If you’re like most parents, you can’t wait to take a family vacation this summer. However, it’s only a natural to be a little apprehensive about how your young children will do traveling to your destination and being away from home.
According to Beverly Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Milwaukee, Mequon, Greenfield, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa, “Family vacations offer wonderful opportunities for bonding and creating memories, so you’ll want to do everything possible to make sure your time away from home is a stress-free, positive experience for everyone.”
Here are some useful travel tips to help you have a fun vacation with your children.
Anderson suggests that two-three weeks prior to your vacation, you begin putting together a list of what you will need to take with you. This should include suitable clothing, diapers, baby carriers and/or strollers, healthy snacks, wipes, and hand sanitizer. In addition, you won’t want to forget your child’s favorite blanket or stuffed animal and travel games.
“The more you plan ahead, the better organized you will be, and the less likely you will be to leave something at home.”
If your trip involves a car or plane ride that is several hours in length, Anderson says to consider scheduling it so it falls over a naptime, so your children will hopefully sleep for part of it. However, she also recommends that you take several activities that can be done in a car or airplane along as well. Ideas include: watching a new movie you purchased just for the trip or listening to a book on tape, coloring in a new activity book, or downloading some educational games for your children to play on a mobile phone or tablet.
Anderson adds that packing healthy snacks will also help ease travel time and prevent your children from getting crabby or overly excited from having too much sugar.
Take Your Time
Anderson says to make sure you allow plenty of time for traveling and to not cause unnecessary stress for your family by having to rush to catch a plane or get to a destination by a certain time.
“It’s important to remember that, with children, things often don’t happen as planned. Young children can’t walk at the same pace as you. They will require more bathroom breaks and get tired more easily. Just try to keep them calm and focused on the destination they are headed to. Remember that the last thing you want to do is get frustrated or lose your patience while on vacation.”
Watch Your Activities Schedule
Young children thrive on a schedule, so Anderson recommends that when you are on vacation, you pay particular attention to the number of activities that you planning and what times they are scheduled for.
“If your children are late risers in the morning, plan on letting them sleep in on vacation as well. Or, if they usually take an afternoon nap, at least slow down during this time in the afternoon, so they can recharge a little if they can’t sleep.”
“A vacation isn’t fun when everyone is worn out and crabby. As a parent, you have to know how many activities your children can handle and when to simply call it a day.”
Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.
Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers a variety of free Family Fun Nights and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.
The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, in Greenfield, Mequon, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070.