Spring Break and Summer vacation are right around the corner, and many parents are gearing up to take their children on memorable trips. Children are notoriously impatient when it comes to traveling and visiting unfamiliar places, no matter much fun they are having. As a member of a huge extended family and aunt to three adorable toddlers, I have learned a great deal about how to vacation with children. Follow my guide for tips to keep everyone happy on your next trip.
When it comes to small children, over packing clothes can be a life saver. I can remember many trips where my nephew accidentally stained a shirt or one of my nieces had an accident. I recommend packing at least three extra complete changes of clothes, and lots of extra diapers or underwear. My sister keeps one change of clothes for each child in one bag that is easy to access in a plane or car, and one she can tote around at theme parks or shopping. No one wants to shell out extra money on gift shop clothing or to have to make a pit stop on a long trip. Another tip is to dress children in play clothes or pajamas when in transit, so they can be comfortable and any accidents won’t ruin a nice outfit.
Distractions for kids of any age can help pass the time. I know as an adult, I love having a book or new game on my tablet for when I’m traveling. If you have a tablet, load it with new games and keep it on the charger for a night. When they power it up in the car, they will have new activities to try for the first time that will help them keep from getting bored. If you don’t have a tablet, buy a few new books or coloring books or games and keep them in a “fun bag,” in easy reach. My sister packs snacks ,a new toy, book and coloring book for each child. We also travel with a DVD player and pick a few new movies for the kids to enjoy.
With a child of any age, there can be bad days and good days. Be flexible especially if you have a young child with your daily plans. We always travel with several adults, that way if one child needs to stay at the hotel, we can take the other children into the theme park or out exploring. Always allow yourself plenty of time to get to and from wherever you’re going, so you can take your time and not rush. Rushing adds extra stress on most children and can make them not enjoy their experience. Also have alternative activities available if the weather turns sour and your plans get rained out.
The name of the game is keeping your children happy and having a good time no matter what stage you’re at in your vacation. Planning your trip and prepping all your gear can help ease your mind, too, as you’ll always have what you need within reach. And of course, make sure to take plenty of photos so you and your children can relive the fun memories.