As is often the case with me I feel like I got a head of myself. So lets back up a little.
Vacations. You remember them right. Time off to do what ever you want. Hike up a mountain or lay on a beach. Visit fine restaurants and dance all night? yeah not anymore. The first thing that I needed to deal with to get ready for our trip, AND to be able to have fun, is realize that vacations are totally different now.
To be able to have fun traveling with little ones you must have a good attitude. If you are grumpy grumbling mommy no one has fun. There is no point in being upset that you can’t sleep in. If your child wakes up at 0 dark thirty at home they are going to be like that on vacation. It’s who they are and accepting that and preparing for that will make everyone much happier. As our Little wakes up oh so early (happy and talking, often dancing) it is important to have activities for her to do without waking everyone else up. For this trip our Hotel was 3 blocks from a Starbucks. We would wake up get dressed and walk down there. She would play on the different benches and structures in front of office the buildings. No one was at work yet so we weren’t bothering anyone. She got to be outside and moving around and I got my tea, and Hubby got a little extra sleep. Win win!
Another key I have found with Little is that she still needs her routine or daily rhythm on vacation, and maybe more so. She is so excited to be around all the people she loves and new places, that she can get to wound up. Whats more when you’re in a large family group (or any group) your meals are different. Coordinating 10 or more people is just a different beast. Not to mention that we don’t eat the same types of things when were on vacation as when were home. We are lucky in that our child doesn’t have allergies which would give this a whole other layer or complication. All of that said I think keeping a nice supply of food in my huge purse and making sure that Little gets her nap are invaluable! I want her (and us to have fun) and for that to happen we need to plan down time. She needs time to relax and she needs her nap.
Not every kid naps, or has the same criteria as our kid. Because every family and child are different you will want to think about what works best for your family. Basically before you even start to pack anything at all here are 2 things to take care of:
- Do an attitude check. Are you excited and happy to be going? If not ask yourself why and see if it is something you can fix or something you can choose to feel differently about.
- Figure out how you will meet your family’s needs while gone, Naps snacks etc. How will you keep the kidlets on there rhythm as much as possible.