It’s not always easy to decide where to go and what sort of vacation to have with your children. They will get bored looking round museums and art galleries, and if they’re on the beach they’ll want to play, not leave you in peace to soak up the sun! On the other hand, many parents would be terminally bored spending all their time at a soft play center or amusement park. How do you make sure the adults and the kids all have fun on your family vacation?
Have a conversation
Start off by asking everyone what they would like to do. You may get a set of completely different answers, but it gives you a starting point. If you’re lucky, everyone will be thrilled at the idea of a river cruise, or a camping trip in the woods. If you’re not so lucky, you’ll have one child wanting to go to Disney World, and another wanting to go snowboarding. You can’t please everyone in that situation, but you can try and find some commonality in everyone’s interests that will provide a basis for a trip everyone can enjoy. Adventure parks and holiday camps are one option, places that combine a number of leisure pursuits and activities in one place. Everyone will get the chance to do something they enjoy, and you can all get together for mealtimes and evening entertainments. There might need to be some compromises, so you could spend half the day, or a day, on the activity most important to child A, and the next half day or day on the activity most important to child B. Don’t forget this is your vacation too, so include some of the activities and visits you most want to do as well.
Being outdoors in the country offers plenty of ways for everyone to enjoy themselves. Taking a boat trip, going for a hike in the woods, or following a mountain bike trail will be popular with most members of the family – with the possible exception of teenagers, who you may find very difficult to please at this stage! Fishing is a great way to relax and have fun at the same time. It’s one of the few times you might be able to get the kids to sit still for a while, as they wait for something to have a nibble on their line. You could try heading out on kayaks to explore the river, another activity kids very often take to. If you’re worried about the comfort, visualizing a traditional wooden kayak, don’t worry – modern boats are far more comfortable and safe, and you can add sit on top kayak seats for extra comfort. If you go for a beach holiday, choose somewhere with easy access to a variety of coastline rather than just an expanse of sand, so the kids can amuse themselves building sandcastles, playing in the waves and hunting for crabs under rocks.
Vacation time is a highlight of the year, so it’s a good idea to find the trip that will be most enjoyable for the whole family.