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You’ve spent hours pouring over guidebooks, and perusing online forums. You’ve used the best packing checklists that you can find to make sure that no one forgets anything (and if you didn’t, that’s okay – you can always *gasp* buy what you need on vacation). Hey, you’ve even downloaded a few extra apps and movies onto all your devices to make sure that everyone’s just a little happier when you get there.
Now it’s time for the vacation to begin.
Except that a vacation with kids is rarely all about relaxation. While you might love to lounge in front of a cozy fire reading your favorite book, your kids want to be flying down the ski hill or building the worlds coolest snowman. Trust me, I get it, I’ve been there. You just want to scream “do you people know how hard it was for me to get everything for this trip ready? Do you have any idea how exhausted I am?” But this is one of those times where you should definitely keep those thoughts inside.
Because vacations are magical things.
And once your there, the thing that matters most is not how carefully you packed or the elaborate itinerary that you planned out, but YOU. Yes, all of your planning is fantastic, but what your kids need most is you. There. Present. Completely.
You see, when we’re on a trip with our kids, its our chance to connect with them on a whole new level. To experience something new together. Whether it’s a new language, location or even just a new park, this is the time to truly put them first. Yes, we get out on adventures a lot but our typical adventures are pretty short, lasting only the day. And while there is an amazing opportunity to connect there, just imagine the potential of a week-long family trip. Imagine how much you can strengthen your relationship with your kids in that week and how much you can really connect with them.
More likely than not, their favorite memories will be things like the time that dad helped them build the worlds coolest sledding jump and then impressed them with his sweet moves (and hopefully didn’t break his back). Or the time that mom went boogie boarding with them and they laughed until they cried. These are the things that can’t be replicated or planned, yet will be forever seared into their memories.
What do you do to give your kids what they need when you travel?