Story by Waheeda Harris
Vacay.ca Senior Writer
When’s your next vacation? For most of us, we’re thinking ahead to when we’ll be making tracks for another long weekend or break — especially if the weather is chilly.
For those of us travellers who need to include kids when making vacation plans there are many more things that must be considered. All of a sudden that mountain climbing holiday in the Rockies or culinary trip to Paris seem like adventures that should be postponed until the kids are older and more manageable.
How does one go about choosing the right vacation destination that the whole family will enjoy? According to Transat Holidays stress, health and wellness expert Beverly Beuermann-King, families want to enjoy time together on vacation and insure it’s stress-free. Beuermann-King offered a few tips for making the right choices for a family holiday this year:
Vacay.ca: First trip away from home — stay close or go the distance?
Beverly Beuermann-King (BBK): Parents know their children best. If your child doesn’t warm up to change, I would suggest mini-experiences at hotels closer to home would definitely be beneficial prior to a longer, more expensive vacation in a foreign country.
Vacay.ca: How to involve the kids?
BBK: Plan the holiday together, and make sure to build in extra time to get everyone packed, arrive at the airport and at the end of the trip, an extra day to get the family organized to get back into the daily life schedule. Spend time exploring before a flight, as well as activities during a flight that will keep kids happy and entertained.
Vacay.ca: What’s a good length of time for a first resort trip with the kids?
BBK: Consider the children — flexible and adaptable? Homebodies or adventurous types? When my kids were younger, shorter trips were easier to manage; however, as they got older longer trips were better, just like adults. On average it takes three to four days for your mind and body to relax.
Vacay.ca: Should a holiday have a purpose?
BBK: A holiday should have a focus — whether its adventure, reconnecting or just slowing the pace of life down. If you want a quick adventure, three or four days will be perfect but if the purpose is to relax, consider seven to 10 days.
Vacay.ca: When choosing the right destination for kids, does age matter?
BBK: Younger children like to be entertained, while older children like to hang out and explore. Also consider travel time to the destination. If you’re flying, Air Transat provides Kids Club bags to younger travellers to keep them entertained.
Vacay.ca: Should a schedule be maintained during a holiday?
BBK: Continue to enforce daily bedtime rituals, but be flexible during the day to enjoy the unexpected.
Air Transat has introduced its Family Collection, a group of selected vacations for 2013 designed specifically for families. Features include family-friendly hotel amenities and activities, as well as a designated check-in counter at the airport, priority baggage delivery and priority meal service inflight for kids.