Are you spending too much time away from your family because of your responsibilities at work? Do you feel the urge to just get away from the daily grind to reconnect and spend some quality, bonding time with the family? Since summer is around the corner, and since you don’t live to work but work to live, we hope you’ll be able to take some time away from work this summer.
Family vacations are super fun- if planned wisely. So, we thought we suggest a few things to make the best out of your investment in your travel and in your family.Check the expiration date of the passport if traveling abroad at least three months prior to your departure. As a general rule, most countries won’t permit a traveler to enter into their country unless the passport expires six months after the last day of travel.
Arrange for babysitting one or two nights, if the grandparents are not a part of the travel team. You are entitled to having a date night or two to enjoy some adult time. Enjoy your well- deserved break from the routine.
If parenting very young babies, you can always Ship some diaper boxes to the hotel concierge before your stay.
If traveling abroad, talk about the currency of the country and educate the kids about the differences. What better way to learn about how things operate around the world! This is a great way to broaden their perspective before even getting to your destination.
Ask your travel advisor if there are any volunteering opportunities at the destination you’re headed. This is a great way to teach the kids to care for others and see firsthand how different other folks may have it. Some cruise ships specialize in immersive and volunteerism travel. Be sure to ask your travel advisor about these types of activities.
Consider not acting as a “tourist” by buying little tchotchkes that will end up in trash sooner or later. The best souvenir is the memories they bring back with them. Spend your time and energy on making fun and exciting memories.Can’t wean your toddler off of schlepping around his/her favorite blanket, stuffed animal or pacifier? This is not the time to be creative. Pack the special item or else you are headed for one heck of a miserable vacation.
If the kids are older than four, go over the geography of where you’re headed. Show them where they are in relation to where they are going and show them everything in between. This will get them to be aware of where they’re coming from and gives them a sense of belonging at an early age.
Plan on doing activities as a family. Pack board games, trivia games or any of their favorite games. This is a great way to spend time with the kids. Some resorts offer tennis, swimming, kayaking and other lessons and activities. Take advantage of those amenities!
If mom and dad are divorced and kids are very young, set the expectations and explain that you will be back home and things will go back to how they were before. If at all possible, have the younger kids talk to mom or dad or even grandparents back at home to put them at ease.Pack ear popping gadgets if you’re traveling by plane. We recommend chewing gum (yes, we know.. but they work like magic) or water or some kind of liquid to make them swallow to stop the popping.
Manage your stress when things go wrong. Kids feel your energy. Remind yourself the golden rule that it’s not what you say, it’s what you do that they emulate. Be mindful of your reaction to unexpected situations.
Mom and dad are divorced and flying abroad? Get a notarized statement from the absent mom or dad prior to your departure to be able to get on the plane.
Get an inexpensive camera and encourage them to take pictures of what intrigue them. You can make a collage or digital journal after returning home. How cool is that?
Encourage them to ditch the cell phone and other tech devices. As much as they love their devices, they need to bond with you way more than the device! In 2018, Wyndham Grand Hotel has started a trend called “Reconnected Package”. Families are encouraged to drop their tech devices in a timed lockbox as an incentive to power down and reconnect with each other. Participating families receive a blanket-fort kit which includes items like backpacks for each kid with a children’s book, Instax Camera and 5% off on their total stay.
Don’t Pack too many cultural activities like visiting museums in your itinerary. Plan with your children’s attention span in mind.
You’re excited about your trip but the kids may not share the same excitement at the moment. Be understanding and gradually invite them to share your excitement without pushing it onto them. Pack your patience.
All-inclusive or unlimited drink packages? This goes without saying, but consider drinking responsibly!
Don’t Post on social media every chance you get. Stay away from your email, Facebook, insta, etc. This is a good time to take a digital detox to organically enjoy what life can mean without our pesky devices.
Traveling is a great time to learn about each other. In fact, it’s one of the best ways available. You will have the opportunity to discover how your kids react in times of stress, what fascinates them, what special characteristics they have, etc. Don’t miss out on paying attention to learn more about your kids including your spouse or significant other.
Hilda Hacoobei is
a designer of experience through travel.
Hi! I am the owner of M&H Distinctive Journeys, a luxury travel agency that handles individual travel as well as groups of all sizes including multigenerational family travel, wine tourism, bike journeys, golf journeys, destination weddings, villa vacations, retreats, corporate travel or just about any other group travel by offering value based service. Enjoy your journey!