While it’s true that traveling with kids can be a challenge, and let’s face the fact that it can cause most parents to question their sanity, I’ve found that choosing the right destination can help curb the stress factor immensely.
Why add more anxiety and tension to something that is supposed to be a fun family adventure when you don’t need to?
My Example: Learn from My Mistake
The very first family outing we decided on was a trip to an amusement park. We figured the kids were old enough to not only enjoy the rides but remember the fun and excitement of something so enjoyable. However, things quickly unraveled.
As soon as the kids knew where we were going in a few days, it was like we had given each of them an IV drip of caffeine. The three-hour drive seemed like three days as it was a constant barrage of “Are we there yet?” and “I’m going to do… [insert fun thing here]!”
Once there, trying to keep three kids from all running off in different directions was nearly impossible. We couldn’t sit down to just breathe for even a minute without “something shiny” distracting them again.
Needless to say, the kids may have enjoyed this trip but we, as parents, were physically and mentally drained by the time we got back home.
There’s a Much Better Option
The next trip we took, and all trips we’ve taken since, have been to various state parks, camp grounds, and other nature reserves around the country. While driving to these places can still be long and sometimes stressful with three kids, once there it makes it all worth it.
The kids enjoy seeing wildlife, learning about the history of the parks we stop at, or even figuring out how to set up the campsite in new and fun ways. Cooking meals is always a treat when you get to feed a family around a campfire.
The campfire is a place to connect as a family. Talking about school or work, the future, or even just a classic campfire story helps to bring everyone together.
Why This Is a Better Alternative
Kids get just as excited about a trip whether you are spending time in the great outdoors or you are headed to an amusement park. Without the lights and sounds to keep kids distracted in a huge location, the young’uns aren’t on sensory overload.
While camping with the whole family, you not only get them in a smaller area, with fewer people, less of the visual and audible “noise” of a large and over-stimulating environment, and they also get to learn a bit about the great outdoors.
Keeping things simple when traveling with kids is vital not only for you as parents but also for the kids.