Taking your kids on vacation can be one of the most positive things you can do to improve your bond as a family. No matter how tight-knit you and your gang are, a family vacation allows you to create lifelong memories and joy.
That’s why 35 percent of Americans are planning to take a family vacation this year. But traveling with kids and going on vacation with kids are two very distinct things.
There are certainly merits to traveling long-term with your little ones, but in reality, you need to do a few dummy run holidays to get a grip of the logistics of being on the road as a family.
There is certainly a time and a place for a romantic couples holiday, and just because you’ve created a wonderful family doesn’t mean that these occasions need to stop. If you’re talking about taking your kids on vacation, however, you need to shift your focus on to it being a family-orientated holiday rather than a couple’s getaway, where the kids come along for the ride.
Your trip needs to put family first
Knowing what you’re booking and the type of experience you choose goes a long way towards helping to manage expectations of a family vacation. A luxury hotel is very different from a camping trip, after all.
But generally, a few rules remain the same. These pros and cons of taking your kids on a family vacation can help you plan the ideal trip for your family.
Family Vacation Pros
There are so many positive things about taking your kids on vacation. Here they are at a glance:
This is the key factor in taking your kids on vacation with you; being able to spend time together as a family.
We all live such busy and hectic lives that we become like ships in the night, even with our own children. With extra-curricular activities on every night of the week and throughout the weekend, it seems at times that as parents we are just taxi drivers and cheerleaders. By taking your kids on vacation, you can escape the stresses and pressures of everyday life and reconnect, bond and grow as a family.
Making memories together is one of the most valuable things you will ever do with your children, and a family holiday is a perfect situation to make this happen.
You get to relax
Your children get the opportunity to discover who you are and what you enjoy. The hectic schedule of daily life can make parents feel like they do nothing but enforce routines. A vacation provides a break from the routine.
A family vacation is a great opportunity for your children to see you relaxed and become more of your true self.
Try something new
Traveling as a couple means that you stick to what you like to do as a duo, but adding the kids into the mix opens up new vacation options.
Yes, we would all love to lay in the sun for two weeks and move little further than from the restaurant to the bedroom, but the kids need more than that. Camping holidays, theme park resorts, family all-inclusives or adventure trips are perfect for children and allow you to experience new things too.
There is nothing better than getting outside as a family and making your own style of fun.
Opportunities to learn
A day that may be ‘just another day at the beach’ for you is an exciting and adventure-fueled day for your children.
Kids get to run, jump and play and learn outside the classroom. Get involved with your children too, encourage them to explore and teach them about nature. These are just some of the things you and your children can do in the great outdoors on vacation.
Whether you’re holidaying just down the road or jetting off to a far away place, there’s going to be so much to do and learn about.
Family Travel Cons
Learning, making memories and family time are all great but what are the cons of taking your kids on vacation? Well, there are definitely at least a few.
Preparation and travel time
Gone are the days you could sling a week’s worth of clothes in a bag and fly away.
Traveling with kids means you need to do a little more planning and bring more stuff with you. If you are on a long haul flight, make sure you pack plenty of stuff to keep kids entertained. Although the plane has a movie channel, a few small toys and coloring books will help break up the travel time for kids.
Depending on your style of holiday your kids may get bored, tired and disengaged. If you are a lover of fine art and want to take your children to Florence in Italy that’s great but make sure you have some ideas to barter with them.
The promise of ice cream will only get you so far.
Limits on destinations
You can’t fly too far and you have to go somewhere with interesting activities for kids. Traveling with kids also introduces a whole new set of worries.
What if your kid gets lost somewhere where locals don’t speak the same language? What if you end up somewhere unsafe and get in danger? What happens if you get to your destination and your kids hate it?
This is why family vacations are mostly geared towards kids. You give your kids an experience, keep them happy, and get some alone time together as parents. As kids get older, traveling will get easier and you’ll be able to consider visiting many more destinations.
We love traveling with our kids and we think it’s always worth teaching kids to be adventurous as we explore new places! With a little planning, every family can enjoy the perfect getaway that is best for their stage of life.
Love to travel yourself? What is your top family travel tip?
Mommy Scene is a family lifestyle blog featuring creative ideas, favorite family-focused brands, inspiring projects we do with our kids and everyday family life.