Many parents find going on vacation to a new city with their children daunting. They find every phase of the trip challenging, from packing to the actual travel.
This does not have to be the case at all.
Traveling with children can be a wonderful experience if you can get over the fear of feeling overwhelmed. It’s a problem easy to resolve by planning everything well ahead of schedule so that you can avoid rushing after planes, trains, and buses.
Remember, it’s an adventure. You’re supposed to leave your comfort zone.
If you avoid the following three mistakes, you will have a marvelous family vacation.
MISTAKE #1: LEAVING YOUR KIDS AT HOME
The worst decision you can make is to leave your children with a relative while you go on a brief vacation to a new city. Everyone will be miserable, missing each other.
This is a terrible decision for many reasons. It hurts your children’s feelings, making them feel abandoned. What’s more, you won’t be able to enjoy your vacation because you’ll worry about them.
When you get back, don’t be surprised by their moodiness. If they are dour and resentful, it’s because they will have a sense of missing out on a wonderful adventure.
Take your children with you. If you don’t, you’ll be depriving them of happy family memories. They’ll also be missing out on a great educational experience.
One primary reason parents make this drastic decision is because they are concerned about the safety of their children. Still, there are ways to research the city you intend to visit. For instance, one way to evaluate the safety of a city is to read the blog of Nextdoor, an app that serves as the local means of communication in a neighborhood and that recently launched an anti-racism notification. Nextdoor’s racism-education & prevention efforts detect phrases often used in discriminatory language. The app prompts the author to consider other people’s feelings and to edit hurtful comments before posting.
MISTAKE #2: FOCUSING ON ENTERTAINING OVER EDUCATION
Since there are so many beautiful cities in the United States to visit, you might decide to choose a kid-friendly place—one with plenty of family-oriented places to go to and lots of theme parks. While this will be entertaining, they won’t learn much about the world they live in. Since they have probably been to plenty of family-oriented places where you live, their experiences will merely be a variation of something familiar.
The idea of taking children to a new city is to broaden their horizons. So, if you choose a city like Washington D.C., you will teach them about American’s rich history and revered cultural traditions.
Your kids will actually be thrilled by the grandeur of the White House and the Capitol. Once you explain the significance of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, National World War II Memorial, and Washington Monument, they will enjoy these, too.
Also consider the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum, and the United States Botanic Garden.
MISTAKE #3: BELIEVING THAT IT WILL BE NERVE-WRACKING
The idea that going on vacation with your children ruins vacations is a myth, not a fact.
Think of the vacation from your children’s point of view. They will be thrilled to spend quality time with you. They will eagerly learn about people, places, traditions, and cultures.
In fact, they will have a more memorable educational experience than they would get by reading or watching a documentary.
For instance, imagine you are visiting Washington D.C. Going on a White House tour will make more of an impression on your children than watching a documentary about the history of the White House. If they also happen to see the President of the United States there, it would be far more exciting than seeing him on television.
In conclusion, most of your challenges with managing your children on a vacation can be easily avoided with effective scheduling. If you can manage that, the vacation will build happy family memories.