Now that the weather is warming up, many families are itching to break free of their cozy nests and get some fresh air. Many people wait until the weather is more palatable until they plan any family trips, and blocks of time like Spring Break and other holidays help make it easier for parents to plan around school and work schedules as well. There are endless tips and tricks to consider if you are planning an outing of any kind, but when you plan on traveling with your kids it is important that you keep several things in mind so that everyone is happy and has a great time.
Make Sure Everyone is On Board
One of the most important things to do as a parent is to make sure that everyone attending the trip, mom, dad and baby included, are all in it for the long haul. It may be easier to convince adults and teenagers to go on a certain trip, but smaller kids and toddlers may have a difficult time having fun if they are not enthusiastic. This can make it difficult for everyone involved, especially since they will need to be talked to, and otherwise placated throughout the duration of the trip.
Try to tell your kids beforehand of what your trip involves and where your final destination happens to be. Sometimes kids may not be in the mood for a certain kind of trip or may feel nervous or afraid if it is something they have never done before such as swimming or going to an amusement park. There are ways in which you can make your case, but if someone remains unhappy then you may need to rethink your outing all together.
Stock Up on Snacks
No matter where you go, it helps to keep snacks and drinks handy. Some places offer goodies at gift shops but may be expensive, but the most important part about having snacks of your own is in the event of an emergency. Whether someone starts to get antsy in the car, is getting cranky and tired during the day, or simply cannot wait until the family’s next meal, having something on hand is always a good idea.
If you are going hiking or going to the beach, then bringing your own food is essential, especially since exertion and heat can wear you out. It’s good to have some fuel and water on hand to help counteract negative effects of such trips and keep everyone healthy, hydrated and satisfied.
Take Your Time
Depending on how old your kids are, you will certainly need to allot for time. Toddlers and younger children can get fussy, over excited or any number of things that may slow you down. Whether you are going to the airport or simply going to a nearby park, make sure you plan for some extra time for anything that may keep you behind such as an unexpected diaper change, a tantrum, some impromptu exploring, or anything else.
This applies for anyone going on any trip, but as a parent it is your job to pack things for any sort of situation for your child. Aside from packing snacks, make sure you pack extra diapers, medicine or first aid, a change of clothes, jackets or other items depending on the weather, and even some activities for the ride (like reading books).
Keep a Backup Plan Up Your Sleeve
Kids are known for growing impatient at times, so if you find your plan delayed or your family car stuck in traffic, then it is a good idea to have some backup family activities in mind that you can all play while you wait.
Also, it helps to have some other ideas for outings or trips in case the one you planned happens to fall-through due to unexpected circumstances like the weather.
Encourage Them to Make Memories
Family trips, outings and vacations make memories that you will all share and cherish for your lifetime, so why not keep something to remember your outing by? Whether you’re simply going to the park or going on a big trip away from home, encourage your kids to take pictures of their own, to keep a travel journal where they can write and draw pictures, and to collect souvenirs and other little trinkets that they can keep forever.