This time of year, many people are beginning to take vacations with their family. Sometimes this means taking a day off to enjoy the family and sometimes it means taking an extended vacation to visit family that lives far away. As many of you know, we are hoping to take an epic summer vacation so we are getting prepared by researching and gathering as many tips and tools we can in this Ultimate Guide to Road Tripping. Today Amanda from The Educators’ Spin on It will share her tips for taking kids on an extended vacation.
My parents live many miles away. Every year, we travel to Minnesota to spend time with family and long-time friends – for a month! Yes, I travel with my three young children (ages 2, 5, and 8) for an entire month. As we pack for our next extended vacation, I thought it would be nice to share what has worked out well for us. Here are 7 things you can do when taking your kids on an extended vacation.
- Make lists, lots of them. Make lists for things to pack. This will help reduce the need for last minute purchases when you reach your destination. Make lists for places to visit and for experiences you want to have with family and friends. Although a month may seem like a long time, it goes by quickly. I never feel like we have to cram sightseeing in and so having a list helps us spread out our experiences.
- Schedule the kids to attend a summer camp or classes of some sort. A month is a long time to not play and meet with friends. Signing the kids up for classes means that they will have the chance to socialize with their peers. My kids will take 2 weeks of swimming lessons while we are on our vacation. My oldest will be taking a week long STEM camp, Camp Invention.
- Have extra clothing waiting for the kids at your destination. My parents are amazing. They keep their eyes out for great deals on kids clothes and have several new outfits washed and waiting for the kids when they arrive. One year, they had bath robes for all the kids handing up waiting for them like a fancy hotel. My kids adored them and wore their robes everywhere for that month.
- Buy a year pass to a local museum or zoo. Purchasing a pass is often the most cost effective way to visit local tourist attractions. With young kids, I am able to visit favorite destinations one morning a week. This not only gives children a bit of routine while traveling, but also them experiences we wouldn’t normally have access too.
- Bring open ended toys and a treasury book. The kids really do not need a lot of toys for vacation, but it is nice to have a few extras around. A bag of LEGOS, cars, and Polly Pockets will last my 3 kids hours of play. Throw in a new sparkly notebook with a fuzzy pen and life is golden. I’ve traveled with many books and have found bringing a treasure book, or collection of stories, gets the most use. We do pack entertainment for during travel too.
- Bring gifts for family and friends whom you will be staying with. I make sure to look for items that may bring a smile to our family who is hosting us. This year I am printing and framing a family picture to bring with and my parents’ favorite candies. Gift cards to local restaurant are always a good back up when we have forgotten our gifts. Every so often, I leave little thank you and I love you notes around the house for them too. Our extended travels go by so much better when everyone feels appreciated.
- Ask around and borrow larger items that you may need. When we travel in the winter time, my family asks their co-workers for ice skates in the kids shoe sizes prior to us coming. We use them for a few weeks and return them with a thank you note. If you do not have family or friends near your vacation destination, ask around in local mom groups. Meet-up is a great resource for connecting with other mom-groups in a specific area.
Did You Miss Yesterday’s Tips in the Ultimate Guide to Road Tripping?
Amanda Boyarshinov is a K-12 Reading Master teacher and mom to 3 young children. She enjoys sharing about her educational experiences and inspiring parents to make meaningful moments with their children. Find more activities for children ages 0-7 at The Educators’ Spin On It.
The Ultimate Road Trip
We don’t take vacations. No, scratch that… we avoid vacations. The term “vacation” should instill release, comfort, hope and so many other feelings, however in our home it is quite the opposite which is probably why we haven’t taken a family vacation since we got married. However, when the idea of traveling in an RV was mentioned, all of our ears started to perk up. Family vacation might actually be possible. Family vacation might actually be a dream come true.
Now for the fun part! You can send me and my family on our dream adventure! Just for voting EACH DAY you are also included in a drawing for $500. How fun would that be to use towards anything you want? So what do you say?
Help start our adventure and get a chance to win $500 towards your next adventure by clicking here and voting for “Lemon Lime Adventures”.
Can you help me? Better yet, Why don’t you go with us! Well, virtually at least! I plan to blog about tips, strategies and adventures of traveling with a child with sensory needs. I hope to build a wonderful resource for all of us trying to figure this adventure out together! In the comments, tell me you favorite sensory friendly stop or tip along the route!