Family vacations give you and your kids a chance to unwind and to build lasting memories with each other. With vacation destinations like Disneyland, Europe, or even grandma’s house, you present your kids with opportunities for fun, learning, and love. In other words, these trips should be fun for everyone.
If you have an upcoming trip that you’re planning, the way you approach your plans goes a long way toward ensuring that everyone enjoys themselves. The six tips in this blog post give you some ideas for how to make your next trip both memorable and fun for all.
Get your kids involved in the planning of the trip right from the start. They’ll be more excited about the trip, which makes them emotionally invested in the trip.
Start discussions with them about where they’d like to go and what they’d like to experience, not only once they get there but along the way, too. This can be especially important if you’re taking a trip abroad. Getting them involved with the planning of this kind of trip not only teaches them planning skills, but it also prepares them for traveling in other cultures. It’s likely that if they have a say in what happens on their trip, you’ll all have more fun along the way.
Over packing the car can be a major downer, even if you have a car that’s roomier than a side room of the Taj Mahal - think the best SUV 2017 that money could buy - too much stuff really does cramp your ride.
Aside from the fact that this move prevents you from seeing out your car’s rear view mirror, it also cramps the kids, who are probably in the backseat. A car that’s too full often means that there are things on the floor of the backseat, as well as in other places. That makes for cramped legs. Make the ride more fun by cutting down what you’re taking or by getting a carrier for the top of the car.
Being in the car for a long time causes everyone to go a little stir crazy. Oftentimes, the only time you’ll stop is if it’s time to eat or if someone has to go to the restroom. This is where you can add a bit of fun to these stops. Pack along play items like footballs or jump ropes and encourage everyone to get their blood pumping. A quick game of catch is fun and it relieves some of the boredom and stress that being in a car for long periods of time can cause.
About you’ve heard the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” about 4,000 times, you’ll wish that your kids had something different to occupy their time with. To remedy this, pack a backpack for each kid. Inside it, your kids will find items like travel journals, crossword puzzles, their favorite books, and drawing or coloring supplies. The items in the bag can also include tech items, like portable DVD players or smart phones, which allow them to watch movies or play games while they travel.
Make sure each kid has his/ her own backpack. Not only does this allow you to personalize the bag, it helps to cut down on the fights that may come from tired kids having share when they don’t want to.
Road snacks play an important part of your road trip. Not only do they help you cut down on the number of times you eat in restaurants, they also ensure that your kids don’t get too hungry. One of the reasons that people get crabby is hunger, which is a quick way to spoil even the best of trips. Make sure that doesn’t happen by making sure that you bring along enough snacks for everyone. And be sure to pack some special snacks that you wouldn’t normally keep around the house. Kids remember little details like this on a trip, which helps them create memories of your time on the road.
Small children especially need to have items with them on a road trip that remind them of home. At the bare minimum, you should pack blankets and pillows for all, so that your kids can sleep when they get tired. Additionally, don’t forget to bring along your child’s favorite stuffed animals or dolls, which add to your child’s feelings of security and comfort.
As a side note, make sure that you double check your hotel rooms or your AirBNB each night to make sure that you’ve picked up all these special items. They may not notice that their snacks are gone, but you can bet they’ll miss the teddy bear they left at your last hotel for a lot longer.
Taking a trip together gives your family a chance to learn a new skill, like learning a language, to visit distant relatives, or to just destress. How well you plan this trip makes all the difference in the world. The most successful car trips combine things to do for the ride, yummy snacks, and a few excuses to get out of the car along the way and play. Make sure your next trip has all of these elements, and you’re sure to see enough smiles to fill 10 photo albums with your memories.