I took the kids away last year to one of the most beautiful Dominican Republic resorts, it was our first ‘big’ vacation together having just taken domestic breaks in the past and it was, well, interesting. As a parent I definitely got some things right regarding the children and some things I didn’t do so well but learned a lot from. As a result of my experience I wanted to share with you some tips on traveling with children and how to ensure everyone has the best time possible.
Be More Patient
Patience is something that you always need to observe as a parent but on vacation you need to relax even more. Remember that this is your kids’ vacation as well as yours and being uptight and scolding them for everything will ensure that nobody has a good time.
Use Treats to Bargain
To manage behavior when you are away, make sure that you have some special events planned towards the end of the vacation, water parks, adventure parks etc. Use these treats as a bargain for your children to keep their behavior in check. Make sure they know that these are special events that they need to be good in order to get.
Lay Some Rules Before You Go
Laying out the ground rules before you go will help when you are actually on your vacations. You don’t want to be running through do’s and don’t’s when you are away, giving rules out first means that you can reference them on your vacations.
Load Up On Entertainment
There will be lots of times when your kids need a bit of extra entertainment, during traveling and waiting in the airport for example. Make sure that they have lots of books, games and things to watch for these quiet times.
Fun For All
Remember that it is your vacation as well as the kids’ so make sure that you have events planned that will keep everyone happy. Naturally your focus will be on the children but don’t forget about yourself.
Take Your Time
Kids love to explore so try not to pack your schedule so tightly that you need to be rushing from place to place, allow plenty of time to let the kids roam around and enjoy themselves.
Give Them a Camera
Kids love to take photos of where they have been and what they have done, give them disposable camera so that they can do exactly that. The benefit of a disposable is that if they lose it, you’ve lost nothing.
Use Tech To Keep Them Safe
Putting reins on small children isn’t something that I like to do and I found a cool company who sell little tracking chips. You can put the chip in their shoe or clothes and then track them on an application should they get lost in airports or at the beach.
Check Their Packing
It’s nice to give the kids the responsibility of packing their own stuff, but make sure that you check it. A few years ago I let my 4 year old pack their own backpack and didn’t realize until we were on the road that he was able to fit his whole 62-piece car collection in there.
Keep a Diary
Try to encourage your kids to keep a diary of what they have done throughout their trip. This will help them to remember what they did when they got back home and give them something to do during the quiet moments of the vacation.