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Planning Ahead for Vacations with Children 

Going on a vacation can be a relaxing and fulfilling experience if everything is properly planned and accounted for. Adversely, without the right preparation and resources, you could find yourself having a lot less fun than you might have expected. This is especially true when you’re bringing along the little ones. As we all know, children can be unpredictable at times (more often than not in fact), so planning ahead is the best way to get the most out of your trip without getting lost between tantrums and “I want this and that” urges. With that said, here are three tips you can use to plan a family vacation in advance:

1. Packing the Necessities

If you’re bringing the kids along, whether it be on a hike or a trip to the amusement park, it’s always best to have certain packing list necessities at hand, such as a first aid kit, handy snacks, a few changes of clothes, and accessories like hair brushes, sunglasses, and sunscreen. It’s also a good idea to give each of your kids a cell phone with geo-location features enabled, so you can easily communicate with and locate them in any setting; this is especially helpful for older kids who like to see some of the sights on their own.

2. Scheduling the Fun and Following Through

Most vacations only last between a few days to a month at the most, so you really should be scheduling the sightseeing in advance if you plan to get the most of your time. Children make it hard to stick to any kind of schedule, especially in new and exciting places, so make sure you educate the kids about the thing they’ll be doing for fun when they arrive at the destination. For example, you could hype up the greatness of the local water park you’re going to see. Adhering to a simple schedule and giving the kids events to look forward to will ensure that you don’t have as many unnecessary distractions.

3. Finding a Church in the Area

If you expect your trip to last longer than a few days, or if you’ll be on vacation on days when church is normally observed in your family, don’t be afraid to check out some of the local churches in the town you’re visiting. Staying true to your family values and religious traditions and connecting with local churchgoers while on vacation is a good way to strengthen the family bond and increase the memorability and meaningfulness of the trip overall. Some people shy away from visiting cathedrals and similar orthodox structures due to the negative misconceptions about Catholicism, but in turn they’re losing the opportunity to discover an interesting piece of the place’s cultural history.

One of the best ways to keep children engaged and also help them become more cultured young adults is to emphasize the importance of learning throughout the vacation. There has to be a balance between having carefree fun and actually gaining some insight from the visit.