While our vacations have vastly changed since becoming parents, we still think that taking family trips each year are very important. We've learned a few tricks that have worked for us, so now I'm passing them onto you.
1. The car DVD is your friend. I know, I know -- what a luxury. "When I was a kid, they just threw us in the back of the station wagon --with no seat belts!" However, this is not 1984. It's 2011. We have car DVDs. And they rock. Now, you just have the kids fighting over who gets to pick the next movie!
2. Snacks. Always have snacks! Nothing will keep a kid happier on a trip than having snacks readily available. I "splurge" on vacation trips and buy snacks I will not let the kids normally have like fruit snacks and Pringles.
|A trip to Gladwin, Michigan. S'MORES!|
4. Be flexible! Never assume that everything will go "according to schedule." Work with your kids' energy level. Full of energy? Take them to a park to burn some off. Tired out? Let them have a nap.
|Jumping on the bed is allowed. It is a good way to expend extra energy!|
|Double JJ Resort in Michigan. The kids were so excited when they got to sleep in the loft in the cabin.|
6. It's vacation -- let loose a little. The kids will appreciate a loosening of the reins. We usually buy the kids some trinkets and trash that we would NEVER buy at home. It's fun. The kids love the crap.
|My son with two -- yes, TWO -- light sabers (you can't have a battle with only one!) at Hersheypark.|
|Williamsburg, VA. We tried this when the whining became too much, but the park wouldn't let us leave her there.|
|Double JJ Resort in Michigan. Daddy is in timeout this time.|
|Chinatown, San Fran. Yes, we bought her that pink parasol. Cute, huh?|