If you’re planning on a vacation with kids, don’t.
If you’re still reading this, it may be too late. You may have already scheduled the thing, or are driving or flying to your destination and are reading this to block out the nearby shouting.
I’m sorry. I feel for you.
Fortunately for you (and me), we live in the age of technology. Plugging a child into a device like a robot buys you hours of uninterrupted time, time they would have spent poking each other and using their imaginations and such.
Yeah; I’m not in favor of devices for each kid. I’ll go into that more later.
For now, I wanted to recommend some tips once you all arrive at the family vacation spot.
- Have a plan. Winging it is a terrible idea, unless your children are adults. Even then, there’s going to be a lot of, “I dunno; what do you wanna do?” questions, while you fume at them for doing what they could have done at home.
- If you’re brave, have the kids be part of the planning process. Always give them a monetary limit, but freedom of choice will make them feel more involved and guilt them into trying to enjoy what they chose.
- Get outside and do something you couldn’t at home. I mean, why did you even leave your house and its area?
- Get outside and do something you could do at home, like going to a movie or a restaurant. You’re on vacation, so label it as a ‘special activity.’
- Eat out a few times but don’t go crazy. Costs add up quickly with children, especially considering how often they don’t eat their $10 kids meals.
- Go to lots of free places; like parks, hikes, exhibits, tours, and drives.
- Ask other people who have been to that vacation spot what was fun, and what was not.
- Try to pack what you need. If you didn’t, most places have a Wal-Mart.
- Make watching hours of TV or tablet time part of your schedule, then you won’t resent their doing it so much.
- Consider babysitter services where you’re going so at least some of the time counts as a vacation for parents, too.
Trying to reason with a nap-deprived toddler is like
Trying to reason with a sleep-depri -okay, it’s also like trying to convince a toddler to do anything.
I tried, but there isn’t a better comparison. …Stubborn toddlers.
I’ve grown lazier in my later years, due to a combination of waaaaaay too much work to do, hormone levels dropping with age, capability levels of children rising with (their) age, and a penchant for staying up late to have me time.
No worries; this is my food tip for today:
Buy stuff the kids can make and eat themselves.
Last week I recommended you purchase ingredients that can be used in many meals. While you’re picking those up, make sure you buy some pieces of simple lunches and breakfasts for the kids.
All my boys can make most of the meals I listed in my “Cheapest, Bestest” series of recipes; plus cereal, toast, sandwiches, Ramen, macaroni and cheese, and …chips when they’re snacking like squirrels and I have to remind them to make an actual meal.
Heck; I’ll even pick up Costco muffins, Gogurt, applesauce, bagels, Lunchables, and re-heatable frozen meals like burritos.
They feel proud for ‘making’ something and you feel relieved they’re eating ‘healthy.’ Besides that, you’re teaching them important life skills. Good job, parents.
“Everyone should have kids. They are the greatest joy in the world. But they are also terrorists. You’ll realize this as soon as they’re born, and they start using sleep deprivation to break you.”