Wednesday, April 29

FAIRMONT FIVE: planning a kid-friendly vacation



One of the rites of spring is figuring out this summer’s family vacation. Planning can be as simple as loading up the car for a fun road trip, or as complicated as making airline and hotel arrangements around busy schedules for a trip across the country or overseas. Either way, we have provided some tips to make your next vacation extra-memorable for your children.

1.       Avoid over-planning and focus a little more on being flexible—Arranging a tight travel schedule might squeeze out unexpected pleasures such as visiting a country fair, shopping at a farmers market, or attending a concert in the park. Block out a couple of days to be spontaneous and experience life as a local.

2.       Involve your child in the vacation planning process—While mapping out the itinerary, discuss possible places of interest with your child. Encourage them to practice geography skills and test their knowledge of history as they research potential sites to visit. Math skills can be exercised while determining the distance and the time it will take to drive to a particular destination.

3.       Follow the 15-minute rule—For every one hour on the road, plan 15 minutes to stop and get out of the car. If pulling over every hour is not practical, drive three hours and take a driving break for half an hour. This offers opportunities to stretch the legs and fully appreciate scenic spots along the journey.

4.       Take a break from the screen—Provide alternative traveling activities for children to prevent them from being completely glued to their smartphones and iPads. Encourage them to pay close attention to points of interests during the drive. Have them create a photographic journal of the different sights along the trip. Bring books, puzzles, and word games to occupy their minds while on the road. When visiting relatives, ask your child to put on a reporter’s cap and interview grandparents, aunts, and uncles. This will open the door to some great storytelling and provide the child with fascinating insights related to their family’s heritage.

5.       Don’t leave healthy habits home alone—Be sure to bring a bag of snacks for the road that includes nuts, carrots, string cheese, fruit, and crackers. Sometimes vacations bring out the desire to indulge in junk food that is not common fare in the home. Keeping candy consumption to a minimum will prevent kids from getting too “sugared up” in the back seat.

By the end of vacation,  your child will have a detailed journal of wonderful memories, stories, and discoveries.

Please note If you are planning for your child to join the adventure at Fairmont's Summer Programs, enroll by April 30th to save 10% on summer camp and school. 

Contributed by Doug Fleischli, Fairmont Private Schools

Image credit: fueld

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