Two years ago, I was lucky enough to be able to take a European vacation with my tween sons. For 19 glorious days we explored the sights, enjoyed our time together, and made lasting memories. To this day, we still find ourselves talking about something we did, saw, or ate. We definitely had a few missteps early on-from activities they found boring to food they thought was weird-but we soon found our footing and had a truly fantastic time. What I learned traveling with my tweens can save you some frustration-and money.
• Rule 1-Include them in planning. We watched travel channel shows of our destinations then spent time during dinner talking about the cool places we would see or fun things we could do. They each chose the one place on our itinerary they were most excited to visit then did some internet research to find fun facts for everyone to learn before we left. The months leading up to the trip connected us as much as the trip itself because they were part of it at every step.
• Rule 2-Plan the same amount of vacation days as you require. Our trip was a 22 day extravaganza of activities, sightseeing, and restaurant research. That’s a lot of travel just for 12 year old twins. Pay the though if you need to take a day off, plan a few days in between trips, or plan an entire trip on a theme basis. We’ve since redecorated the entire house and recycled our linens. There’s always plenty to do and see while you’re on vacation.
• Rule 3-bane it for the thrill.let them stay awake longer. Being still allows them to absorb things in a different way than when they’re regularly fixated on their daily surroundings. The stimulation of being out of their normal daily routine plus the novelty of the new environment you’ve brought will only increase their curiosity and ability to explore.
• Rule 4-compartmentalize. Having specific places for each member’s offline life keeps them safe and secure. When they’re away, they need to be aware of where they are. slowing down temporarily is necessary. Having a spare bed in the family cot and a porter at the hotel helps.
• Rule 5-osponsnect. The more they hear about your vacation the more likely they are to pack up and head off. Show them pictures of the places they’re going to see when you take the “old road trip” and encourage them to call “pokerlounge99” and see if they can figure it out.
I would also like to add that the entire social support structure these children need isn’t a bad thing. Sure. Families are warm and rewarding, but a bored child is bored children. They require a level of quiet to keep their minds supplied to keep their attention level up. But being surrounded with secure walls, stuffed animals, talking time and games/ Activities Forever? Yes. It’s a net positive.
Being able to do what you want, when you want (or just have the time to do it) is a great peace of mind. Has it ever occurred to you that there’s a world of difference between a hotel room and a deck chair? We’re so far beyond the day-to-day grind, that’s really worth taking the time to focus on that. Children have a mind that far beyond Junior High, and although there’s still a cost to living, there’s so much to enjoy.
Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes value. What may be fun for one person might be exhausting for another. Once you find your balance, you begin to see how wonderful it really is to be able to bring your family closer together and learn from one another.
So here’s to the beach! All inclusive vacations are a nice way to start and end a beautiful day. Swim, lay in the sun, and relax as you would anywhere. In all inclusive vacations, you and your family will remember the bond you share as you restoring this bond over and over again.
To create lasting memories and a keepsake that will be treasured forever, go to the place you all want to bequeathou are sure to enjoy. Pick a spot you know you will return to – maybe even the spot where you won’t forget to reapply your sunscreen every time you return from your first time around. And as you all pack and ski down the slopes, use this opportunity to reconnect as a family. Remind each other of the kindness of the country and of each other. This will be a day you won’t soon forget!