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Archive for July, 2011

August — that month where we like to cram in one last vacation, one last get away, one last opportunity to enjoy some summer with the family.  Though we dream of the ideal trip and we do everything we think we need to to ensure a peaceful and fun vacation, it never fails, when traveling with children, all bets are off.  Whether you are taking a once in a lifetime vacation, heading to a family reunion or just taking a weekend away with the kids, here are a few tips to help ensure that your next vacation has fewer crankies and meltdowns and more fun for everyone.

 

1)   Really make peace with why you are taking the trip.  If it’s to unwind, get away, have peace and quiet, then, look into hotel babysitters, go with family who can help out or consider taking along a teenage family friend to babysit.  Traveling is stressful, kids create stressful moments and sometimes our children are not really behaving out of line, but we are too stressed out to deal with their issues effectively.  Enlist help!

2)  Consider the age of your child and their normal routine.  Though you may be looking forward to introducing your 3 year old to Disney for the first time, they still need naps, regular breaks for healthy food and a place to get away from the over-stimulation.  A child is much more in tune with their senses than most adults and we need to make sure that they are sticking pretty close to their routine — no matter how much you paid for the dolphin show that is right at nap-time.

3)  You are probably really excited about your trip, and your child is excited because you are, but most children do not really have a sense of what a vacation means — particularly if you are going to a new place, with new routines or even new cultures.  Your child may be a little antsy and not old enough to voice that or doesn’t know what they are feeling to tell you.  Before you leave for your trip show them photos online, talk about the things you will be doing and give them some reference points that are somewhat familiar.  ie. “We’ll be staying at a hotel just like when we went to see Aunt Sally.”

4)  Let them take something that is familiar.  Whether it’s a stuffed animal, action figure, blanket or favorite ratty t-shirt — let them bring at least one thing that gives them comfort.

5)  Get enough rest yourself.  Your kids will feed off of your energy. If you’re tired, frustrated, cranky or upset, your children will feel that and mimic something similar making your struggle all the more difficult.

6)  Eat well.  It’s so easy to indulge and eat lots of sugar, fast food and hamburgers on vacation.  Make sure you are getting in some nutritious options including whole grains and fruits and veggies.  This will help keep everyone’s energy levels at an optimum.

 

7)  Lastly, manage your own expectations.  Life in general unpredictable.  Life with kids even more so.  Life as a vacation with kids….all bets are off.  Take deep breaths and remember why you are on vacation and have fun!

 

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