Traveling With Kids? 3 Tips For A Low Stress Vacation
Family vacations are a great way to make memories, but if you ask most any parent, they’ll tell you that they need a vacation to recover from their vacation with the kids in tow. It’s no surprise of course – when you take a child out of their familiar environment, disrupt their normal schedules, offer new or unusual foods, or otherwise, they’re likely to be cranky, tired, and otherwise out of sorts. There will be plenty of fun, but also likely more than a few tantrums.
How can you keep the fun in the forefront on your next vacation? It’s all about advance planning and realistic goals. Keep things simple and try these 3 strategies for fewer meltdowns and more magic.
Take Up Space
Kids need a lot of room, and that can be a problem when you’re staying in a cramped hotel room for a week. Tired out from a long day of exploring, they may simultaneously go stir crazy in the evenings, endlessly annoy their siblings, or otherwise cause a disruption. One way to avoid this issue is by booking a suite where you’ll have several rooms, including general living space and a kitchen. The kids will have room to play, you can take a night off from the restaurant scene and feed them something familiar, and everyone can relax.
Grab A Night Alone
There’s no rule that just because you’re on vacation, you and your spouse can’t grab a few hours on your own. Consider taking a night to see a play or explore the adult-oriented nightlife wherever you’re vacationing – all you need is a babysitter, and in the age of the internet, it’s easy to find childcare even when you’re out of town.
To find a babysitter in an unfamiliar location, you can use a traditional childcare website like Care.com where sitters post bios, reviews, and background checks, or contact a local agency. This is very common and sitters in major cities are used to hearing from families who are in town briefly and looking for reliable childcare.
One of the biggest mistakes parents make when traveling with kids is thinking you can do everything – whether that means hitting all the different theme parks in Disney World or seeing a dozen major landmarks in Paris. Rather than listing all the things you’d like to do, consider what your top priorities are and schedule rest around those items. Rest days are critical and the kids will be perfectly happy to hang around the hotel pool for a few hours. You’ll enjoy your trip more if you try to do less.
Vacations are always framed as an opportunity to get away from it all – the “all” here being stress, work, and home responsibilities – but if you go into the trip thinking of it as a time to experience something new, you’ll all have a better time. A trip with kids may not be the luxury getaway you would like, but when you focus on fun and adventure, you’ll create an experience your family will talk about for years to come.