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Pointers for a Fun Vacation with Kids

The problem is so 21st century: too many choices, limited time. And surely, the stakes are high, especially for parents who want their family vacation to be more than R&R. It’s an opportunity for the family to bond and for the kids to widen their horizons and increase their new learnings. Of course, as budget is an unavoidable factor, you need to find that sweet spot between price and profit.

Here are tips to help you get the best family vacation ever – each time:Below are tips that can help you do just that – every time:The following are helpful tips to make your family vacation a blast – each and every time:

1. Give the kids a voice as you decide on destinations and activities.

The best way you can make them invested in a family trip is to make them feel at least partly responsible for it. Begin by dropping a hint that it could be time you all went on an exciting vacation. State the parameters right from the start — say, the destination should be fun for everybody, or it shouldn’t be longer than a four or five-hour drive from home.

When the rules have been set, let your kids to fill in the blanks by making suggestions on places and activities to do. With the rules set in stone, let the children provide the details – with some suggestions from you – regarding places to go or how to have fun there, and so on. Ask them what they enjoy doing – swimming, fishing, etc.

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This trick works best if you know from the start how much latitude you can give. If you say they can go anywhere they fancy, make sure you mean every word.

2. Pay attention to what the kids are saying.

Say you’re going island hopping because the idea appeals to everyone. So what comes after that? Let everyone talk. This is an opportunity for you to sense what goes with every member of the family. Promise to look into all possibilities.

3. Create a momentum for the arrival of the big day.

Truth is, kids don’t have a very good understanding of time and distance, which is the main reason traveling and travel plans can be confusing to them. It would be good to show them child-friendly books or magazines that feature the particular destination or just travel in general. (Anything that bridges the time you make plans to the time you actually arrive there should do fine!)

As the big day approaches, help your kids handle their anxiety and even their excitement. Be more particular when talking to them. For example, instead saying you’re a week away from traveling, say something like “We’ll see the dolphins in after seven more sleeps.” Rather than saying you’re four days away from Africa, make it more interesting by saying, “Four more dinners and we’ll see the zebras!”

Finally, have the children pick and pack their own clothing and other essentials, including one or two stuffed toys they may want to bring for comfort. Let them practice autonomy and independence from a young age. In fact, it should be one of your goals each time you plan a vacation!

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