Go where YOU want to go
When choosing a place to vacation, think of a place that you yourself would want to go and find interesting and enjoyable. Don’t change your mindset of places that you would enjoy now that you have kids. For young children, your kids will be fascinated in what fascinates you. If you find a place interesting, your interest will interest your kids. You can explain what makes a place special and they will find it special. So ask yourself, where do I want to go, not what places would best occupy the kids.
Your children are your travel partners.
Travel with your kids and have them engaged in the trip instead of either having their activities central to the planning or letting them simply tag along with your plans. Discuss with your kids the itinerary and let them feel involved in the decision making or at least give them some options from which to choose. They will anticipate the trip more and become more engaged when they feel that they have helped to choose what to do. Even a child as young as eighteen months can express anticipation for a trip and have interest in the place they are visiting.
Stick to a plan.
Don’t expect to be spontaneous and makes plans at the last moment. Be content with a well thought out and predictable itinerary. Children are less stressed when they know what to expect. However, don’t think that making good plans will lead to boredom. Having kids with you always has its surprises and unexpected episodes. When you are with your kids, nothing will seem boring. Even places that you’ve visited many times in the past will seem new and fresh again. With kids, you can’t go with the flow or live in the moment like you did before them, but they will keep you thinking on your feet and give you a different perspective on the places you go.
Understand the needs of your children.
When you are not away from home and spend the day with your kids, how many hours in the day do you spend attending to them? How much time during the day are you not either preparing their meals, feeding them, cleaning up after them, running errands, or getting them ready for bed. When on vacation, you will still be looking after all of their daily needs. Therefore, you will need to take that time into consideration into your plans for each day.
Don’t get overwhelmed.
If being the sole caregiver of your children seems overwhelming and will not leave enough time to unwind and relax in what should be your vacation and your best chance to relax, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Ask you spouse to share responsibilities, or a more elaborate plan would be to find a resort that offers child care during the day. Don’t let the demands of having your children with you take too much away from replenishing yourself and recharging your batteries.
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