We just finished a family vacation in Virginia & I really wanted to make sure we enjoyed it rather than just barely surviving it. Vacation with kids can feel like it begets another vacation sans kids...ya feel me??
Our kids are four & six and I have often felt like vacationing with kids is harder than just being home because we are breaking our routine. Our kids are not at the hardest age to travel with - my six year old is a good swimmer and I can pretty much let him roam free around the pool, but my sister's son is around a year... that stage is real hard: constant movement, can't sit at a table for a meal, & just want to explore. Every stage of parenting has its challenges. Hopefully these tips are broad enough that they apply to any small kids!
I think this was one of our best family vacations. We were at a resort hotel called the Homestead in the mountains of Virginia. Nice room. Good eating. AND A POOL WITH A LAZY RIVER!
I went in to our vacation with this goal: to balance my need to relax with my kids' needs for fun ... & to create some memories for them. So here we go! These are the 5 things we tried to do to thrive (not just survive) on vacation with kids:
choose your vacation spot wisely
If it is within your control some places are just easier to be with kids at than others. Are there things everyone could enjoy? Is their childcare if that's in your budget? Will a time change make the first three days be a nightmare? Just weigh these things out.
play tag team
If you are not vacationing alone with your kids, is there someone that you trust that could watch them so you get a break? My husband and I learned when my son was around a year to take turns giving each other a morning to sleep in. On our recent trip, my Dad took our son to play mini-golf. My dad loves to be with his grandson and I get a break. #boom
say yes to a few things to make it special
shirley temples. unicorn straws. the waterslides. Is there something that you wouldn't normally say yes to at home that would make it special for your kids? How about special for you? Treat yourself to a new book (for me ... after 2 weeks working out of town with bad internet, I caught up on the bachelorette at night).
uplug if you can
I love my work & maybe you do too. It requires me to be on my phone & connected to technology. Sometimes, though, when I say I'm 'working', I am just zoning out on my phone. I took a pretty big break from computers, etc while we were traveling and it really felt like a mental break. I can't recommend this one enough!
So, What would you add? Let me know if these tips help you!
p.s. I made this FREE, fun printable as a reminder for me to try to THRIVE during the summer with kids, rather than just survive. Download it from our shop by clicking here.