Traveling with the kids is an utter joy — when everything goes well, of course. However, when it doesn’t, they get bored. They get tired. They get hungry. They get hot. They get cold. What’s more, they get angry! You know this is likely to happen at some point during the holiday, so it’s better to be prepared rather than watch in despair as what should be a day of fun turns into a nightmare of sulking and temper tantrums, whether that’s on the road or by the hotel pool. In fact, you can have nothing but smiles if you follow some simple advice to keep the kids in good spirits during your trip.
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Prepare Your Home (and Your Work) Before Leaving
Before you leave, consider this: Do you know what could ruin the whole experience? Coming back to a house that’s been robbed or damaged because someone forgot to close the windows or turn off the stove before leaving. Lock up and power down while also cleaning out the fridge
and securing outdoor furniture. You won’t have any nagging worries while you’re sunbathing. You’ll want to be as much “in the moment” for you and your family once you’re traveling – and that means unplugging from work. This may not be an easy task, because so many of us are
constantly tethered to our smartphones and other devices, making the habit of checking work emails a hard one to break if even for a short period. Clearly communicate with your coworkers and important clients of your intent to fully embrace your time away from the office to reduce the likelihood of getting that work-related text in the middle of dinner out.
Get Them Excited
There are many ways to do this, though a writer with Parents magazine suggests showing the kids some slides or photos of where you’re going and what you’ll do when you get there. A few images of your destination should get them stoked for what’s ahead.
Keep Them Entertained
Because boredom is a kid’s worst enemy. For the younger ones, an activity pack with a coloring book, crayons, and stickers will help keep them occupied. Teenagers, however, might prefer reading a book, keeping a journal, or taking pictures.
Make Use of Technology
Parents can’t stop moaning about how much time their kids spend on their smartphones, tablets, and laptops, but these devices can be a real godsend at times, especially when you’re on a long road trip. Download a few movies or games to use as a backup when those activity packs just aren’t doing the trick. Don’t forget to pick up a device charger to keep the kids entertained without being interrupted by a drained battery. These days, many chargers come with attractive features like stands, speakers, and wireless capabilities.
When it comes to clothing, think “small, versatile and layers,” according to a traveling parent writing for Lonely Planet. This way, they’ll never get too hot or too cold, regardless of where your adventure takes you. Oh, and don’t forget a medical kit with some bandages, plasters, and paracetamol in case of any accidents or injuries.
Bring Snacks Along
That way you can stop a rumbling tummy long before it causes any trouble. You’ll want something on hand that’s light and healthy and doesn’t make a big old mess. Granola and dried fruit do the trick rather nicely, as do cheese sticks, nuts, and popcorn. Always make sure you’ve got some in your backpack when you go for a hike.
Take Plenty of Breaks (For You and Them)
Breaks are important during long road trips. Encourage the little ones to go to the loo even if they don’t have to, then let them stretch their legs and run about for a bit before getting back in the car. That will burn off the energy that tends to overflow when pent up for too long. Don’t forget to take breaks for yourself as well. If the kids are getting a little too rowdy or you encounter hiccups along the way, take 10 minutes to yourself to breathe, calm yourself, and refocus.
Let Them Choose Activities
By letting the kids help plan the trip, not only will they stay interested, but the kids will also learn some valuable adult skills along the way, says TravelZoo. Let them find attractions online then pitch them to the rest of the family. If you’re worried about things getting out of hand, give the youngsters a few options instead and let them choose. Now that you know how to handle the worst, you can focus on having the best time possible during your family getaway. Remember to pack smartly, unplug from your job, take breaks, and plan ahead to ensure everyone stays happy and comfortable. You deserve to kick up your feet for a bit.
Download the Tripio app today and start planning the perfect family vacation. The Tripio app has dozens of destinations to choose from which makes planning the perfect family vacation easy. Tripio will generate a custom itinerary and custom top 10 within seconds. We have done all the research for you so you can focus on getting your kids ready to travel. Adventure is out there with Tripio.
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