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Surviving a Family Vacation with Kids

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A vacation with children is anything but rest and relaxation for the parents. If the parents want a real vacation they will leave the children with the grandparents, and go off on their own. There is nothing wrong with that once in a while. However, kids need vacations, too. Everyone needs to get out of their old rut. It is a good experience for the kids to see places and do things they cannot every day. It is also good for families to make some memories together.Hopefully you have chosen a destination that the kids will enjoy, even if it just the playground and pool at the hotel. The usual pain in a family vacation originates in the confinement of spending so much time in the car. It is great to plan trips that are closer to home when possible, but sometimes you really want to go some where farther. Here are a few ideas of activities to do on the road to involve the kids and help you keep your sanity.Play the alphabet game — look for words on signs or license plates with the letters in order from A to Z. First person to Z wins. Play scavenger hunt — give each person a list of common things they might see along the way to check off. First person to finish their list wins. Play the counting game — choose an item such as red cars or mileage markers to count and see how long you can keep it going. At Christmas time, our family likes to count cars with Christmas trees on top. Play categories — select a category like movies, fruits, colors, candy bars and take turns naming something from the category. When someone can’t name an item in the category they drop out. Last person left wins. Play “guess how far we’ve gone” — name a distance such as a mile or five miles and the driver keeps track on the odometer. The person who makes the closest guess wins. Here are some other things to do. For older children, have them take turns being navigator and taking charge of the map. Write or draw in a trip journal the things they see or are doing. Later you can finish it off in a scrapbook with photographs. Sing songs — especially the kinds of songs children love. Tell family stories — things you did when you were a child, how you and your spouse met, other family vacations you went on. Of course, you will also be sure that everyone was their own bag of toys, books, snacks, and travel games. Bringing their pillows from their beds at home also makes it a little easier for them to nap.Looking back on your family vacation and browsing the photos you took will likely send you into a sentimental reverie. You will be able to smile at some of the pain, and probably even forget much of it. As the kids get older, you can look forward to hearing the kids say, “remember when we . . . .” Soon you will find yourself planning next year’s trip.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gabriella Gometra builds sites on a diverse number of topics, such as http://stonewaredinnerwaresets.org, which has information about stoneware dinnerware sets and casual dinnerware sets.

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