Traveling with kids is a bit of a double-edged sword. The opportunities for memorable family fun are endless, and yet the trip often involves a fair amount of stress and anxiety as you strive to keep everyone happy. It doesn’t have to be like this, however. Here are a few simple tactics to keep your family holiday to Hawaii as breezy and relaxing as the island itself.
Set the Rules
Before you leave the house, establish a few ground rules. These include things like not wandering off, not bothering an adult when they are driving, behaving in public spaces, or even something as simple as letting you know when they need the toilet to avoid a last-minute panicked search for a restroom (we’ve all been there). Make sure they understand why these rules are important and that you set them in a positive way.
Many kids don’t realize that when they are causing a problem, or don’t understand why it’s an issue — this happens especially often in an unfamiliar environment like a family vacation. Give them a chance to understand your expectations, and you will minimize arguments.
As an adult, you may not notice anymore, but there are long stretches of any holiday that can be a bit boring. All that queuing and sitting in a car/train/bus can get old very fast when you are a child, so make sure you are extra prepared to fight boredom and restlessness. Check out this list by Good Housekeeping for the best toys to take on vacation for ideas, and load up a tablet with some TV shows and games to keep the kids busy.
You should also stock up on healthy snacks, especially since the temptation to buy junk food will be everywhere in vending machines, kiosks, and even airplane menus.
This is a simple one. Arrive at least two hours before your flight, but preferably three. Yes, this means more waiting at the airport, but it also means less of a chance of missing your flight or having to rush to a gate with two kids and a baby in tow.
This doesn’t just apply to flights. Plan some buffer time into all your activities and transport, and don’t overcrowd your schedule. The more room for error you leave, the less stressful it will be when a delay or inconvenience pops up.
Keep Things Clean
Remember that places like airports and airplanes are a breeding ground for bacteria which could expose your kids to unfamiliar germs, so it pays to be careful. Disinfect all toys before setting off and keep them clean while on the go with a pack of antibacterial wipes. Applying hand sanitizer after being in crowded places could also be a good idea.
It’s an extra bit of effort, but it could mean the difference between a great vacation and a week in a hotel room taking care of a sick child.
Make sure all the kids feel included during the whole process. This starts at the planning stage, which should involve everyone’s thoughts and opinions. If your child is old enough, give them their own carry-on suitcase and allow them to pack their own stuff, which you can then check.
Make sure you include plenty of kid-friendly activities in your Hawaii itinerary, like these recommended by TripSavvy. If you are traveling with teens, it is a good idea to give them some free time during the trip. You could sign them up for a teen-only activity or even just set aside an hour in the day where you can go your separate ways.
Above all else, you will need plenty of patience. Coordinating a trip is difficult at the best of times, so handling a whole family is, of course, going to come with complications. As long as you prepare well and stay calm, you will be able to overcome these incidents and have a fun and relaxing holiday with your family.