Preparing for Family Travel by Separating the Kids
I love traveling with my family. As much as I enjoy the time I travel solo, with my husband, or my girlfriends, traveling with my family is absolutely my favorite. However, rarely do I remember to take the time to travel one-on-one with my kids, which means that when the kids travel with us, they are always stuck with their brothers. Always. We rarely do kids clubs, but if we do separate from our kids it’s because we signed them up for resort sports activities (i.e. ski lessons), together.
My little ones have been fighting a lot lately. A lot of arguing and tattle telling. A lot of whining and complaining about each other. As we start prepping for our summer road trip, it is important that we consider our children in those preparations as well, especially since they will be stuck with each other in tight hotels and car space for almost 20 days.
My husband and I took the opportunity to separate our boys when I had to travel to do a hotel review in the city. We asked who wanted to come (in other words, we gave them the choice) and planned around our individual time, so my “plan” with our youngest was the experience around traveling into the city and spending quality time and my husband’s plan with our middle son – who chose to be with his daddy – was to go to our gym’s pool for family swim. In other words, our time didn’t require a huge investment of money, simply of attention and time.
And it wasn’t just our sons who needed this. Both my husband and I shared how wonderful it felt to have the time, without interruption or noise, to just talk to our boys individually.
My little one and I didn’t do much. I walked around the hotel with him and included him in what I was doing. We picked up a snack from the hotel lobby, drew pictures, talked, jumped on the bed, and watched television, before cuddling up and falling asleep.
We spent just one night, but you can make a weekend trip out of it, have a camping excursion, or one day of activities. Give your children individual attention, regardless of their age always, but especially before taking on an extended trip as a family. People often think that teenagers would hate this, and don’t even try, but my experience has been quite the opposite. Does it mean my children will never argue again? No, but it does help. Never underestimate the impact that your time has on them. It will help bond you with each child, but also help restart that connection for your child with their siblings, because as we know absence makes the heart grow fonder.
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