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Increasing the Fun
Factor on Family Vacations

Increasing the Fun Factor on Family Vacations...

Vacations can be exhausting-how often do you hear someone say they need a vacation to recover from their vacation?

Increasing the Fun Factor on Family Vacations

If you have children, your vacation can become even more tiring, and with all that's going on, it's easy for parents and kids to stop communicating effectively.

Your parenting isn't necessarily going to be any different while you're on vacation, but regardless of your parenting style it is necessary to make flexibility a key component of your plans.

You already know, as a parent, how easy it is for carefully-laid plans to go awry, so it's important that your itinerary not be set in stone.

Choosing Your Vacation

On a family vacation, a good way to approach it is to try and get everyone thinking in terms of being a team.

Choosing where to vacation can help start this off on the right foot if you let everyone have a say in the discussion about where to go.

Naturally not everyone is going to get their way, so it's important to make this clear, but getting everyone involved in the decision-making process helps the kids feel like they're contributing.

Consider Making Use of Vacation Daycare

For many parents- particularly those with several children- vacations don't always provide opportunities for relaxing, and don't always feel much like vacations.

One of the most welcome trends in resort-style accommodation is the addition of child-care services that give parents the chance to take some time off.

Disneyworld, for example, offers both daycare center as well as sitters who will look after your children in your own hotel room.

Many large resorts these days offer some form of daycare for children, with a range of different types of facilities.

The same is true of many cruise ships, so essentially a resort or ocean voyage provides you with a built-in child-minding service that can help you to relax while on vacation.

Some offer fairly standard child care but others go the extra mile, providing activities for the kids while you enjoy some relaxation time.

Cruises in particular can offer an extensive variety of options, with facilities for very young children, as well as toddlers, children, and teens.

You may feel a bit anxious about "dumping" your children off at daycare while on vacation, but remember that it's your vacation too, and there's nothing wrong with you taking a few hours off for yourself.

If you're hesitant about the whole thing, check out the daycare facilities thoroughly first, so you can be confident that your kids will be well taken care of.

Preventing Vacation Meltdown Situations

Vacations are supposed to be fun, but they can be stressful for kids and parents alike.

For children, the stimulation provided by a new environment and what can sometimes be an overwhelming succession of new experiences often leads to mental exhaustion, which is quickly followed by the requisite tantrum.

Even if a child who is normally reasonable and well-behaved for his age can quickly become tired and irritable if he doesn't get some quiet-time regularly.

This is especially true if your vacation involves lots of different locations and activities.

What can you do to prevent problems?

  • Let each child choose an activity or place to eat while on vacation. That way everyone gets to feel that they have a say in what the family does.
  • Limit the number of different activities you do each day to just one or two, and be flexible about the schedule.
  • Just like at home, kids are more likely to get irritable if they're tired or uncomfortable. Whatever activity you're engaged in, keep a close eye on the kids and try to anticipate when they're getting too tired or over-stimulated to keep enjoying themselves. If you stop before they hit the exhaustion point you'll be able to get back to your accommodation in time to avoid a meltdown.
  • Schedule in some downtime, so your children don't get too exhausted. Even if they resist naps, an hour or two of quiet activities can have a beneficial effect too.
  • Things like getting sunburned, waiting in line, and needing the bathroom at inconvenient times are all things that are virtually guaranteed to happen, and can easily be things that precipitate a meltdown. You can't predict when or if those kinds of things will occur, but at least accepting the inevitability means you're in a better place to deal with it without losing your cool.

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