Why Not Include the Whole Family?
Traveling as a family can be one of the most rewarding and unforgettable experiences. It can also be one of the most challenging, particularly when that family includes young children or teenagers. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be! Here are some simple tips that will help ensure your vacation goes smoothly and is enjoyable for everyone involved.
Involve your kids in the planning process
Children love to feel like they are a part of everything. It empowers them and gives them a sense of accomplishment and confidence. Involve your kids in the whole process, from deciding on a destination to choosing different activities to include in the itinerary. The more involved your children are in the planning and decision making process, the more cooperative and content they will be during the trip.
Keep in mind that no matter where you go, your kids are probably going to end up with a bunch of souvenirs. You’ll want to be sure to leave enough room to pack them for the trip home. A good way to do this is to pack once, and then remove half of what you’ve packed. Remember – you only need to bring just enough clothes to last the length of your trip. Stick to the essentials and you won’t have to deal with any headaches for the trip home.
Kids always have more fun when they can play with others, so if possible, consider allowing your children to each bring a friend with them on your next trip. It will give them someone to interact with and help them to not feel so disconnected from their normal, everyday life. This is especially true for teenagers. Test the waters first by letting your child bring their friend along on shorter trips like weekend getaways, to make sure everyone is compatible.
One of the biggest reasons traveling as a family can be challenging is the fact that it involves long stretches of time spent all together. Too much time together can be overwhelming for both parents and children. Try to organize your trip so that you are able to split up for some activities – even if it’s just for dinner. Many of the hotels featured on our tours have pools or offer other activities that allow kids who are old enough the chance to explore a little. Teens can enjoy a little taste of freedom and parents get the chance to relax and enjoy some alone time.
Keep it exciting
Remember that children may not enjoy things like sightseeing or appreciate culture as much as adults do, so try your best to make these types of activities as exciting and fun as possible. Multisport tours are excellent options for families with kids because they offer a wide variety of activities for different ages, abilities and skill levels. For instance, our multisport tours offer things like canoeing, treasure hunts, hiking, biking and trips to adventure parks, just to name a few.
Also keep in mind that when you’re participating in activities like hiking or biking, your children probably aren’t thinking about just getting from point A to point B, but rather they see the activity as a chance to explore. Allow ample time to make it an adventure and choose routes that are interesting, such as alongside a river. You may be surprised at what you discover along the way.
Make it memorable
There are plenty of ways to make memories on a trip besides taking pictures. Think of creative ways to commemorate your journey, like purchasing a post card at each destination and having your children write the date, their age and a single memory of that stop on the back. Or, give each child a new journal and encourage them to write down their thoughts, feelings and memories during the trip. Did they try a new food? Perhaps they learned a new word in another language. These are things that can’t be learned in a textbook or captured in a photograph, but that make a lasting impression on a child. Encourage them to jot them down so they’ll always have those special memories of their trip.