One day, a friend M who was in her family way lamented with a sad and desolate look on her face, “I think, I’d be losing all freedom in a few weeks from now. I’ll be tied down with baby care for a long long time. There’d be no cozy dine outs, movies in theatre and even the vacations would be on a back burner! What have I got myself into? For how long will this state last for me?”
Seeing her having baby blues before the baby arrived, we tried to cheer her up. And then another friend S, remarked, “Oh, you’ll be able to do all these things, whenever YOU are ready!
This made M sit up and listen. S could see an attentive audience, so she elaborated… Sharing some entertainment ideas, survival strategies, and practical advice, S shared that make travel with kids, magical and happy.
Agree that traveling with kids for a vacation is not as easy and simple when compared to travel that is solo or with friends. But it is not all that difficult and in fact having them around makes for some great fun times, with some beautiful memories.
The most important thing that needs to be taken care of is the needs of the children. Yes, that’s right! If we pay attention to their needs which are actually 6Es, we are sorted, yes, even on a vacation.
Enthusiasm. Check. When we plan and talk about the forthcoming trip with excitement, it kind of rubs on the children too. After all nothing is as contagious as enthusiasm. Disinterested and uninvolved children can dampen the holiday cheer. Let them help in packing. I know, how much of a help that is, but still! The idea is that they too should be looking forward to the fun and exciting times. And half the battle is won.
Expectation Matching. Check. Going for a trek or a visit to a fort on a hill with toddlers can exhaust you physically and mentally. (Of course, such excursions are pretty do-able and manageable, if you plan well!) Going for a vacation and doing things that all in the family enjoy and love results in happy smiles all around.
Engage. Check. What do kids love the most? Playing games, obviously! Bored kids can be very cranky. So, how about taking their favourites along with you, like UNO cards or Beyblades or Chess or whatever interests them. For example, on one vacation with our friends, the kids played UNO and we too learnt it from them which graduated into marathon UNO sessions involving all the adults and children. Needless to say, who had fun beating whom… initially!!
Enjoyment Galore. Check. With our modern lifestyles, indoor culture and addiction to technological gadgets, our children are far more removed from nature than us. Vacations are perfect time to relax and let children be children and let them recapture the simple pleasures of dancing in the rain or climbing trees or playing with sand.
Explore. Check. Children are such curious creatures. They explore, question, and wonder, and look at everything with a different perspective. A trip to a museum was such an enlightening one, only because we had two ten-year olds with us. Their steady stream of questions made us read up and hire a guide and that was truly enriching.
Expect the Unexpected. Check. Not everything goes as per the plan always. There would be surprises and there would be surprises. Like once a child had a tummy upset, so we had to take frequent breaks during our road journey. While the parents took turns in taking care of the child, rest of us made the best of our time by capturing memories in our cameras and chatted with the villagers around and soaked in the beauty around.
Rumi said, travel brings power and love back into your life… and children pack it with more power and love along with fun and happiness and lots of magical moments and memories!
See the world, with your children. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. So where are you heading these vacations?
All the pictures used in the post are personal.