The weather is getting cooler and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It can only mean one thing: the holiday season is close at hand. For some people, the holidays are a time best spent sitting indoors with the family, drinking eggnog and watching movies. For others, such activities may certainly be pursued, but the highlight of the winter season is escaping to a warm destination for a family vacation. The timing probably works well; the kids are off from school, you and your husband have some days off from work, and the weather outside is basically imploring you to get away.
If this sounds like your situation, you are probably already in the full-swing of vacation planning. You’re reading travel guides and trying to figure out the best credit cards for airline miles. You’re perusing hotel and rental car websites, and scrolling through American Express Gold card review sites to determine what accommodations can provide your family the greatest bang for the buck. While you’re doing all this, though, and especially if you have younger children, it’s always important to remember the unique considerations necessitated by traveling with your kids. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Kids, unfortunately, do not always get hungry right at the predetermined meal times. Sometimes they have no appetite at lunch but want to eat only a couple hours later. Sometimes they’ll want breakfast in the wee hours of the morning. Whatever the case, it’s good to always have a food contingency plan. While traveling at the airport, make sure to bring some sandwiches if you don’t want to spend too much money on airport food. And, when researching a hotel, you might want to find a place with a convenience store or grocery nearby.
Whether you’re arriving at your destination via airplane or car, you probably have at least a few hours of travel between your home and your destination. Consequently, you’re going to want to prevent your kids from becoming bored and agitated over the course of the journey. To this end, insure that any books or gaming devices are packed, and always have a Plan B “family game” that can be played if those distractions fail. Your kids, your spouse, and yourself will all enjoy the trip much more if everyone arrives at the destination happy.
While you and your husband may have spent vacations snorkeling and going to upscale clubs in your pre-children days, any trip with kids is going to involve a certain amount of flexibility. Think of it this way: on a family vacation, you should insure that you get a chance to relax, lay by the pool, and bask in the sun – even if you and your husband have to trade off watching the kids. You’ve deserved it. But, while an expectation of relaxation is a fair one, you should not anticipate doing those activities that you may personally prefer. Instead, as far as activates are concerned, these should best be dictated by your children. The family dynamic stands to be much better as a result.
These are just a few of the things you’re going to want to keep in mind when traveling with kids. Ultimately, it’s a small price to pay for a warm vacation in December with your family. Enjoy.