Travel takes a different course once your family grows. But all sorts of vacations remain a viable option, whether you are toting around a toddler or persuading a teenager to enjoy the togetherness. Taking the right approach when planning and embarking on your trip makes all the difference.
With toddlers …
-Choose a place conducive to napping. Spending some quiet time with your little one for a while each afternoon will keep everyone in good spirits.
-Maintain a flexible schedule and pace yourself. Too much sightseeing packed into a day might be fun for older children and adults, but very young children require small doses. Don’t overload them.
-Check your hotel room or other lodging accommodation right away for potential hazards. We once stayed at an older, historic hotel with our 2-year-old and immediatly discovered the balcony slats were so far apart a toddler could topple through, even with parents within arm’s reach.
With elementary age children …
-School-age kids are a joy when it comes to traveling. They’re old enough to appreciate and learn about the destination, so make it an educational experience. They can participate in more activities than younger kids who need naps and have early bed times.
-Scout out a restaurant’s menu ahead of time online or by looking over the menu at the door to make sure the cuisine appeals to all ages.
With teenagers …
-Get your teen to help plan the trip before you leave home. Ask your son or daughter to research sightseeing and dining options on the Internet.
-Once you arrive, get input from your teen on the daily agenda. What hiking trails look most appealing in a national park? Or, in a city, is there a special shop to check out? A famous pizza place the family should visit? Your teen will likely have some ideas.
-Make sure you plan for enough space – for everyone – in your overnight lodging. You need a sufficient number of beds and bathrooms for all to relax comfortably. If possible, a cottage or condo with multiple rooms works well when teenagers are involved.