Who doesn’t love taking a vacation! Whether you are heading back to your hometown for a visit, to an educational European country, or to a sandy warm paradise, packing the family up for a well deserved vacation is exciting and fun.
However – if you have young children, it may seem a bit more daunting. Lugging around twice the luggage with a cranky, sweaty child that is on the verge of an all out meltdown is hardly the relaxing, luxurious vacation you hoped for. Here are a few tips to helping your vacation run a bit more smoothly.
1 – The Element of Surprise
You’ve probably given your child the speech. Be on your best behavior. Stay close at all times. Don’t be loud. But the best way to keep your child in their seat, quiet and pleasant, is by planting a few surprises along the way. If you are in the middle of a long haul flight, don’t pull out all the stops in the first 15 minutes. Pack some quiet (actually, completely noise free) games, toys or activities. Pull them out one by one as needed – think sticker or coloring books, even puzzles. Here’s a few of our tips for potty training.
2 – A Little Bit Of Junk Goes A Long Way
Maybe when your family is home, 30 minutes of television each day is the limit. This will probably go out the window on your vacation, and that’s OK. If your family sticks mostly to organic foods, or has a very healthy diet, pack a special treat that they aren’t typically used to eating. You don’t need to pump your kids full of sugar (in fact make sure you do NOT do that) but, a few small treats spaced out throughout your travel day may really help you out!
3 – Be The Early Bird
Try to be early for every single thing you have planned. It’s better to be early than be the last to arrive – especially when it comes to flying. Take advantage of early boarding if possible. Get your kids settled in their seat, immersed in an activity so that they’re not in anyone’s way. The last thing you want is your child irritating the one intolerant person on your flight, and then you have to deal with the evil eye throughout your travel.
4 – Cut Yourself Some Slack
So, your kid had a meltdown in line and you gave him a handful of candy. The only way to get your 5 year old to calm down on the flight was to give her a big wad of bubble gum. Your kids watched 3 movies on your overseas flight. Whatever works, works! When you’re on vacation, your kids are too. What you promise or basically bribe your kids with when on vacation is not representative of how you are as a parent – you are just rolling with the punches and doing the best you can. Don’t feel bad about it – think of it more as self preservation so that you are able to enjoy the vacation too!