As a parent, one of the best experiences you can give your children is traveling to new and exciting places. Unfortunately, far too many families avoid this completely, as the affair is often complicated and daunting. As stressful as all of is for you, it can also put pressure on your children, negatively impacting their time away too. However, that doesn’t mean that mean that you should skip your family vacations. Instead, you should work together to make trips more enjoyable for everyone. Here are five ways to keep your kids happy when you travel.
Give Them A Say
Children usually look forward to vacations as much as you do, but, more often than not, their to-do lists look completely different. To ensure everyone has a chance to do something that they love, you should invite your children to offer suggestions on activities you can do together. You could even ask for their opinions on where you should go. This way, everyone feels that they’ve contributed to the trip, which will help to build travel buzz for the entire family.
Don’t Disrupt Their Sleep
Most view a vacation as an opportunity to escape the routines that rule everyday life, but, when traveling with children, this is rarely the case. Kids, regardless of their age, feel their best when they eat, sleep, and wake at roughly the same time each day. If you disrupt their sleep or make them wait for a meal, they could become tired and irritable, which will leave everyone feeling stressed. If something needs to change, explain this to your kids so that they’re prepared for it.
Follow A Flexible Schedule
Too much downtime can be stressful for children and parents alike. Of course, you shouldn’t be out doing something at all hours of the day, but the time you do spend at the accommodation should be to relax and unwind, not because you haven’t thought of anything to do. With that in mind, you should plan a schedule for your time away, detailing activities for you to do on each of the days. Ensure this schedule is flexible so that you can switch activities as and when you like.
Pack Plenty Of Surprises
Moody children make for an unhappy time away, which is why you should pack plenty of surprises to distract them from their grumps. This could be anything from a new cuddly toy for a little one to synthetic urine practical jokes for those a bit older. These treats are especially useful when you know there is going to be a difficult stretch of your trip, like a long wait at the airport or traffic on the way to your accommodation.
Plan For The Anxiety
At some point throughout your trip, your children are going to get stressed and pretending that they won’t will only cause more issues. For this reason, it’s vital that you discuss this stress with your children before you leave and find out exactly what it is that makes them anxious. Loud noises, crowded spaces, and long lines are incredibly common causes. Once you know the source of the anxiety, you can make plans to manage and reduce it.
Traveling can be stressful for children, but, hopefully, with the advice above, everyone in your family can have a fun and relaxing time away.