There’s always a first time for everything, including the first time you take your kids on a vacation. Even if you’ve gone on numerous LDS travel tours or cruises before, traveling as parents is still a very different experience.
There are many questions in your head you’d like answered. And the biggest one probably is this: How can we make travel fun, enjoyable, and stress-free? The answer all boils down to four things.
Get the children involved.
Have them contribute to the planning sessions and truly consider their choices about where they want to go. Having the kids go hands-on while deciding your destination helps them feel more excited about the trip than if you made all the decisions.
Choose destinations wisely.
It’s great if your children can fully appreciate the religious and historical importance of the LDS churches, temples, and other sites. However, be open to giving them room to enjoy your vacation as kids. Nauvoo and Palmyra, for example, are close to several amusement parks they may enjoy.
If, as a non-parent traveler, you were fine with walking two hours to find a place to eat, your kids are not. You’ll experience some crying and complaining and possibly even tantrums. Don’t subject your kids to the discomfort. Play it safe and call up hotels and restaurants in advance to book reservations.
The exciting, fast-paced style you traveled in back in your early 20s is probably not the best thing for your kids. They’ll get tired, they’ll need to sleep, and they’ll most certainly throw a temper if you wake them up at 4 a.m. to visit a museum. Relax, take it slow, and realize your kids need time to recharge.
The best LDS travel experiences with the kids are always those that take into account everyone’s needs and desires. Remember, vacationing with family is a vacation. You’re supposed to enjoy the time together without putting pressure on anyone at all.