3 Ways to Make Your Vacation Relaxing and Fun for Kids
Vacations are for unwinding and relaxing, right? Hmm, not so much. Maybe they were in the distant past, before your little bundles of joy came along!
As if looking after the little carpet crawlers wasn’t stressful enough at home, when you take your sprogs on the road the levels of frustration can reach new heights.
A well-intentioned fortnight of relaxation in the sun can become the holiday from hell.
It can – but it doesn’t have to. In fact, holidays with children can – when done correctly, and with a little bit of magic – be the most fabulous, rewarding and yes, relaxing trips of your life.
All it takes is a little forward planning. Of course, you could look up the place you’re going to for some awesome kids’ activities…but sometimes, the place mightn’t exactly cater for the entire family. Luckily, there are a few measures you can take before and during the trip itself that don’t resort on external factors too much, and that can make your holiday a memorable one.
So here are 3 ways to make your vacation relaxing and fun for kids…and for the entire family as a result.
1. Pique their curiosity early on
So maybe you’ve wanted to visit the Santa Maria del Fiore for your whole life. But for your 12-year-old, it’s just a cathedral. A big one, maybe, but so what?! And even if you bring them to something as jaw-droppingly cool as the Pyramids, without any context beforehand, they might just seem them as a pile of bricks. And they’re too hot anyway. And when can they go back to playing video games? Etc, etc.
In fairness, planning a trip can be half the fun sometimes. And if your kids suddenly wind up in downtown Yangon without having a clue as to why they’re there or what’s going on around them…well, it can all feel a little overwhelming. Not relaxing for them, and certainly not for you when they throw a tantrum in the fish market.
But if you get them interested in what you’re planning to visit early on, like before you leave your country, they’ll be brimming over with excitement before you set off. And it doesn’t mean you need to go to far-flung places either; you could be renting a caravan for a week in the nearest seaside town, but you can still dream up ways to spark some curiosity! Tell them a story about the village 100 years ago, for instance, or find out some interesting facts about the area, and it’ll make the place come alive to them when they’re there. They’ll be the well-behaved, interested kids that make you proud to show off.
2. Let them play tour guide
Not for the whole trip, obviously. Otherwise your entire vacation might be spent in an ice-cream parlour. But for an hour each afternoon, or even a whole day if you’re brave, give them control of the activities. Ask them what they think sounds fun (this’ll be easier if they already know a bit about the place first) and the rest of the family has to follow suit for that activity. (Note: If your vacation destination happens to have absolutely nothing for kids, at least let them choose where you’ll go for dinner. And prepare yourself for a couple of hamburger-fuelled evenings.)
This way, your kids will feel more involved in the vacation, rather than just being dragged around from place to place. Bor-innnng!
You could even take it a step further and make a game out of it – present them with a funny hat, or flag, or any of the props a tour guide normally uses to keep the group together – and let them take the reigns for a while. As long as their go-to activity isn’t monster truck racing, this can be a really fun and relaxing time for all the family! Adding an element of competition, like whose activity was the most fun that day (with a small prize for the winner) can make it even more exciting. Possibly less relaxing, but worth a try!
3. Make some memories
You’ll be making plenty of memories as you go along but it’s always nice to have a physical record of your trip when you come home. And whether it’s creating a scrapbook, or writing blog entries or even cataloging the trip in a video diary, this could be a chance to let your kids’ creativity shine.
They’ll probably be engrossed by social media anyway, so why not channel this technical prowess into something more productive, and something that involves them more in the holiday? Then instead of being constantly on Messenger to Sarah back home, complaining how lame the whole thing is, they’ll be applying Insta filters to that funny snap of you trying to lean back against the Tower of Pisa. Embarrassing.
Hopefully these tips will help you make each day of your vacation as fun-filled as it can be. And with all the excitement during the day, you’re bound to sleep better at night. (the Sleep Advisors can help you out here). Giving you a vacation that’s fun and relaxing, for everyone involved.