Are you thinking ahead to the summer yet? Who can help it! Summer vacation sounds so good right now—a little relaxing, reading, family time, the kids happy and occupied, getting lots of exercise and fresh air.... If only a holiday like this would plan itself. Instead, the task falls to you, dear fellow parent, as if you didn't already have enough to think about.
Planning a family vacation sounds great, but it can also feel like a big responsibility. Time off from work is precious, and so are childhood summers. We want to make the most of them! We want everyone to have a great time! Is this too much to ask?
It's really not. And if you ask the right questions throughout the process, then you have an excellent chance of finding a great spot for your family. Here are a few to get you started.
1. What kind of vacation do we want? Before you do anything else, ask yourself what kind of vacation you are hoping for. Quiet and restful? Adventurous and exhilarating? Are you hoping for time with relatives, friends, or just your immediate family? Differentiate between what will make you (the parents) happy versus the kids (no, it's not always the same!).
Nonetheless, vacationing with young children is certainly much more pleasant when they are having a good time. So when you've zeroed in on a possible location, keep asking questions:
2. How kid-proof is the place? It's no fun to be constantly telling the kids "don't touch that!"
3. Are there other kids around, and where do they hang out? A playground or beach that comes with playmates is a wonderful thing.
4. Are there any nearby kid activities or camps? If you're interested in getting a bit of time to yourself, be sure to ask this one.
5. Is it safe to "run outside and play" right nearby? A bit of freedom is a wonderful vacation gift for kids.
6. Are there good beginner spots nearby for bike riding, swimming, hiking, etc.? There are certain skills that kids pick up best on vacation.
7. What are the local rainy day activities? If you don't ask, you know it will rain.
8. What are the local babysitting resources? Refer back to #4.
9. Is there a good grocery store/pharmacy nearby? How about kid-friendly restaurants? Don't get caught without the necessities!
10. In case of an emergency, where is the nearest clinic, hospital, pediatrician? Once you know, you don't have to think about it anymore.
Enjoy your vacation!!
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