Five tips for vacationing with kids

Sandbanks Beach and dunes

Going on holiday with young children is like doing everything you do at home, but without all the things to hand, and in an unfamiliar environment. Research is your friend here, and with some advance planning, this can also be a holiday for you. Really.

Pack it in

Small plastic containers of crayons, playdough, stamps, magnets, minifigs, and cars keep things from getting boring in the hotel room. Laminated workbooks, maze sheets, and dry erase markers cut down on pen accidents and clean up.

Check the schedule

Resorts often have a schedule of activities, like special campfire nights, games, and kids play time. Check ahead and plan your days. Although trying to figure out what to do in the morning with small children bouncing off beds and careening into furniture is its own kind of fun, sometimes it’s not the most… relaxing.

Plan your travel around sleep

If you’re driving to your destination with younger children, try and take advantage of nap time during the drive. It cuts down on the amount of the time you need to entertain them in an enclosed space. Or maybe head out close to bed time, if you can transfer sleeping children into beds.

niagara dino golf

Slow down

As we all know, kids are not always the most focused when it comes to getting from one place to another. Take a deep breath, and plan on any walk taking three times as long. Embrace it, look for interesting plants and flowers you’ve never seen before, point out the beautiful houses or the view.

Pack a few familiar snacks

If you’ve got picky eaters, pack a few snacks that your kids know and love. Keep a few back for those moments you end up at a cafe for lunch and your small people reject everything on the menu despite being hangry. It’s tough being in an unfamiliar place when you’re young, even if you’re having fun.

What are some of your best vacationing with kids tips?

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Erin McGann

Erin McGann is Managing Editor for Toronto Mom Now and Vancouver Mom. She drinks just a bit too much coffee, is a bit obsessed about sourcing local food, plays the cello moderately well, spends too much time on Twitter, keeps honeybees on a rooftop, and has a thing for single-malt whisky. Erin is working on a novel set in turn-of-the-century Vancouver, which her husband, son and dog have to hear about all the time, and also blogs at Erin at Large. Contact her at erin [dot] mcgann [at] crispmedia [dot] ca

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