We often get requests from dads who are planning vacations with their kids and want to make it them unforgettable. It’s good to keep in mind that every vacation has three components: the anticipation, the experience, and the memory. Here are some vacation tips with suggestions for planning, making the most of your time, and enjoying the memories:
- We will often recommend the types of vacations that allow for activities without a lot of logistical concerns; it can be difficult for two parents traveling together to juggle the conflicting schedules, food preferences, must-see lists, and equipment, for each child; it’s particularly challenging for one; not having to deal with things like renting a car and driving in a foreign country, or finding your way on foot in an unfamiliar city, means more time to spend enjoying one another’s company.
- Traditional destinations are popular for a reason; a great deal of experience and effort have been invested in designing the venue to be fun, satisfying and stress-free for all visitors; choosing kid-friendly locations such as Walt Disney World or a cruise vacation almost guarantees that everyone, parents and children, will have a wonderful time because there are things of interest for all ages; they have also addressed daily concerns by providing such things as baby-changing tables in men’s rooms, and companion restrooms for fathers traveling with their little daughters.
- Although there are experts who contend that it doesn’t matter if you do nothing at all, that being together is what is important, studies have shown that sharing active pursuits strengthens bonds so we try to suggest destinations with plenty of engaging things to do; this is particularly important for Dads who may not have children living with them full-time.
- If dads are calling the shots, they will often consider going on a different type of vacation such as camping, skiing, or hiking which often makes for very unique and lasting memories for kids.
- A father traveling alone with several children might consider inviting an older cousin or favorite babysitter to lend a helping hand.
- Some children have a better experience if they can invite a friend; others prefer the undivided attention of their parent; if both parents are traveling, allowing each child to have some time alone with their father is very special.
- Fathers should let the kids help with the planning; after a destination has been chosen, it’s fun to set aside special evenings to discuss what you’ll do and see; everyone should have input and be able to include some of his or her favorite activities or attractions.
- Using a countdown technique adds to the excitement; it can be as simple as marking off the days on a calendar or can include periodic “travel surprises” when each child receives a small gift that will be useful on the vacation; a “movie” night to watch and discuss a video of the destination; making a paper chain using a link for each day with a planned activity or adventure written on it; putting a vacation countdown clock on the family computer.
Parents often postpone trips with young children because of concerns that the kids won’t remember the experience. While little ones might not be able to recount the details when they’re older, they will certainly be positively affected by spending leisure time with a relaxed, happy parent. Dads can take lots of pictures to be enjoyed and discussed through the year. Most importantly, don’t forget that the kids aren’t the only ones going on vacation; parents need vacations too, and their memories will last a lifetime!
Whimsical World Travel is a professional travel agency specializing in luxury Disney vacations.