For most of us, our vacations are the highlights of our year. It is the one time when we can all relax and have fun together as a family, or at least it should be – things do not always go to plan.
When you’re traveling with kids and your family all have different wants or likes, it can be pretty frustrating, to say the least. That’s why I’ve put together a list of tips to help you ensure that your next family vacation is the best one you’ve ever had with as few problems and as much fun as possible…
Don’t travel too far
Unless you really have your heart set on that far-flung destination, then it is probably a good idea to pick a location for your next family vacation that has a shortish flight time. Doing so will mean that your kids are less likely to get bored and cranky and that you all will not be suffering too hard from jetlag which can cause all kinds of arguments to erupt when you are all overtired.
Stay in an apartment
If you have kids, then staying in an apartment rather than a hotel is often a better idea because you will have your own private space where you can hang out and have fun together without having to worry about disturbing other guests or not having enough safety or privacy to really let your hair down.
If apartment living is not your thing, then at least choose a holiday resort that has lots of activities for kids so that you know there will be lots of other families, who are likely to be more understanding, around, and so that your kids don’t get bored.
Talk about the vacation with the kids
Before you head off on vacation it is a really good idea to speak to the kids about where you are going and how everything from the flight to checking into the hotel to eating out, will work when you are away. The better prepped they are, the less anxious they are likely to be, and the more excited for their vacation they are likely to get.
Book something for everyone
Whether it’s surf camps for your sons, theme parks for your daughters, or a fancy dinner for you and your spouse, if you want your next family vacation to be the best one you have ever had, then you need to make an effort to ensure that your itinerary includes something for everyone.
No one wants to go on a vacation where they are forced to do everything someone else’s way, and if you try to make that happen, you will find that your kids get quickly bored and frustrated, which will lead to more arguments, more screentime and less family gun together. It’s fsr easier to throw everyone a bone because, when you do, everyone will try their best to have fun, even during the parts they don’t enjoy, knowing that they will get their turn eventually too.
Spend some time apart
It may be a family vacation and you may be hoping to spend lots of quality time together, but that does not mean you need to spend every waking moment as a family unit. It can be far more enjoyable if you let the kids go off to surf camp or take part in the kids club now and again, while you sunbather or have a nice lunch because, as they often say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and hen you aren’t always on top of each other, you will enjoy those family dinners, beach walks, and museum visits all the more.
Bring some friends
This is certainly not for everyone, but many families find that their vacations are far more enjoyable if they couple up with another family. The beauty of this is that there are two sets of adults who can look after the kids, so each couple can get some time off, and there are two sets of kids, so it is less likely the children will get lonely or bored of each other’s company. If you are planning to go on a self-catering trip, then having another couple to share the chored with is especially welcome, but of course, you need to choose wisely and pick a family that all of your own family gets along with well enough or it could spell disaster.
If you have older kids, then instead of inviting another family along, it could be fun to let them bring along a friend. This will help to stave off those teenage complaints of there being nothing fun to do, and if it is safe, you can let the teens go off together alone for a bit so they can build up their independence and you can get a break to do more grownup stuff too.
Make room for surprises
What kid does not like surprises? If you want your next family vacation to really go down well. Then planning a surprise or two during the duration of your trip will ensure that excitement levels are maintained and boredom tantrums are kept to a minimum. Whether you plan to charter a boat and head off on a sailing adventure for the day, take a trip to the local theme park or visit elephants together ss a family. If you can pull off the unexpected and surprise your family. Your next vacation is sure to be one of the most memorable ever.
Don’t plan too much
That being said, it is probably not a good idea to cram too many activities into your trip. If none of you have time to simply kick back and relax, then you will all get overtired (especially the kids) and tempers are more likely to flare. Saving some time each day to just relax on the beach or hang out in the pool is a great way to ensure you all get plenty of family relaxation as well as fun and adventure.
I hope you have the most amazing family vacation of your life!