Local Mom Scoop is getting ready to travel this summer. It can always be stressful traveling with my children on a family vacation. There is so much to do, but I was thrilled when my contributor, Sofia Robirosa sent me her latest thoughts on how to survive vacationing as a family.
My last post I wrote about the 6 benefits of traveling with your child. A family vacation has all of the those benefits, but it is also a source of stress when done with children. So here are some tips on how to survive family vacation.
Get the scoop on these 11 Tips On How To Survive A Family Vacation
For babies and toddlers
Being spontaneous with traveling may result in a headache with children because of the additional wait it might create. Waiting for a stand-by flight or driving around for a hotel can take hours, resulting in hours of possible tantrums, potty stops, need for snacks, and more.
2. Pick a vacation that is child friendly
Cruises and resorts are great ways to vacation with small children. They include everything that you need: entertainment, stay, food, excursions, in one place. There’s no need to plan much other than when to leave and come back! As the children get older, the possibilities expand, specially depending on the interests and temper of the child.
3. Take your time
When traveling with children specially small children. Leaving the house changed forever once you had a baby, didn’t it? Same concept applies for traveling. Consider extra time if you need to arrive to a location to make transitions with your toddler smoother.
4. Pack some of their favorite items for entertainment
At this age, children’s attention span is no more than 15 minutes. So, if you are traveling by plane or car, make sure to have plenty of distractions: movies, games, stickers, coloring books, and some small toys. Alternate the activities when you see they start getting busy and bored.
5. Know your child’s energy cycle, and plan activities around them
I learned this one with my daughter. She is a very active little girl. She wakes up and an hour later she gets a spur of energy. If we allow her to burn some of this energy during this time, the rest of the day is smooth. So we look for places where she can play safely so about an hour or so and then we can go about our day.
6. Pack essentials
medicine, clothes, bug spray, antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitizers. Kids are more sensitive to germs so having this things handy can save you the headache of getting sick and if they do, you already have everything with you.
7. Avoid sugary foods
Children’s moods change drastically when they have candy, juice, soda, or other sweets. This can make traveling a lot more difficult. Opt for fruit, yogurts, bagels, and cheese instead.
For older children and teens
Some of the tips for toddlers you may want to consider them for older children, such as avoiding sugary snacks and packing for essentials. Here are some more:
8. Ask them what they might be interested in doing
As children become older, and depending on their temper, the choices of vacations expand. A 6 year old child who is interested in history, might be a good candidate for a European trip or to Washington DC. Including them in the process of planning for the vacation, increases their chances on them being engaged in the process. If you already have a place in mind you want to go to, make them part of choosing the activities that will be done at the destination.
9. Let them pack, but check after them
Allowing your child to pack their clothes and toys for the trip ensures that they take what they like and enjoy. However, until they become fully capable of doing this alone, check after them to make sure they are not forgetting an essential or are taking something that might not be appropriate for a plane ride or destination.
10. Keep them busy
The same items for toddlers are suggested: movies, games, stickers, music, coloring books… With older children, family games such as card games are great ways to pass time through delays or long drives.
11. Ensure that they know how to reach you
If they get lost, otherwise make sure they have all the information with them, such as a phone number, name of hotel, and your full name.
I hope this summer brings you an adventurous and fun-filled time with your family.
Enjoy your vacations!
Your Therapy Friend,
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Relationships & Parenting Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationships, in her private practice, located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her bachelor and master degrees in marriage and family therapy and in business administration. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens, an evidenced based program. She is also a certified addictions professional (CAP). She is a passionately committed therapist, who thoroughly takes pride and joy from her job. She enjoys working with a culturally diverse population, and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an active volunteer of the Broward Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves her family, which is consisted of her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining. Read more about her at: www.infinitetherapeuticservices.com and follow her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/infinitetherapy/