Vacations when your children are younger can be magical experiences that create memories that a last a lifetime. Understanding the potential for these trips, you can make these family adventures go more smoothly if you adopt some proactive strategies. Here are five key tactics you will want to consider utilizing on vacation travel with your younger children:
Incorporate Kid-specific Activities Into A Daily Itinerary
One mistake parents traveling with younger children make is that tourist destinations and different vacation related activities all will have something of interest for your younger children. Although many tourist destinations and vacation activities do have at least some focus on families, this may not be enough to really engage of keep the interest of younger kids. Therefore, in planning a family expedition, you should consider incorporating specific destinations and activities designed specifically for children into your overall schedule.
Some families use a formula when it comes to destinations and activities on a family vacation involving younger kids. For every two more generalized destinations, attractions, or activities, schedule one with a more specific focus on kids.
Vacation Date Night
If you are like many parents of younger children, you and your spouse or significant other may schedule regular date nights when you are at home and not traveling. You might want to consider a date night or two (the number depending on the length of your trip) while you are traveling.
You can manage a date night while on vacation provided you can find reputable, trusted supervision for your kids while you are out and about. Oftentimes, resort hotels can assist in arranging for child care while you are on a date night.
In the final analysis, you want to a vacation that includes memorable experiences for the entire family, unique offerings for the kids, and also something special for you and your spouse or significant other.
Dine At A Nice Restaurant
Budget considerations certainly guide where you eat when traveling with the family. With that said, if your budget permits, plan a meal or two at a nice restaurant with the entire family.
When considering dining at a nice bistro with the kids for dinner, go early — before the dinner rush. By taking this course, fewer patrons are likely to be at the restaurant. This makes everything smoother for the staff, other diners, and your kids. Also consider requesting a table “off the beaten path”, so that your family will be less likely to disrupt other patrons. No matter how well behaved your children, the potential exists for distracting other patrons, which can put a ding in your experience and those of other diners.
Splurge A Bit On Lodgings
If you are going to spend a bit more money on a vacation with your younger kids, splurge a bit on your lodgings. This does not mean reserve a five-star hotel. What it does mean is make reservations at a hotel or motel that provides you with space.
Depending on the size of your family, and the age of your kids, shy away from trying to cram everyone into one room. Having at least two rooms permits space for that part of the family that may want or need to turn in earlier, as well as space for others who might want to be up a bit later.
Many families traveling with younger children end up spending a good amount of time in their hotel rooms. For example, younger children tire more easily and require extra downtime. In addition, focus on accommodations that provide free WiFi. Do not think for a moment that your kids will be less likely to use their own portable devices just because you are traveling. Moreover, you will want access to the internet as part of mapping out the specifics of your vacation stay.
Speaking Of Hotels Stay at One
When some people travel, even to one general destination, they like to stay in different hotels. This offers an opportunity to gather the vibe at different parts of a city and so forth.
Despite the benefits that can be derived from staying in multiple hotels on a given trip, when at all possible on trips with younger children, stay at one hotel. One hotel provides your younger kids a sense routine and consistency, which is important for youngsters, even when on vacation. In addition, by staying at one hotel, you develop a better understanding of how long it takes to get to “home base” should a child have a need to get back to the hotel and off the tourist path for a bit.
Jessica Kane writes for Advance Online, a leading provider of web-based OSHA. DOT. and HAZWOPER training.