You know what’s awesome about taking kids on vacations? They can make you see the most mundane thing through new, fascinated eyes. And they can also turn a peaceful vacation into a nightmare. But isn’t that what’s great about them? They’re little bundles of unexpected joy and monstrosity all rolled up together.
I remember when we were growing up, our staple vacations were short road trips. Through the years, we traveled the length and breadth of UAE, discovering the spots that truly seemed like paradise on Earth. Looking back now, those road trips had everything that would make them the perfect vacation in the eyes of a child. I’m sure it was no easy matter for my parents, making sure we were occupied and having fun almost every minute, considering how different each child is, and how capricious kids can be about they’re definition of fun.
Do you have a kid you’re taking on vacation? Here are some ways to make sure they have fun, while ensuring you don’t get burned out!
- Pack story books, cushions, toys and music for when you’re traveling, be it by car, train, bus, plane, or any other means of transport. Books were our saviours when we used to go on those long 7 hour road trips that would just never end. We would simply curl up in our seats with a comfortable cushion and a book and escape into the book. It’s also a good idea to have some word games or such for backup, where all the family can join in, just in case all else fails and you’re stuck with a car full of stir crazy children.
- When vacationing with children, always make sure they have some kind of id with them, and are wearing clothes in noticeable colours. And those lectures on not talking to strangers? Don’t forget that. It never gets old. That way, you will be able to rest assured that they can find they’re way back to you even if they wander off.
- One thing I’ve noticed about kids is that almost all of them are fascinated by animals, even if some are scared of them. Take your kids on safari rides, or even a simple visit to the zoo would do. There have been countless times when I have simply stood and observed a orangutan or a tiger in their enclosures. And if your kid is inclined towards similar observation, leave them be. Don’t hurry them. There are some kids who’ll squeal and try to get the animal’s attention, while there are others who simply like to watch. Find out what type your child, and let him or her be what she is.
- But what if you just want some quiet time away from all the hubbub of daily life? If it’s anywhere other than India, I would say, head to the countryside, but since out here, that would be no vacation, I’d suggest you head to a peaceful, family-friendly resort. Before selecting your destination, make sure you know if they have activities to engage children.
- Or if you don’t have the time or the resources to take a long vacation, simply take your kids out for the day. Explore the place you live in. Go on long walks (with frequent stops, of course). Don’t plan anything concrete, but simply revel in the spontaneity of the moment. Indulge in some people watching with your kids. Encourage them to talk about the things they see. You’ll find yourself looking at your world with new eyes.