Simplifying the Family Vacation

Vacationing with Kids

Whether you’re planning a sunny beach vacation, a European getaway, or even a trip to your hometown, vacationing as a family is a great way to get away from the daily grind and really connect.  Travelling as a family, is definitely different than a solo trip, or the kind of vacation you took before the kids came along.   It doesn’t have to be any less amazing though,  and with a little bit of planning and a lot of patience you can be ready to make memories that will last a lifetime

Don’t  Limit Yourself
Family vacations used to mean a trip to Six Flags, or maybe Disneyworld, but that’s no longer the case.  From Mexican beaches, to European Adventures, cruises, walking tours, safaris, the sky really is the limit when it comes to travelling with your kids. Tour operators are becoming increasingly aware that seasoned travellers are no longer willing to hang up their passports when they have kids and there really aren’t many places that aren’t kid friendly, at least to an extent.  

Do Your Homework
Does your destination require a Visa, how about a passport? Do you or your kids need immunizations?  Are there any travel advisories?  These are all things that need to be checked in advance, sometimes weeks in advance, and you don’t want any surprises, so do your homework before you book.   A great place to start is travel.gc.ca

Where To Stay
Instead of staying at a resort or hotel, consider renting an apartment or condo.  For the same price as a basic room in a mid-range hotel, you can usually get a small apartment with separate bedrooms, and most importantly, a kitchen.   Conveniences like a fridge for milk and the ability to keep some basic food supplies in your room make up for the lack of certain amenities, such as housekeeping.  Finding vacation rentals is easy and safe using services like VRBO.com, which not only allow you to browse through available rentals with descriptions and (in most cases) pictures, but it also provides reviews from past customers.

Pack Light
Depending on the ages of your kids, and the length of your stay, diapers, formula, food and other supplies can take up a large percentage of your allowed baggage.   There aren’t many destinations that don’t offer at least some of the basics a family needs.  Do your research before you leave, you’ll be surprised at how little you may actually need to bring. A lot of tourist destinations even offer services that will deliver everything you need from diapers to a stroller rental directly to your condo or hotel room.  Ask your travel agent or hotel rep what can be arranged and save your space, and your back!


Don’t Over-plan
It can be tempting to fill every minute of your itinerary with activity, but try to leave yourself some free time to just roam.  Go for a walk, get lost, explore, and you may find a hidden gem, at the very least you’ll have a great afternoon. 
Let your kids lead the way, or even plan a day of their own.  You may be surprised at what they want to see.  You may find that your favorite moments weren’t the ones you thought they’d be. 

Most importantly of all though, is remembering to have fun.  These moments are the memories you will carry in your heart long after your kids are grown.  

Will you be flying with your littles soon? Check out this fabulous article over at The Canadian Mother Resource, for tips to make it as stress free as possible 

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for these wonderful tips! I am still trying to perfect traveling with little ones...Although I think by the time I perfect it, they may be grown!

    Elda
    eldalarrazabal.blogspot.com

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  2. Definitel agree with all those. Especially the packing light - it's easy to get sucked in to thinking you need a lot of specialty gadgets when what you really need is some creative thinking and thorough research.

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  3. So true, especially the not over-planning part. Everyone (esp. parents!) need some down time :) K

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  4. Oh my gosh..... the photo is just too cute!!!

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