If you’ve been following this blog, you already know that we recently returned from a fun family vacation with the kids. Actually, one of our family’s goals in the past year has been to travel more and it’s been an incredible experience. Which is why I’m so excited about today’s guest post. It shares great tips to get you to travel more with your own kids. I hope it inspires you to plan your next adventure across the globe. Read on to learn more!
This is a guest post.
A Survival Guide to Help You Plan an Active Vacation with Kids
Having kids doesn’t mean you have to spend the next 10 or 15 years taking them to theme parks or family-oriented resorts. If you spend a little more time planning, you can have a real, active vacation with kids. Having an adventure will surely bring you all together more than spending a holiday in a lazy resort.
Travelling with your kids can be great family fun – if you don’t mind less sightseeing. Think of family travel as a way to explore and learn together. Plan your trips together, as a family. You can even give your kids travel magazines, so they can show you what they would want to do on holiday. Choosing a place that also has something for adults as well is especially appealing.
Although being a parent of younger children makes travel more complicated, it’s definitely worth it. Travelling with kids is also more expensive, but that doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. Choose more affordable options that have something interesting for everyone in the family. In your children’s eyes, the whole world is waiting for them to explore it, no matter the destination.
Two years ago, my husband and I went to the Camino de Santiago with my sisters and their children. There were five kids in total: the youngest one was just eight, and the oldest was 15. Although it sounds like a nightmare, we actually had a great time. We chose the Camino Frances, and walked the last 37 kilometres, from Arzua to Santiago de Compostela. They loved Galicia and the greenery around them and enjoyed observing all the bugs and other animals.
The most important thing is to prepare well. You have to book the accommodation in advance while considering your children’s temperament. A walking holiday or hiking can be hard for younger kids. Consider bringing baby carriers, a hiking-specific backpack or even an off-road stroller. However, a six-year-old would be fine walking on their own.
Plan ahead every section of the trail and make sure you have enough snacks. Slow down and lower your expectations. Tackle just one or two sections of a trail or sights a day, take breaks often and mix everything with a dose of fun. Make sure everyone has comfortable footwear that has been broken in, to avoid getting blisters. Bring lots of water and don’t forget to drink it at regular intervals.
How to Prepare
If your kids enjoy the outdoors, camping might be a good idea. You are free to choose a campsite, and at the same time, it’s not as expensive as staying in a hotel. It can be quite a rewarding vacation with kids. You’ll get to spend some quality time with them, without the distraction of technology.
If they enjoy watersports, head to a lake or to a beach. Plenty of campsites in Europe are close to some beautiful beaches. They can learn to surf and discover scuba diving. You can try kayaking or rafting together. Just make sure to put on a strong sun-block, and a hat.
If they are thrill-seekers, consider visiting an adventure camp that offers a variety of activities for both children and their parents. You can conquer a climbing wall together, go down a zip-line, or enjoy other special adventures.
Seek travel opportunities that will give your children new experiences. Help them develop new skills like setting up a tent, and teach them about new cultures in a fun way. Kids are curious, and they enjoy exploring with their parents.
No matter where you decide to go, double-check if your children are in a good physical condition. You don’t want them to be hurt and in pain. Organize a day trip to see how they handle it.
Make sure to bring a first-aid kit, as well as a pain reliever for you as well as for your kids. Consider bringing a pillowcase or a lightweight sleeping bag, especially if you are staying in cheaper hotels or hostels.
You can fill your phone with fun and educational games, bring some card games, books or colouring books. That way, you’ll have a backup plan if the weather gets bad or you decide to have different kind of fun with your kids in the evening.
Even if your kids are well-behaved, they can wander off or get in trouble. Keep an eye on them at all times. Make sure they memorize where you are staying and your phone number. Also, it’s good to have a plan of what to do in case of emergencies.
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Although it sounds scary and tough, don’t give up. Travelling with kids is a great way to make happy memories to share for a lifetime. They can teach you how to observe a world from a different angle. On the other hand, you can help them discover new things and have enriching experiences when on a vacation with kids.
This is a guest post by Rebecca Brown
Rebecca is a translator and traveler, who blogs at RoughDraft. Her favorite place in the world is the Algarve, and Spain in general, and if she wasn’t as lazy as she is, she would have already moved there.