical tour of the country’s Medieval churches, and even a seven year old may not be able to stay still in a museum.
Look at the places you plan to visit and think, “Will he be able to understand this?” Compare the length of the tour with the average amount of time he can concentrate on one activity. Do this even before you choose a destination
Family vacations are a great way to make those family memories. But without proper planning, it can easily become stressful and disappointing for everyone. So, do yourself a favor and plan ahead!