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My top 10 tips for a distraction free, fun family vacation

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Energizer Bunny's Mommy Reports: My top 10 tips for a distraction free, fun family vacation

Feb 9, 2010

My top 10 tips for a distraction free, fun family vacation

With all the technology around today, I honestly feel a family trip nowadays is very tech-centered and not as family centered. Family trips are also now meticulously scheduled to ensure everything goes 'chip-chop' smooth. We have so many plans, so many aids to help but with all that, I think we've taken the FUN out of family trips!

We're making our fun trip down to Disney tomorrow and we've made our close to 24 hours trip down to India last year, several trips to Sea World and I can't say any one of them was a colossal disaster but there have been things we've learnt from each trip. Thanks to experiences we've had in the past, we're learning to have the best possible fun-filled family trips we can!

Want a few pointers on how we plan to do it? Well, here they top 10 tips for a distraction free, fun family vacation

1. Don't get glued to the DVD player!- If you are taking a road trip, DON'T switch on the dvd player in the car. Hubby and I took a stand not to have movies playing in the car because we feel it rids you of that additional family time you can have. Need to entertain the kids? Play I spy games, sing fun kiddies songs, have a memory game......the options are creative!

2. Make it a learning experience- Another option is to play audio books. We've recently been playing the Jesus Storybook audio cd in the car and it has been so much fun (and a great learning experience)listening to the Bible stories re-told in such a unique way.

3. Don't stick to the plan- When you have little ones, you just have to accept that things WILL NOT go as per the plan at all times. Remember don't stress out. The objective is to enjoy your trip and spend quality family time in love and not bickering and staying 'schedule-rigid'!

4. Always have snacks on hand- Nothing can be worse than having a toddler/little kid meltdown because he/she is hungry and the nearest gas station stop is several miles away. As a treat carry some of your kids favorite 'munchies' and make it a 'picnic on wheels'. Sure the car will get a generous splatter of crumbs...but remember there's nothing a good vacuum can't solve!

5. Carry a portable potty seat- especially if you are toilet training your little one! Don't get him/her back onto diapers just because it's more convenient. Not only will it confuse your child but it will set you back to stage 1 in the toilet training process. Carry a portable potty seat so that you can stop ANYWHERE in less than 2 minutes (yes you can even pull up to the side of the road) to relieve your child.

6. Leave work at home-This is hard but it has to be done. Not only do the kids need to enjoy you 100% but you need to be able to enjoy your family 100%. Have a colleague cover for you while you are away. If you author a blog, try and pre-date your posts and have them auto-post in your absence. Remember your family comes first!! (If it is of utmost necessity that you stay in touch with your workplace or blog, get your work done while everyone is asleep and AFTER you have rested too. Nobody wants cranky Mommy on the trip!)

7. Everyone loves a surprise- If you're visiting a fun new place or theme park or historic site.....plan on surprising your child with a present that centers around the place that you visit. As done on our 1st trip to Disney, this time round also, we will be hiding a present for Bunny girl every morning before she wakes up (a new hiding spot each time). It's always fun to see the excitement for the day build up with the surprise being opened. (It doesn't have to be something big and expensive. I ordered Disney themed books which are lesson based, off using the 4 for 3 promotion. Each book works out to less than 2.5$ each)Plus who wouldn't love getting a surprise from "Mickey" right?

8. Colors, colors everywhere - If you have little kids, crayons on a plane trip are such a help. Older kids can occupy themselves with activity books and crossword puzzles. I always get a new coloring book for Bunny girl to attack whenever we fly and I make sure I carry those crayons in a 'Crayon Roll' NOT in a pencil box. Nothing can be more distracting for other 'happy' passengers than scrambling over to pick up your child's fallen crayons!

9. Extra change of clothes a must- Even if you are taking a plane ride that will last less than an hour make sure you take an extra change of clothes for all of you in a carry on. You never know what can happen... turbulence may cause a glass of juice to spill onto your shirt, your child may feel like throwing up on himself/herself and Daddy too or a toilet training youngster might just have an accident. It always better to be prepared!!

10. Schedule meals BEFORE anybody gets a 'hungry' meltdown- If you eat at a particular time every day and your kids know the routine, stick to it. I know routines can be a pain at times especially when on holiday but I would always advise missing out on a great 'must see' to feed an empty stomach. Not only will it prevent any whining (from both young and old alike. I hate to admit it but I automatically begin to whine when hungry...shocking but true!)It's always much more fun to enjoy a holiday 'stocked with food fuel'!

These are a few things our family tries to observe on our trips to ensure we have the maximum amount of fun with minimum work, tantrums, meltdowns and accident prone distractions!

Do you have any tips you'd like to share? Twitter Moms would love to read your blog post with Your 'Top 10 tips for a distraction free, fun family vacation'
If you are among the first 50 bloggers to link your blog post to the Twitter Mom page , you will receive a 30$ gas card , thanks to Alamo, that you can put towards your next family road trip!

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At February 9, 2010 at 1:13 PM , Blogger Angela said...

Have a wonderful trip to Disney and thanks for all the tips. I can't wait to take our little girl to Disney next year!


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