One of the best parts of going on vacation is setting your usual routine aside. School pick-up schedules, sports practices, and work meetings get replaced with sightseeing adventures, impromptu ice cream treats, and unexpected moments to learn more about your children. On your next trip, schedule a few one-on-one getaways with your children as part of your family vacation activities to make the most of your time away.
A Special Souvenir
You know you'll be picking out a few mementos during the trip, so why not take this activity a step further and make items with extra meaning? Take your kid to a local art gallery or studio and sign up for a hands-on painting or pottery class to create one-of-a-kind keepsakes together. As you encourage your child to explore color, texture, and design, you'll learn more about her creative skills. Don't forget to encourage her to try new techniques offered by the instructor. Be sure to autograph and date your works of art.
Breakfast for Two
At least one of your little ones will probably still get up early on vacation. Sneak away with your early riser and plan a special breakfast date together. Room service delivered to a table by the hotel pool or on your balcony shows your child extra attention before everyone else wakes for the day. Play games, like tic-tac-toe, or make up stories using the condiment bottles as props.
While eating, write a poem together about your child's favorite part of the trip so far. Then, talk about what's coming up for the day and dream together about what it might turn into. For example, will a boat tour take you to a magical island filled with pirates and treasures?
Goofy Photo Time
Most tourist destinations have photo booths tucked away in hotel lobbies, restaurants, and gift shops. While you wait for a table or browse the displays, sneak away with your child for a moment and take a series of goofy pictures in a photo booth. Enjoy laughing and cutting loose together! This activity is a great way to get anxious kids to relax: Be daring and make animal noises, mimic yesterday's tour guide, and surprise your child by being a kid yourself.
Some of the best opportunities for connecting with your kids occur naturally—literally! Get outside for a beach walk, forest hike, or stroll through a city park with your little adventurer. Keep your eyes peeled for a unique memento: Pretty stones, sea glass, uniquely shaped leaves, and native flowers are all great options (just be sure the area you're walking in allows visitors to collect natural materials). Polish up stones and shells or press more fragile materials like leaves and flowers between the pages of a book to make a lasting keepsake. You'll get to explore the area, learn about the native flora and fauna, and spend memorable time together taking in new and beautiful sights.
When you're traveling as a family, connect with each child individually and give him your undivided attention. It only takes a few minutes during your family vacation activities to make one-on-one memories your children will remember forever!