Plan the Perfect First Summer Vacation with your Whole Family

By on 5/14/2018 07:02:00 PM

Taking your kids on holiday is something that all parents tend to look forward to. It can be great fun particularly if you center the vacation around what the kids want to do. It’s a chance to see your own childhood experiences through their eyes as you take them to places of past family holidays or perhaps you might even want to consider adding elements of education into the mix. However, there is a lot to consider when you set up your first family vacation with the little ones including what you need to pack, how to plan things the right way and what can go wrong. Let’s start by asking an important question.

Should You Go Abroad?

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Taking your kids abroad for their first vacation can be stressful for a few reasons. First, you’re going to have to deal with the problem of jet lag, and not all kids are great at handling this. But you shouldn’t really expect them to be. After all, it can seriously deplete their energy. The easiest way to deal with this, of course, is to make sure that you are booking the first day there off. Lounge around the pool, stay in the hotel room, explore the villa, but don’t book any big activities. That way, you can recharge and get ready for a big day out after that first night. This is particularly important if you’re planning a trip to somewhere like Disney where visiting even one park for half a day can be exhausting.

There’s also the issue with the flight itself. Ears popping due to high altitude can be rather painful for kids. If you think they might have this problem, remember to pack some hard boiled sweets. This encourages kids to constantly swallow which reduces the chances of their ears popping as the plane climbs in altitude.

Direct flights are a good choice too. By booking a direct flight, you can avoid the possibility of lost luggage. While this can still happen with direct flights it’s far less likely and losing your luggage is a nightmare if you have kids. You’ll need to spend the first day shopping for new products just in case your suitcase isn’t located. You should also make sure that you have some essentials like a change of clothes packed into carrying on incase this does happen.

One last thing to consider before you book a trip abroad with the kids is healthcare. You do need to plan for the event that they get sick or even get injured while you’re over there. Let’s look at something as simple as an ear infection. An ear infection will be excruciating so it must be dealt with before the plan a ride home. However, you can only do this if you have coverage. You should check your health insurance or Medicare plan before you buy additional insurance for your vacation. Medicare Plan F includes foreign emergencies, but you will want to look into what exactly is classified as an emergency situation.

Booking A Vacation Around The Kids

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Parents often wonder whether they should book a trip around their children or they should book the holiday that they’d enjoy and hope their kids love it too. Well, first, let’s think about the vacation your kids will adore, and Orlando Florida would be a classic choice here. If you head to Orlando you need to prepare to hit the theme parks like Disney, Universal and to a lesser extent Universal and Seaworld. If you don’t mind traveling there’s also Busch Gardens. All are prime spots for family vacations and even provide their own hotels for you to book. The good news is that these locations aren’t just for the kids. Take Disney for instance.

Epcot also has the World Showcase and, while Disney have added various kid orientated options to this area over the years, it’s perfectly suited for adults. Have you always thought about taking that around the world trip? Well, with this place, you can do that in about three or four hours, sampling the food and cultures of each location you visit. There’s also the fireworks displays that are truly magical for kids and adults alike. You can even drink, and you can check out a guide for advice on where you can buy brews in each park before you go.

But you should be asking an important question. Will your kids even enjoy this holiday built around their needs? Sure, they will enjoy parts of it. But you have to remember that these family hotspots come with long queues, wait times and boring procedures. Just getting into the Magic Kingdom in the morning can take half an hour in the sweltering sun. At the very least this may not be the best option for little ones who probably won’t be big enough for many of the rides.

So, what’s the alternative? Book something like a beach holiday that is more suited for adults and your kid will love too. For instance, you can think about heading to Greece to stay on one of the islands. They are not all party central locations, and instead many provide a relaxing retreat. But there are also plenty of activities kids will love too. For instance, older children can try jet skiing, and as a family, you can rent a boat to take to the waves. Find a remote part of the coast to drop anchor and enjoy the sun together.

How About A City Vacation?

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We’ve talked a little about theme parks and beach spots but what about taking your kids to a city for the summer? Is there any benefits to doing this or will they be bored stiff? Well, first there are plenty of activities exclusive to the cities of the world. You might be taking a trip across the pond to visit jolly old London. Here you’ll find the London Dungeons, the Big Eye, Madame Tussauds and the West End. All options could be perfect for the kids which means you won’t need to drag them down Oxford Street day in and day out. And, if you do want to see a show, you can book tickets for Harry Potter. That’s right, the wizard wonder is on stage right now in the capital of England. But tickets do sell out fast so make sure you book early.

Alternatively, New York has Central Park and the Natural History Museum. There’s also the zoo, the empire state building, and another Madame Tussauds. As such, while a city escape might seem like a dull option for the kids, there are plenty of adventures to discover.

Don’t forget that the city is also where you’ll find historical monuments and museums. This will be useful if you want to add a touch for education to your vacation. Let’s explore that possibility in more detail.

Beating The Summer Drought

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Let’s face it, through the summer, kids don’t get any education. You can nudge them to read a book or two, but that’s about it. However, when you go on vacation, there are ways to help them stay on top of their studies. One way to do this would be by encouraging them to keep a journal. Or, if you have a teenager, you could even help them set up a travel blog. This is a useful tool and could be very beneficial for your kids. You might also want to think about visiting historical locations. We’ve already talked about museums, but each location you choose to visit will have some form of historical significance. It might have evidence of past wars, monuments or perhaps cultural heritage sites. All provide a fantastic opportunity to teach your kids some lessons about the past.

Pack Your Bags

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Finally, we need to think about what you should back for a vacation with your kids. There are a lot of different options here, but let’s start with rainy days. You should pack for bad weather even if the forecast calls for beach bathing. We’re not just talking about clothes either. Bringing a tablet with you will provide relief if you do find yourself stuck in your hotel room due to a thunderstorm. However, if you research, you’ll probably find some indoor activities you can try as well.

As well as packing for bad weather, do make sure that you are taking supplies that you might need in case of injury or illness. Obviously, if you have the coverage, you can get these from a local clinic. But if you can avoid it, you might want to avoid visiting a place like this on your vacation. Ensuring you have everything from pills for headaches to cream for burns is a great way to avoid this.

Don’t just assume that you’ll be able to get supplies when you reach your destination. Many parents often avoid packing suntan lotion or after sun to avoid it spilling out in the suitcase. While this is wise, some locations won’t have the same quality of these products that you are used to so it’s best to bring your own.

While it’s tempting to pack your bags to the brim, you do want to leave a little room for souvenirs. That way you can avoid needing to buy another suitcase to fit everything in and paying extra on the return trip.

About Angela

Angela is a freelance travel writer and lifestyle blogger, blessed with 3 beautiful daughters, 5 moody cats, 1 spoiled dog, and 1 very supportive husband.