Tips for travelling with your kids
Kids can be a handful at the best of times, but when you go on vacation, they can be even more difficult. Aside from the fact that you and your family are living out of suitcases, the necessary travelling and unfamiliar accommodation can make almost wish you had stayed at home.
Planning and flexibility
The key to having an enjoyable family vacation is to plan for it as much as possible. Involve your children in the planning stage, finding out the types of things they want to see and do; after all, it will be their holiday as much as yours. Allow each member of the family to be able to do something they love on the holiday, so that no one feels left out or becomes bored. If you and your family are urbanites, ring the changes by vacationing in the country. Such holidays are perfect for families who want to teach their children about nature. At Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, for example, your family can ride horses through the valley or take a hike through the extensive woodlands. You can also educate your children about the area’s past, for here there are historic battle sites to walk around, as well as going further back into its history at Dinosaur Land to see dinosaur bones on display.
Of course, the more people there are in your family, the more expensive travel and accommodation becomes, so look for budget deals on flights to and from your destination and on the type of accommodation you are prepared to stay in. Be prepared to be flexible on dates if taking an earlier or later flight will save you hundreds of dollars. In regards to accommodation, a hotel with a family room might be the best choice, or a self-catering apartment might suit you better.
While adults may have trepidation about air travel, kids are likely to be excited by the prospect of flying on a plane. However, sitting in one seat for several hours is not something most kids like to do, so ensure they are kept entertained by taking hand luggage on board that carries an eReader with their books, an mp3 players with their music, or a tablet computer that is loaded with movies. If you do not want to be on plane for too long, take a holiday in the US. Take a look at the Outdoor Traveler website to discover holiday destinations that have something for all the family.
Although you want your family to experience as much as possible while on vacation, doing too much can be as bad as doing too little. Have relaxation days as well as active days, and take advantage of any babysitting services available, so you and your partner can have a little time to yourselves.
Holidaying with kids may not be like the spontaneous vacations you had as a single adult, but with planning and a willingness to be flexible, they can be just as enjoyable.