We've talked about family vacations, road trips, and tourist traps already, so now here are some suggestions for you about how to enhance the family flavor of any vacation!!
With these little darlin's here, do you really need electronics sticking in your ears or fingers playing with buttons...or is all you need a camera and some fun?
When you're on the road try for an electronics embargo! No matter the age of the child, you need some conversation, play time, and family interaction. So let the kids know that they have a certain amount of time allowed for tech stuff...1 hour, 2 hours, hopefully not too much more than that. That includes all forms of technology: phones, music, DVDs, texts...if it involves a screen or ear buds, it's a part of the embargo. That also includes you!!! If you are texting or scrolling you are excluding your children from interacting with you. Whether they know it or not, that is painful!! Find fun, silly ways to spend this enforced family time. And remember, the driver gets to choose the music...that was always our rule:) But the driver should compromise by including everyone's wishes occasionally. Listening to each other's music can be enlightening..sometimes even scary!! Sharing with each other can lead to appreciating each other more.
When you have arrived at your destination, TURN OFF your stuff!! Do you really need it? Nope!! Try to believe that you're actually allowed time away from everything and everyone! As you go out and about, leave that phone turned off and leave all other tech items in the car or room. Try to keep it off and only check it when you return to your room, or campsite, at the end of the day.
Now's the time to engage in all the sights with your family. Have fun!! Ask questions, give them cheap cameras of their own, let them keep a journal to take notes to help them remember what they see. Help them collect tourist maps and brochures, stickers, magnets...whatever reminds them of this fantastic family vacation. Possibly give them $1 a day to either save or spend for some silly little toy or candy. Don't decide to give them more if they whine or beg though...make rules up front and stick with them. It will make the trip a more enjoyable one.
Coming up next will be ideas for visiting our National Parks! I hope you'll come back:)
D and C