Vacations are supposed to be fun for the whole family, but parents and kids sometimes have different definitions of “fun.” Luckily, with a little bit of planning, you can make sure the whole gang has a blast on your getaway.
From booking a stay at a resort that caters to kids to making some adjustments to your usual travel itinerary, these are the easiest ways to ensure your children come back from vacay with nothing but happy memories.
Ask for their input
What was your dream vacation as a kid? It’s worth asking your children about theirs before planning a trip; their answer may surprise you. Where you might expect them to want to go somewhere with a pool or big water slides, they may instead want to visit something they’ve heard about in school — like ancient Mayan ruins or snorkel around some coral reefs. Asking for their input will not only make them feel important, it’s also a great way to build excitement early.
If, while planning your vacation, you take into account how much your child wants to spend time at the pool, then you know your son or daughter will be over the moon to find out you’ve made reservations at a resort that has its own waterpark.
Find a resort with activities for kids
Even though parents and kids might have different ideas of fun, so do individual children. Your oldest might find art and museums fascinating while your youngest would rather play games and run obstacle courses. With Iberostar Hotels & Resorts you can satisfy both kids.
Iberostar’s Star Camp has a variety of activities that engage children of all ages — even hard-to-please teenagers. Star Camp has over 140 activities, where kids can learn to cook, find out what it’s like to be a journalist, perform a scientific experiment, direct a short film (or act in it), challenge themselves with Olympic-inspired obstacles, work with clay or even create both small- and large-scale art installations.
With a “passport” kids can venture to different countries in an imaginary world and participate in unique sensory experiences. These programs make vacations memorable for all children while letting them meet other kids from around the real world. Meanwhile, the grownups in the family can relax without cramping their kids’ style.
Sometimes, giving kids the time of their life is easy, and surprises are one way to bring a little magic to your family vacation. If you know your kid likes being surprised and you’ve chosen a destination with them in mind — it’s a great thing to do after you’ve filed away their input — you could spring the entire trip on them.
Another idea is to broaden your vacation search to include destinations that cater to these kids’ interests — like Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, which has the Star Camp filled with exciting programming for kids — and surprise them with it once you arrive at your destination. No matter how you choose to surprise them, the plans will inject a ton of excitement into your getaway.
It’s important to bring all the essentials on your vacation, but it’s equally important to let your kids bring some of their favorite things from home. Think books, toys, handheld gaming devices, decks of cards, favorite movies — these kinds of things will keep them happy as they travel and remind them of home. Even if you have to check an extra bag, it’ll be well worth it when your kids still have entertaining things to do en route to the destination and in the evenings when they’re winding down from the day’s excitement.
It can be tempting to pack your days as full as possible when you head out of town. You want to make the most of your trip, after all. But for a lot of kids, endless days of sightseeing, scheduled family activities and educational outings can be exhausting. Avoid the inclination to overpack your schedule. Instead, narrow the list down to the most fun and exciting plans to avoid overstimulation or exhaustion. Even better, choose a vacation that involves staying in one spot, like a resort that lets everyone do as much or as a little as they want.
Sticking to a rigid plan for your entire vacation can lead to stress because, especially when you’re not at home, things aren’t always in your control. Some activities can take longer than expected or the weather might not always cooperate with the days’ plans — it’s important to take it all in stride and be flexible with the itinerary.
Your stress can easily rub off on everyone in the group. Try not to forget that vacations are supposed to be a fun break for everyone — yourself included. When the adults in the group are relaxed and enjoying themselves, the kids are a lot more likely to have a great time, too.
This post is sponsored by Iberostar Hotels & Resorts.