Guest post by Kendra Thornton
Family vacations are the time of year that everyone is able to relax and laugh while embarking on a great adventure together. The key? Preparation. If you take steps in advance, you can have a family vacation that creates the memories of a lifetime.
1. There are a host of fabulous options for kid-friendly vacations. You might long to visit an island paradise, or maybe a theme park adventure is what your troop desires. There are mountain cabin resorts with horseback riding and hiking trails, and some family designed cruises offer kids clubs and certified childcare services. Whatever vacation you choose, explore your options. When my family was looking for a special vacation destination, we chose the breath taking Hawaiian Islands. Since Hawaii can cater to the honeymoon crowd, we were sure to do our research to find a child-friendly resort that was still ranked amongst the best hotels in Honolulu. You will want to be certain there are plenty of opportunities for every member of the family to enjoy.
2. If your trip includes hours in a car, you should think about making the backseat into a kid-only zone. If you make the back seat not only comfortable but fun, the kids are more likely to enjoy the transportation aspect of their travel. Bring along favorite pillows, blankets, snuggle toys, and consider night driving. When you arrive at your destination, the driver will need a good nap, so plan for that. If one parent sleeps during the drive, they can take kids swimming or off to play in a nearby park. If you travel during daylight hours, you may want to invest in shades to block out the sun's rays and encourage napping.
3. Children are easily entertained by electronic equipment. Consider downloading audio books to a tablet or iPad, and be sure to provide earphones. Music CDs and movie DVDs are additional ideas to pair with portable devices. Hand held electronic games are another choice to consider. You may also want to think about bringing coloring books, crayons, drawing pads, and pencils. I am also so fascinated by how long my children are entertained simply with a new box of crayons! Whatever you take to lessen the “Are We There Yet’s” will be well worth the time spent planning.
4. Perhaps the most crucial tip regards motion sickness. When traveling with a child that you know is susceptible to queasiness, be prepared. Airplane ground travel to runways, flight departures, or landings usually present the greatest opportunities for upset tummies. Whether traveling by car, plane, boat, or train, let your child face forward and see out a window. Feed them something light 30 minutes prior to takeoff, and water or milk are definitely better drink choices than orange juice. You may want to look into a child approved motion sickness remedy as well. As with all new medications, talk to your child’s pediatrician beforehand.