Go ahead and plan that fun getaway for the entire family. You really can have it all: A vacation with kids that includes downtime for the grownups.
“I need a vacation after my vacation.” What parent hasn’t uttered those words after what should have been a relaxing time off from work and the day-to-day? We all need family time away from routines and schedules, but vacationing with the kids in tow can be exhausting for mom and dad.
A Successful Family Vacation
A family vacation where you get to unwind is within your grasp. So sit back, relax, put your feet up and read our tips for a successful vacation with your kids that includes lots of fun for everyone, beautiful memories, and a little down time for mom and dad. Really.
Bring the family (one other than your own). Sometimes a vacation can feel like the same old routine — just a different location. So try traveling with a family you get along with. Involving others in your daily activities and planning is fun, and your children will enjoy having friends their age to play with. They’ll have more success entertaining themselves with other kids around while you take a moment to put your feet up. And you’ll appreciate having other grownups to spend time with during joint outings or after the kids crash out.
Splash around. When deciding where to take your little ones, most parents agree you can’t go wrong with water. There is always something to do and kids won’t become bored as easily if they have a beach or pool for their splashing pleasure — no matter what their age.
Don’t overbook your fun. Not everyone needs a plan. In fact, failure to plan might actually lead to more relaxation for everyone. Know what’s available ahead of time for food, movies and kid-friendly activities, but avoid a tight schedule full of absolute do’s you feel compelled to follow. Loosely structure your days, and don’t expect to do it all.
Rent a house away from home. A cramped hotel room with two adults and three kids is no way to spend a vacation, and renting more than one room can get pricey. A house may seem more expensive initially, but it makes sense when you consider the cost of multiple hotel rooms and eating out. If you’re preparing your own food, you’ll save money. And your children will enjoy healthier meals and snacks and a more flexible eating schedule. If you want to stay at a resort with kid-friendly activities, search for an all-inclusive resort that offers villas.
Don’t be afraid to call the sitter. Let the internet be your guide for finding babysitting options, so you and your partner can have an evening after the kids are settled in. The sitter or nanny also can come during the day so you can have an hour or two to relax by the pool. If you’re traveling with another family, try alternating days with the whole gang of kids. It’s important to switch off so that you each get some me-time.
One final tip: If traveling with your children seems daunting, why not enjoy a stay-cation? Take advantage of everything your region has to offer. Take the kids to Tahoe to paddle board, canoe, hike or cycle. Enjoy the children’s museum or a fun night at the drive-in. This can be quality family time that busy schedules usually don’t allow for, so take advantage of it.