As a parent, you need vacations. Plain and simple. But not every vacation can be a couple’s-only retreat; plus, it’s fun to have a vacation that is family focused where Mom and Dad can act like a kid too!
So how can the adults have the balance? It’s fun to play in the pool and go to the petting zoos, but its important to also recognize the vaca is for EVERYONE and not allow the threenager to dictate the agenda!
Here are some tips to allow mom and dad to have their cake and eat it too!
- Stick to the normal schedule you have at home.
Bedtime is still bedtime and naptime is still naptime — and more importantly, naptime HAPPENS — an overtired child can quickly hijack the night with tantrums and meltdowns sending the whole family back to the hotel with headaches.
This also gives mom and dad a set couple of hours every day where they know they will be able to kick their feet up and relax as well as a set time each night the kids will be in bed that they can have an adult drink and play a game of cards.
- Give each other alone time every day.
Plan for time each day that one parent watches the kids by themselves so the other can go to a spa, go for a run, shopping, or even go to a meal by themselves!
- Don’t be afraid to use the IPad.
Sick of Chuck e Cheese’s? Go to a nicer restaurant, feed the kids beforehand, and give them some screen-time so you can enjoy adult time.
- Set up some routine rules in advance.
Yes, vacations are exciting and kids tend to wake up earlier due to that excitement. But Mom and Dad still need all the coffee and might not want to jump into the pool at 8am. Have some rules set up with the kids about what time they are allowed to get out of bed, about the earliest you will leave to enjoy the festivities and about what will happen if there are tantrums and meltdowns. It is also important to stick to these rules…guarantee if you leave the amusement park and go back to the hotel after one tantrum, it won’t happen again. Don’t let them call your bluff!
- Adult AND kid friendly activities combined ARE possible.
Go for a hike, go for a bike ride, put the kids in a jogging stroller and go for a run, hire a boat for the day or go horseback riding…it doesn’t have to be carousels and teacups the whole trip.
So, when planning your next vacation with the kids, plan for Mom and Dad too. Don’t leave it to chance. Set some daily schedules and talk to the whole family about it so it’s not a surprise for them either!