Whether you’ve planned a laid-back vacation at the beach, or whether you’re expanding your child’s horizons with a trip to a new city or country, you know that new experiences and family time will be on the itinerary. As much fun as this can be for kids, keeping their schedule intact and setting the same expectations for their behavior as you do at home can help your children relax while on your trip. Plus, it sets your family up for better behaved kids once you’ve returned from your adventure!
It can be very tempting to have dinner, indulge in a little dessert, and then find yourself taking a leisurely walk with the family or enjoying some local sights and getting back to your hotel or rental home a bit later than expected. While this is bound to happen once or twice, be sure to try to stick to your child’s usual bedtimes and wake times, and maintain the same bedtime routines as usual. Your child will be better rested, and you won’t risk throwing off their sleep schedule once you return home.
No one expects kids to stick to their usual healthy eating habits while on vacation. Ice cream trips, the sampling of local treats, and a few fast food stops while on the road are going to happen, and are fun for everyone. But defaulting to your usual healthy meals when out and about is a great idea, both for your family’s energy levels and in order to manage your kids’ expectations once your trip is over.
If your child has a beloved blanket, a lovey, or a favorite stuffed animal that comforts him at home, bring it along for your trip. Plane rides and long car rides can be tough for young kids, and these objects will soothe him. Plus, sleeping in unfamiliar places can be stressful for kids, and having this comfort object will help him relax in order to fall asleep.
At home, you have specific limits and expectations set for your child’s behavior. Don’t let them slide while on vacation. Making messes, leaving the dinner table early, or not sharing with a sibling are just a few examples of behaviors that can crop up when kids are away from home and a bit out of sorts. Remind them that your usual standards for their behavior still stand while away from home.
What are your tips and tricks for keeping kids on their usual schedules and remaining on their best behavior while traveling? Tell us in the comments section!