A family vacation is one of few times in a year when you get to switch off work, soak in the nature, have good food and just relax in the presence of your loved ones. While this means a lot of fun, it is also something that is going to be demanding and challenging as far as catering to the needs and interests of all involved is concerned. Chances are that kids are going to feel attention deprived as you get busy with sorting things out, so to avoid the cliché it is well worth the time spent to chalk out a family vacation that keeps everyone including your kids busy, happy and smiling.
- Factor in everyone: First step to keeping the kids busy and happy would be to see to it that everyone is slotted with activities they like. Just stopping short of giving around a questionnaire, put your heads together and jot down the favourite activities of each member of your family. Happy adults almost always mean happy kids, since tantrums and incidents get handled coolly.
- Pick the best place: Not as easy as it might sound, but choosing a resort that has a really wide variety of activities for every member of the family solves a good percentage of the issues that could crop up. It may be a family vacation, but it does not mean that the family has to do everything together. After a day of each one finding their interests, coming together for common ones, a family dinner becomes occasion for some happy sharing of anecdotes and laughter.
- Double check on ‘kid-friendly’: Budgets can run tight during family vacations but do not compromise on kid-friendly resorts/hotels. Low budget can be good, but it is not always quite worth the risk. Find resorts that suit your every need and requirement. A peaceful, child-friendly environment can make the difference between a trip to hell and a wonderful experience.
- Pack smart: Kids can throw a tantrum if they suddenly miss what they have been used to. Make sure you pack in some of ‘their’ things like a blanket, a toy etc. Keep them busy with the familiar activities till they settle into the new surroundings after sleeping and resting off the stress and strain of the journey.
- Encourage the kids: It is important what you encourage your kids to do – try to wean them off that luring iPod screen and join in for some fun, taking in nature and the surroundings. The family vacation is a fantastic opportunity for them to experience new things, places and interact with people.
- Common activities: A family vacation is better off with each one enjoying themselves in their own right, but kids do love the safety and security of the familiar family bonding. So try to think of activities in which the kids can take part, like a small game of volleyball in the swimming pool or even a talent show of sorts by the bonfire!
- Introduce them to the exotic: Kids tend to be happy when the adventure streak in them is nurtured. So when on a family vacation, don’t try to play safe by restricting their choices. Within limits, order a platter of exotic tastes, allow them to taste and experience. You could also talk to them about the dish they are eating. The happiness of knowing something new will in all probability keep them off bratty behavior.
- Photos: With very few exceptions, kids love posing for the camera. It makes them feel they are the centre of attention and most importantly for you, it helps build up a treasure trove of memories. You could also ask your kids to take photos of you and your partner together and keep them occupied and interested during your stay.