Let’s start from the beginning. Children change your life. We all know this. Maybe none of us were prepared for how much they changed our loves, but that ship has now sailed. We have kids and we’re loving it, right? Right!
Just like having your first child, or in our case… the last two, rocked your world. Taking your kids on their first travel adventure will most likely, rock it again.
Everyone will tell you, ‘the best thing you can do is be prepared’. While this advice is true, you also need to expect the unexpected and prepare for the absolute worse. I know. I know. It sounds bad, but wouldn’t you rather expect the worse and be pleasantly surprised, over expecting a perfect trip and then deciding never to travel again? I sure would!
When planning your trip, however long or short it might be, keep in mind the different types of days you’ll have to plan to keep the journey running smoothly for everyone. Each day is important for it’s own set of reasons, and you’ll need to do some trial and error before figuring out how many of each and in winch order, works best for you.
There are four days that will ultimately guide your travels: Travel, Tour, Rest and Prep.
Grab your GPS and plug in your coordinates, it’s time to hit the road. The kids are packed up, the husband is ready and you have all the road trip items you need in your emergency entertainment kit, so off you go. These are your travel days. There spent driving from point A to point B with a few gas stops, potty breaks and snack runs in between. Travel days are great for roadschooling. The kids can be occupied with workbooks and flash cards during the ‘regular’ school hours and you can keep bickering to an all-time low, with pop quizzes and spelling bee’s. Travel days can be broken up into groups, separated by rest, tour, or prep days, or run like a marathon until you reach the finish. The choice is yours.
With maps, travel guides, tickets and a picnic lunch, your family hits the streets to discover this new and exciting destination you’ve found. You walk through museums, and checkout landmarks, you grab a taxi, take thereto and enjoy your hair blowing in the wind from the rooftop seat on the tour bus. These are tour days and they are packed with fun. A separate its every can be a life saver when planning full tour days, especially with kids. You’ll want to keep their daily routines in mind when planning, to make meals and sleep times flow easily, but overall you just pack as much or as little as you want into the time you have and enjoy it while it lasts. Our family has a routine of getting out after breakfast and being back before dinner. We enjoy ½ a day sightseeing, hiking, touring or whatever, the. Return for some R&R in the evening before we do it all again.
Hit the snooze button and snuggle deeper into your pillow. Breakfast will be say this morning, something they can probably fix themselves or doesn’t require much effort on your part. It’s a day of rest and everyone desires at least one. Rest days are perfect to slip in between travel days or right after a big tour day. Either your tired from walking or your tired from riding, both will require a change of pace for you and the kids, so give yourself and the family a break and just relax today.
Most planning and prep is done prior to the start of the trip, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any after you get started. Tasks like evaluating your route, adding or deleting stops, and preparing for major events and activities will need your attention while on the road. Taking a day to prep makes doing laundry, cleaning, and getting your house in order more manageable, than trying to cram it in at the end of a hectic day. Some folks might be tempted to mix a prep day with a rest day, but I have to urge you to reconsider. Prep involves mental and sometimes physical work, which is the complete opposite of rest. So while you might be tempted to combine them, my suggestion is to take them separately and give yourself the amount of time you need, without out rushing to squeeze them both in.
Once you take your first trip or maybe two, you’ll have a good feel for the amount of time your family needs in-between travel days. You’ll know pretty quickly how long is too long, and can make plans to break it up by using the tour, rest and plan days as your tools.
Safe Travels & Many Adventures-