Family Vacations are wonderful opportunities to spend quality time together, exploring and trying new things. Your family vacation can be great whether you make it an extravagant affair or more of an inexpensive trip. The thing that makes the vacation great isn't so much what you do, but how you do it.
Be sure to have easy access to snacks and water at all times on your family vacation. If you get caught in lines or on the road, nothing can ruin the day faster than kids (or parents) who are tired and hungry. Avoid too many empty calories like high fat or high sugar snack foods. They can produce negative behaviors that you don't want to deal with in a car or out in public!
Family vacations inevitably involve people in various age ranges, so the planning process needs to take into account the needs of family members at different stages of life. Small children handle vacation the best when we adhere to their regular routines as much as possible, making sure that they get their naps and meal times at the normal intervals. Children who are past napping still benefit from scheduled quiet time on a family vacation, and the rest of the family benefits from it too. Downtime allows them to recharge and simply rest so that they will be their best for the remaining part of the day.
These downtime considerations are especially important if your family vacation involves a lot of rigorous physical activity that you normally don't encounter in daily life. Trekking around an amusement park all day, touring historical sites, hiking in the woods, swimming, and just being in the sun for long periods of time are exhausting for everyone.
A wonderful option for families with both older children and little ones is to consider going on an extended family vacation, and bringing along the grandparents. When Grandma and Grandpa come along, they are often thrilled to take the little ones for downtime, as they often need it themselves, while the more energetic family members are off and running.
Another important factor to consider when planning your family vacation is whether the activities you choose will appeal to the entire group. Don't be afraid to divide and conquer once in a while. For example, one parent can take the older kids horseback riding, while the other parent takes the little ones to the pool or beach.
Family vacations can be memorable events. They allow us time away to recharge and relax. We get to spend precious time with our spouses and children away from the hustle of everyday life. They deserve that extra planning and preparation to make the most of the experience.
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