Family vacations will create memories that will last you and your little ones a lifetime. However, it’s undeniable that travelling alone or with other adults gives you a lot more space for spontaneity than the energy that travelling with children demands. Take the extra time to make sure your family time is filled with laughter and peace instead of impatient fits.
SCHEDULE AND RESEARCH EFFICIENTLY:
- Make sure you schedule plenty of extra time: Remember, transitions between activities and modes of transportation take much longer with children than usual, especially in a new place. When scheduling flights, shuttle tickets, show times, or any activity that requires specific times, make sure you plan for a lot of extra time to get there.
- Book in advance: As any parent knows, children grow impatient rather quickly with waiting. Instead of waiting in unnecessary lines, try to purchase as many tickets ahead of time.
- Try to avoid any weather disasters: Research the daily weather forecast prior to packing and know the area’s climate. California may be known to be warm and sunny, but nights can be cool and rain may dampen your plans. Nothing is worse than trying to calm your child down in an unexpected rainstorm!
- Medicine and first aid items: Being in a strange place may cause smaller children to become unpredictably sick. It may be smart to bring some Tylenol, cough drops, band-aids or other basic medicinal necessities, so you don’t need to search frantically for a pharmacy while in crisis.
- Double-check luggage packed by even older children: Having older children pack their own bags can be a great step for independence, but unfortunately, items may still be forgotten in the process. Still encourage older children to make their own packing lists, while also making efforts to double-check to see if they remembered those extra pairs of socks or other easily forgotten items.
- Bring entertainment: Have tablets, iPads, books, puzzles, toys, and other forms of child-friendly entertainment ready for the long flights or car rides.
- Small pillow: The long journeys are great time for the kids to take a nap. Encourage that needed rest time – for both you and the children – by bringing a small pillow.
- Think of longer-lasting food: During lengthier downtime, you want to make sure that your little ones will have food to enjoy for a longer period of time, so they don’t run out easily. An item like a bag of chips may be gone in a matter of minutes, but a bag of raisins or granola may take longer for children to go through.
- Be ready to create your own entertainment: Remember all of those car games like “I spy” or the license plate game? Get ready to play these time-killing life saviors in times of unexpected car traffic or longer-than-expected lines.
- Involve teenagers in the planning: Sometimes, sulking teenagers can feel inevitable; but a tip that may make your teen more excited for the trip is to include him/her in the planning, so that he/she can help schedule the activities they are interested in.