Traveling with kids can be a hassle. They have tantrums, get tired very quickly, and can have mood swings because of a disturbed schedule. This is the reason why 28% of adults leave their kids behind with a trusted family member to travel. In fact, 52% of families leave behind their 16-year-olds to travel!
While leaving behind kids who are capable of taking care of their own is understandable, leaving children younger than three can be a cause of developing separation anxiety! Children above the age of three understand that their parents are going to travel, so they might get upset with you for leaving them behind to have fun.
Lucky for you, if you’re thinking of traveling, there are some great ways to have fun and create lasting memories with children.
How to Make Everyone Enjoy During Vacations
When you’re traveling with kids, they might get bored if you have nature parks and hiking trails on your itinerary.
So, here are seven ways you can get your children involved in the vacation and go back home with memories that they will cherish forever:
1. Maintain a Balance of Activities for All Ages
If you’ve picked St. George as your travel destination, you might want to visit Zion National Park. However, it is important to be mindful that children might not enjoy it as much as you would unless your kids love physical activities and challenges. One of America’s most popular national parks might not attract kids who would rather sit and eat.
So, it is important that you incorporate their interests in your travel plans too. For instance, before or after your trip to Zion, you can go to one of these destinations for shopping in St. George Utah. In fact, you can visit The Shoppes at Zion, where kids can grab their favorite sandwich, while you can also grab a bite at Tacos Plaza.
Moreover, if you don’t have supplies for your trip to Zion, it’s better to make a stop at one of these places first. This way, you can keep kids entertained, have ample supplies and sporting gear for the trip, and get them excited about the park.
2. Pack Smartly
Traveling with kids does not mean you have to take everything under control, like packing. This is a great opportunity to instill some responsibility in older kids and teach them how to and what to pack. If they’ve done this before, they can pack their clothes and essentials themselves. If you have younger kids, they can assist you in packing their things.
With younger children, it is also wise to keep comfort items so they don’t feel homesick when they are at the hotel. Also, children can have motion sickness from traveling, so you must pack basic medicines with you. If you plan on taking children to Zion National Park, a first aid kit in your bag is also necessary. They might get some bruises or cuts that you can quickly tend to if you have a first-aid box handy.
3. Establish Ground Rules
With kids, it is always good to prepare beforehand. Start having conversations over dinner about the trip and the planned stops. It is also a great time to establish some ground rules about their behavior during the trip. Don’t sound too bossy or commanding while you’re laying out the rules. You can tell them how their behavior can ruin the trip for the family.
If you have kids older than five, you can also involve them in the planning process. Allowing them to speak up during family discussions will build confidence in them and make them feel like they’re old enough to make decisions.
This can be a learning experience for the kids and help develop excitement so they don’t say they’re bored when they visit museums or galleries. Bonus tip: don’t forget to visit the St. George Children’s Museum, where you can enjoy fun and engaging activities with your kids.
4. Create a Flexible Itinerary
It’s good to have a plan to enjoy every moment of your trip and get the most value for the money you spend. But because you don’t want to miss out on anything, you might over-schedule your trip. This will tire out your kids quickly, especially if they’re not used to traveling a lot.
Leave some room for relaxation and some spontaneity on the trip too. Spontaneous plans are, at times, the most memorable parts of the trip.
So, it’s better to pick a few spots for the trip and leave a part of everyday unplanned. During this time, you can have some family bonding moments too.
5. Have Special Family Time
To create some lasting memories of your trip, make sure you bring some board games. If your children are not old enough to understand board game rules, you can always select a good, animated movie for enjoying movie night.
You can even plan a picnic where you take your children’s favorite snacks along. This will help you strengthen your family bonds and spend some quality time with your kids.
6. Be Patient and Understanding
With children, it is likely that things won’t go according to your plan. If they fall sick, get injured, or throw tantrums, you might have to cancel some plans and readjust them. So, this is also a chance for you, as parents, to learn that everything does not go according to plan – you must be flexible and adapt to spontaneous situations.
Some days might be challenging, but if you don’t let it get to your head, you can spend the next day creating the memories that you traveled from home for. Through patience, you can keep the atmosphere positive and allow your entire family to enjoy the trip despite some bumps in the road.
Traveling can be challenging for parents. But it is a challenge worth embarking on if they wish to create precious memories with the family.
Remember, children will grow out of the nest soon, so this is your time to have fun with them and teach them the basics of life, mannerisms, and responsibilities while having fun – these memories are all you’ll have once they start high school and eventually move out to attend college. Cherish every moment and have a blast with your little ones!