The Key Elements of Great Trips

How to Prepare for an Unforgettable Vacation with the Kiddos

The problem is so 21st century: too many choices, limited time. And surely, the stakes are high, especially for parents who want their family vacation to be more than R&R. It’s a chance for the family to get together and for the children to enrich themselves with new learnings. Of course, budget is going to be a factor, so you have to balance price and profit as your main goal.

Here are tips to help you get the best family vacation ever – each time:Below are tips that can help you do just that – every time:The following are helpful tips to make your family vacation a blast – each and every time:

1. Have your kids participate in the decision-making regarding activities to do and places to go.

The best way to get the kids involved in a family trip is to make them part of the whole planning process. Begin by telling them you think it’s a fantastic time to take time off for a vacation. State the parameters right from the start — say, the destination should be fun for everybody, or it shouldn’t be longer than a four or five-hour drive from home.

When the rules have been set, let your kids to fill in the blanks by making suggestions on places and activities to do. With the rules set in stone, let the children provide the details – with some suggestions from you – regarding places to go or how to have fun there, and so on. Ask them what they enjoy doing – swimming, fishing, etc.

This trick works best if you know from the start how much latitude you can give. If you say they can go anywhere they fancy, make sure you mean every word.

2. Listen to what the kids say.

Say you’re going island hopping because the idea appeals to everyone. So what comes after that? Give everyone their time to talk. This is your chance to get a feel of what works for the whole family. Promise to look into all possibilities.

3. Create a momentum for the arrival of the big day.

Truth is, kids tend to have a loose grip on time and distance, reason why they are confused when thinking about travel. Kid-friendly books about your destination and about travel in general can help. (Whatever explains the events from making plans to getting there will do!)

The point is to be there for your kids as they deal with the excitement or even anxiety as the big day comes near. Be more particular when talking to them. For example, instead saying you’re a week away from traveling, say something like “We’ll see the dolphins in after seven more sleeps.” Rather than saying you’re four days away from Africa, make it more interesting by saying, “Four more dinners and we’ll see the zebras!”

Finally, have the children pick and pack their own clothing and other essentials, including one or two stuffed toys they may want to bring for comfort. Autonomy and independence is best practiced while in their formative years. In fact, it should be one of your goals each time you plan a vacation!

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