We keep on filling the list with new ideas (the latest ones is marked in green)
A for ACCOMMODATION: Pick an accommodation where it is room for kids to be kids. We have earlier have had great luck with cottages from Child Friendly Cottages / @CFcottages.
B for BIG FAMILY: Check apartments or suite-hotels to be able to stay together, pre-book seat on airlines to avoid stressful situations, talk about what activities can be fun for everyone and how to make sure everyone get some “special for you” time.
C for CHILD SAFETY: Agree upon where to meet if you lose each other, write your phone number on the kid’s forearm, and leave a hotel card and/or your business card in their pockets
D for DIARY: Give the kids a notebook and some crayons to draw/write down stories from the trip. They will love to look at it when they return home, and also comes handy when talking to friends/grandparents about their experiences. Check our Travel Diaries post for more tips.
E for EXPECTATIONS: Make sure you talk to the kids about the trip so they know what kind of trip to expect. This will make it much easier to have fun.
F for FLEXIBILITY: Start the planning well in advance – the planning is half the fun! However, make sure to have flexibility for when you like to do what (and not get too fixed on the ideas you had before you had any experience from the place)
G for GOOD TIMES FOR EVERYONE: Plan for activities that all can enjoy. To go shopping for new shoes for Mom can make
both Mom and all others in the family very frustrated.
H for HISTORIES: Make small histories from the places you visit to make it easier for the kids to remember the different places you visit. Maybe they can draw the history in their Travel Diaries?
I for INSURANCE: We highly recommend you to have travel insurance covering ALL family members. A great assurance if some of you get sick or you are so unlucky that clothes/valuables are stolen
J for enjoy the JOURNEY: Instead of rushing from A to B make sure you enjoy the time spent in the car/on the train or plane. Check our blog post about Car Travel tips.
L for LUGGAGE: Pack as lite as possible to make it easy to move around and ask the kids to pack their (limited!) toys/books/music collection in their own backpacks.
L for LOCATION: Choose accommodation close to amenities such as transport, parks and attractions. A good view and a balcony can also be smart since parents most of the nights like to stay up a few more hours than the kids.
M for MAKING MEMORIES: Take photos, bring some souvenirs home but most important of all explore the destinations together to build joint memories for later chats and nostalgic talks 20 year from now.
N for NETWORK: Search your network to see if you have somebody with local knowledge of your destination. They can recommend the best play grounds, the local restaurants, the best beaches, all to fit your personal taste.
T for THEME SONG: A few weeks before departure search for a song which you one way or another connect to the place you go. Let the whole family listen to the song before, during and after the trip. Play it loud in the car and sing along with your kids – it will make you smile.
…..more letters to follow