My little boys are growing up. It’s a hard thing to admit. But my oldest son, Dexter, will be starting Kindergarten in the fall, and our family dynamic is going to change. Over the last many years, we have taken a ton of family trips. Dex took his first transatlantic flight when he was just six months old, and ever since it’s been planes, trains and automobiles! We are a family that likes to go go go!
Of course, once school starts, we won’t be able to book spur of the moment trips or be as spontaneous as we have in the past. Other than weekends and school holidays, our travel will be limited to summer vacations. We’ll actually have to start (oh heaven help us!) planning!
Thankfully, Scholastic is providing travel-related content for parents planning vacations on their school breaks. Everything you need to find the right strategy for planning a family trip is in one spot in their Can’t Wait for School Break collection.
Here are my Five Top Tips for Family Travel.
Make Learning FUN!
Even the laziest vacations can be made educational. If you can take your kids somewhere amazing AND help them learn something at the same time, you’re definitely on to a winner. Taking a cruise? Take the opportunity to teach your kids about the engineering that keeps your ship afloat and allows it to zoom across the water. Headed to the beach? There’s a whole world waiting under the ocean, and your kids will love to learn about it. Heading to a Disney park? Check out some of the best educational attractions!
Keep Travel Time Engaging
Whether you’re driving or flying, the actual travel time to your destination can often be a big headache for you and your kids. Keep them occupied and distracted from boredom by making sure they have access to their favorite videos and games via tablet. Bring along a book or magazine that they like. And keep a few of their favorite snacks on hand for when they’re peckish. One of our favorite family activities is to pick a book that all of us can follow. We simply download the audiobook and play it in the car as we go. Check out some of the best audio books for kids, and download a few before your next trip. Don’t forget the headphones!
Build Up Excitement
Whether you choose to tell your kids about your plans far in advance or surprise them last minute, getting the whole family excited is one of the best parts of taking a vacation! With little kids, it’s probably best not to tell them too far in advance, as otherwise they start to get upset when the trip doesn’t come soon enough. But even on a few days notice, you can start a super cool countdown to keep them on the straight and narrow until it’s time to set off on your new adventure. There are even a ton of awesome ideas to surprise them with fun announcements.
Make Sure You Have Everything Covered
Whether you’re traveling during school holidays or your kids have to miss a few days, make sure you plan for every eventuality. If they are going to be missing school, be sure to give the teacher a heads up and get all the missed work before you go. The last thing you want is for your child to fall behind. It’s an especially good idea if you can speak to the teacher and find out what the lesson plan is so you can incorporate real learning opportunities into your travel plans. If you’re traveling during school breaks, be sure you have looked into house sitters, pet sitters, and mail delivery so you don’t have to worry about anything while you’re gone.
Don’t Miss Your Own Vacation!
One of the biggest things I hear people say when they get back home after a vacation is, “I’m so exhausted! I need a vacation from my vacation!” To keep yourself relaxed and in the zone, make sure you don’t put too much pressure on yourselves. As much fun as snapping photos can be, remember to actually ENJOY your activities as they do them. Your memories of the experience are far better than pictures to show those who weren’t there. And don’t try to pack in too much. You don’t have to see every single sight while you’re there. Pick your top can’t-miss activities and explore each one thoroughly. Give yourself time each day to just relax and do nothing. And it’s always a good idea to make sure you head home with at least 24 hours before you have to head back to work.
What other travel tips would you add to the list?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Disney. The opinions and text are all mine.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Scholastic. The opinions and text are all mine.