If you are a mom, then you know, vacationing with kids can be a nightmare. Sadly, it means usually more work, more planning and more stress when we are supposed to be relaxing and enjoying. But there is a way to get both!
Vacationing with kids is like life in Vegas. WHY? Because nobody has any concept of time or schedule, they are all out of their element, you never know if you will leave mad or happy and more so, everyone leaves exhausted!
We have to remember, our expectation is not always the situation. That's just a fact. No matter how much you plan there is a lot that's out of control. That's why they say if plan A fails, there are 25 other letters! You might need them!
Vacationing is hard but here are my top tips to having a better vacation with kids.
1) Be Realistic
I dreamt of days where we'd all go to church together and my kids would sit nicely with their hands folded. The reality is they never last more than 5 minutes before they are hungry, crawling under chairs or running up the isle. So I have to plan around it. Be realistic in the same way. Be mindful of what all you are asking of everyone in a given day with your schedule and how long things might ACTUALLY take.
2) Plan, BUT be flexible
Be a speed boat. It's about adjusting quickly. I've learned over the years that I'm a planner, I need a plan. But I have become flexible in adjusting as needed because it makes me less crazy than just winging it. The weather could turn, the ride could break down, maybe you get lost. Just make the most out of each situation and don't get bogged down if plans have to change.
3) RELAX Mom
Things won't go how you plan. But getting frustrated makes everyone miserable. I promise you. Your kids won't remember if plans went the way they were supposed to or not. They will remember the experience they had and the memories they made.
4) One Event Per Day
Over stimulation of senses can send kids into a tizzy. Don't try to park hop all day at Disney or wherever you are going. Try to think in terms of one type of activity per day if you can and work in the other down time and meal time spots to keep everyone sane.
5) Down Time
Kids need non-stimulated time to regroup. If they don’t get it, they can’t really be blamed for melting down when the over-stimulation gets to them. Plan for something that will allow for a little bit of down time weather that's a nap, car ride, color, watching something or just something quite for a bit. Whatever it is, make sure to carve a little bit of time out!
6) People Get Hangry
When kids are hungry, they act out. They can also become crazy and crash with too much sugar. Watch how far off the normal food pattern and timing they go to avoid unnecessary meltdowns. Keep a couple protein packed snacks in your bag to tide them over until you can get there.
REMEMBER, this vacation is a time for all of your to spend time together and ENJOY each other. Don't let the little stuff get to you. Some of the best memories are made when things don't work the way you plan. Happy Vacationing!