Traveling With School Age Kids
Fortunately, in general, traveling with school age children is not as difficult as traveling with younger kids. There are still many tips that can help you to make the travel smoother and to help with the overall process. Here, we offer a number of suggestions that should make your travel smoother and your time together more enjoyable.
Include Them in the Planning
It if is feasible, include your school age children in your planning. Tell them where you are going and show them things about this place on a map, on the internet, and through brochures. Ask them what they would like to do while you are away and include them in the planning process. Certainly, they need to understand that you may not be able to incorporate all of their wishes into your plans, but they will appreciate knowing that they have been included and listened to for some of the preparation.
Give Them Their Own Travel Bag
Give your school age children their own backpack or suitcase to pack. This is their bag, and they can include items in it that will make them happy during the plane ride, the trip, etc. You can certainly look over their bag with them, but this should be their place to put the toys, books and other items that they want to bring along. This can help if you are taking a long flight, or heading on a long car ride as well. They will know that their candy, IPod, and other important items are in their luggage and they won't need to pester you for things that they need.
Give Your Kids Jobs
During the course of the trip, give your kids jobs that will keep them involved and occupied. You might want to give them a disposable camera, a notebook, and a tape recorder to document your vacation. Have them keep track of where you've been so that you'll be able to write notes on the pictures when you develop them. Each morning, you could offer them the chance to pick one place of interest to visit that day, or give them a job that they need to fulfill by the day's end.
Give Them Down Time
While we all want to get the most of our vacation, we also need to have down time. Respect that your children will need down time as well. They will have more fun at dinner, and be easier to be with, if they've been able to swim in the afternoon, watch a bit of t.v. or rest. Yes, you want to get the most of your vacation, but you can't expect kids to keep going for hours on end. Respect their need for rest and give them space to relax as well on your trip.
Hopefully, with these ideas in mind, your family will have an enjoyable and productive trip with your school age children. Keeping their needs and desires in mind will help a great deal to make the overall trip one that everyone can enjoy - together.