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Break Time

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Planning a holiday with kids in tow doesn’t have to be that hard, says Rhea Dhanbhoora
So you’ve been looking forward to a holiday all year and you can’t get the thought of sandy beaches and afternoon naps out of your mind? However, the sound of children crying in the background brings you back to reality. Before you throw your hands in the air and give up, thinking you’re never going to be able to have a holiday with children in tow, think about how you can plan your holiday so you and your kids can both have that well deserved break without getting in each others way…
The Destination
The first thing you need to do is plan what kind of holiday you want. Where would your kids like to go and is there something there for you as well? Compromise is the key when you’ve got a family filled with opinionated childrn.
Often, everyone raising their own opinions is going to lead to a terrible amount of confusion and chaos and often, fighting. So instead, make it a more systematic process and draw chits or ask everyone to give their opinion and work on the basis of majority. Turn it into a game or something lighthearted so that everyone feels as though they’re being involved in the process.
Kids sometimes love having their friends along so think of planning a holiday with another family so that no matter where you take them, they have something to do and won’t get bored. It depends of course on what you want out of your vacation. If you’re looking for some family bonding, packing your kids off with other kids or going somewhere that they would constantly be occupied by activities and games is a silly idea. In that case, try taking them somewhere where they can experience a different culture with you so it’s not boring and they spend time with you too.
If you do want time by yourself or with your husband, leave your kid to their own devices. They can mostly find a way to occupy themselves. Make sure they’re safe and supervised, but leave them to explore and take what they want to out of the vacation.
The Journey
Make packing fun for children. It’s never easy getting everything prepared when there are impatient children buzzing around, but giving them even a little responsibility will make them feel important enough to co operate. Give them a little suitcase of their own and show them how to pack sensibly, let them pick out their own clothes and explain why they may or may not be suitable for where you’re going.
How you travel is almost as important as where you’re traveling. Be careful of long car rides as kids can get car sick. Plan travel in advance and make sure that your child can handle it. Kids are also not very patient. Depending on how old your child is, choose a destination that doesn’t involve too many hours of monotonous travel.
If you’re traveling by air that is an experience in itself. If you’re traveling by car or bus, make sure you’ve got some good travel games prepared so that your child doesn’t even notice how many hours are passing by.
Packing enough water is important as is a little food for the journey. Make sure it isn’t too heavy though or you may face disaster on the way.
Keep in Mind…
There are certain things you should keep in mind during your planning process even if you’ve planned everything right down to the T. Take a look at some that could help you out…
  • Keep a checklist of everything so that you can relax on vacation instead of worrying about everything you forgot.
  • Check that you’ve carried everything your child will need — medicines, woolens if it’s a cold place… everything.
  • Let your children have their own backpacks filled with things they think will keep them amused. Their favourite books, sketch books, music and such
  • Budget out the vacation in advance so that you know when you’re going overboard (especially if you have teenagers who could want to spend excessively).
Take a look at how Gouri Rajan manages to efficiently plan her holidays so that she and her son can have a good time
  • I usually try to think of a place that my son will also enjoy, even though he is still quite young.
  • I ensure the journey is going to be comfortable for him.
  • Although he is too young to really choose, he always has certain desires when we talk about holiday’s so I always listen to him.
  • I make sure that when I choose a place, there are activities there that will keep him occupied.
  • Before we leave I see to it that he’s had all his medical check ups and that I have carried all his medicines.
  • The most important thing when we’re going on a holiday with him is to make sure that the place we’re visiting meets cleanliness standards.



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