There are all kinds of trips and vacations that you can take. Couples’ vacations. Singles vacations. Girl’s trips. Guys trips. Destination weddings. Honeymoons. Family reunions. Business trips. And on and on and on. But perhaps one of the most special experiences you can have is a family vacation.
Family vacations may have gotten a bit of a bad – or silly rap – thanks to one famous comedian and the (mis)adventures he took his family on over a series of three or so movies. But in reality – traveling with your children is really an amazing opportunity to bond with them. To create memories that will stay with them long after your gone. To get to know each other away from the day-to-day routine. And – since we have been pretty much “grounded” the past year – what a great way to celebrate the fact that they made it through the home schooling or virtual classes, lack of friend time, sports and other activities – to let them know that you realize how tough it was on them and reward them with some fun in the sun or playtime at a theme park or carefree days on a cruise.
That being said – traveling with kids can be just as rewarding for you as it is for them. And to help, shall I say, prepare you for this journey – I have come up with a few tips – whether this is first foray into family travel or you’re an old pro. Hopefully they’ll be helpful either way and you’ll take away something new that you hadn’t thought about regarding family trips before.
And away we go!
Take Them Somewhere Age Appropriate
I know this sounds obvious. But I cannot tell you how many people I saw at Disney World with kids! Just kidding. But seriously there are destinations that scream kid friendly – such as Disney – and then there are others that really don’t offer much to do for those not of legal drinking age. So, before you decide to hit Las Vegas with your 12-year-old – you may want to re-think it if you are going there to gamble – because they aren’t even allowed on the casino floor. Not that there are child friendly attractions in Sin City – but with a nickname like that don’t you think Vegas would be so much more fun as an adult only trip anyway? And hey if you’re not sure which destinations are better suited for family getaways, that’s ok too. That’s what travel advisors are here for. We can help you narrow down your choices based on your kids ages, interests and often – attention spans! And this goes not only for the destination itself – but also for the accommodations. Especially in the Caribbean and Mexico where you are going to find a lot of Adult Only properties – as well as family friendly properties. And even if it isn’t an Adult Only property – that doesn’t mean it’s the best place for your kids – but Thia’s Travel Services can help you discern all that. And finally – it also pertains to the type of getaway you are considering as well. For instance, some cruise ships are known for having super fun activities for the kiddos to partake in or some dude ranches may cater to children of a certain age, or some ski resorts may offer options for teenagers to learn new skills while others don’t, etc.…you get the idea. 😉
Family Travel As A Living Classroom
No, it’s not a way to trick your kids. But it is a great way to combine – as they say – business with pleasure! I like to think of it as travel with an ulterior motive – and I certainly don’t mean that as a bad thing! Just the opposite. What is more fun than learning while doing, experiencing, being surrounded by, enveloped in the subject matter. Whether it’s a museum, a rainforest, an aquarium, a zoo, a national park, the site of a historic tragedy or joyous milestone – pretty much anywhere you travel with your children is an opportunity for them to learn something new. And when they are experiencing it firsthand – not reading it from the pages of a book or off the screen of a computer – not listening to it being recited by a lecturer or watching it on TV (or their phone or tablet and anywhere else kids watch shows today) – it means so much more – and it’s far more likely to stay with them longer. A lot longer. Like the rest of their lives longer. They are walking in the footsteps of where history was made or seeing how other life forms exist and thrive in natural habitats or tasting fruit that can only be found in one area of the world or getting up close and personal to an ancient artifact. And all that is exciting in its own right – but that’s not all. Because you are there with them – watching them learn and stretch and grow. And perhaps even learning yourself. And that’s something pretty darn special to share together as a family – don’t you agree?
Get Their Input
And that my dear readers is your friend Thia’s advice for traveling with the kids. There is so much more good advice out there – like how to keep them occupied while actually traveling to a destination, what to pack to eat – you know the drill. But this is more like life advice as opposed to how to keep sane when you’re in the car for 12 hours with them or on the fifth hour of a delayed flight. So, now that you know the basics about getting it right from the beginning – give me a call and let’s figure out the perfect vacation destination for you and your children!
Yours in travel,