How To Prevent Family Holiday Disasters
Everyone knows that traveling with children can make your trip that much more fun and exciting—or that much more difficult. Many a holiday disaster can occur whilst traveling with (especially young) children. However, although it is more than likely that your vacation will at least be somewhat more stressful with kids than if you were simply traveling with just your sweetie or a group of friends, there are things you can do and keep in mind to avoid a family holiday disaster and keep your vacation as stress-free as possible. If you have a baby, try waiting until he or she is at least four months old and somewhat more established with feeding, changing, and sleeping routines. You likely will be breastfeeding every three to four hours with a long stretch at night rather than round the clock, which will make things much easier for you during a holiday, and help prevent a baby holiday disaster. Waiting will also come in handy if you’re driving to your vacation destination—with a six- or 10-month-old, you won’t have to stop every hour to nurse and diaper change.
Avoid a toddler-related holiday disaster by planning sensibly and appropriately for the trip. Planning age-appropriate vacation activities, lots of things for them to do during the trip there and back (books, favorite toys, a new toy, videos, coloring), lots of snacks, time for naps during your holiday, and scoping out nearby washrooms for the newly potty-trained are all essential for avoiding a holiday disaster. Pack along extra diapers and lots of changes of clothes in case there is a potty “emergency” and there’s no toilet in sight. If you’re driving to your destination, plan to make plenty of stops along the way for washroom breaks. Holiday disasters with older kids can be avoided simply by doing some advance homework about what the accommodations, restaurants, attractions, and activities are really like and really involve.
Also, look for places and things to see and do that are kid-friendly. For example, a regular hotel with a pool, snack machines, breakfast buffet with cereal, toast, and orange juice, private bathroom and a T. in the room works far better than a “quaint” bed and breakfast with no kids’ activities, canopy beds, breakable antiques everywhere, “fancy” breakfast foods, and shared bathrooms. No matter how old your kids are (or if they range in age from six months to eight years old), follow these quick seven tips to avoid holiday disaster and vacation hell: - pack well (lots of activities, snacks, diapers, and changes of clothes) - research your destination thoroughly - choose kid-friendly accommodations and activities - think convenience over speed and even frugality for travel with kids - do some driving at night - have a bathroom plan for all the young potty trainees in your family (generally for kids ages two to five) - plan for less, and take it slow.
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