Planning a family vacation may sound complicated, but it doesn't have to be! It's something truly special to be able to see the Colosseum or Eiffel Tower with your children, grandchildren, siblings, and other family members, but with so much transportation, accommodation, and activities to finagle, it can be daunting to plan. Take a look at some of our top tips for keeping everyone happy (and sane) during your trip. And for more family vacation ideas, check us out at http://landing.keytours.com/familytravel!
1. Schedule downtime
You might think that you need to keep kids busy and entertained the whole time you're on vacation, but the reality is that everyone needs a break - including you! Building in downtime during your trip can prevent bad moods, tantrums, and overexhaustion. Take a break from sightseeing and relax at a hotel or public pool, enjoy a riverside stroll, take a reading break at the park or library, see a movie, or have playtime at a local playground.
2. Give them a camera
Giving kids some independence while traveling can not only prevent boredom and tantrums, but help them to focus on and appreciate their surroundings and experience. Once they're responsible enough, you can give older kids a camera to take their own photos, such as a disposable camera or the camera on your old phone. They'll love flexing their creativity and taking cool photos to show their friends, while younger kids can help you take photos with a phone or larger camera by clicking the button while you hold it.
3. Include multigenerational activities
It's tough to rotate through a variety of activities in order to hit everyone's interests. Make sure to work activities into your trip that appeal to all ages and skill levels - nothing too adventurous or too relaxing, but a little of each! Try a cooking class, arts and crafts workshop, or animal-focused activities like dolphin watching or a reindeer sleigh ride.
4. Keep them busy on long flights
Toys, books, and electronics are great ways to keep your kids busy during those long flights, but the novelty of each item will eventually wear off. Keep it exciting by wrapping a handful of little toys as "presents", and giving them another one each hour of the flight. Little ones will love the act of just opening the gift, so be generous with the tissue and wrapping paper!
5. Save the souvenirs until the end
If you're near any shopping, you're basically guaranteed to have kids pestering you for souvenirs 24/7, but once you start, there's no end to it. Make a deal with the kids that they can choose one souvenir on the last day of the trip; this will save you money, whining, luggage space, and broken or lost souvenirs. Plus, it'll keep them busy at the airport and on the flight home!
6. Explain the trip
Kids are more likely to get stressed when they don't understand what's going on, and a lot of new things can make them feel uncomfortable. Letting them know the expectations ahead of time will help them prepare for a busy schedule and feel more confident as you move through activities and locations. Before you leave home, review the itinerary with them and let them know what to expect and how to behave at the airport, on the plane, and at your destination.
7. Snacks, snacks, snacks
When kids are hungry for too long, they get hangry (hungry and angry), and everyone can go from happy to miserable in a matter of minutes. Ensure that you always have a few snacks on hand, because you never know when a flight could be delayed, traffic is bad, or your kids don't like the food at your destination. Make sure to have enough snacks for everyone - adults get hangry too!
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