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5 Kinds of vacations every child must experience

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

All of us have at least one childhood memory of a family vacation that was perfect when we, as children, felt pure joy. It's a memory stored in our minds as a source of happiness for the rest of our lives. Vacations can be an impactful way to teach a child life lessons or to create family bonding with shared experiences and memories that leave lasting impression. Family vacations can be road trips or visits to amusement parks, camping in the wild, to adventures in foreign lands. As parents, planning a family vacation where children learn life lessons and skills while having fun is our goal. When planning a family vacation, a few things to keep in mind are doing things that are age appropriate. Taking a younger child to a museum may not be the best way to enjoy the a vacation. They really cannot comprehend what they see and are prone to throw tantrums when bored. Or taking a teenager to a kid's park, may result in sighs and eye rolls! If it's a family vacation, not everything you do should revolve around the child, but it is prudent to consider your child's interests and make it a part of their experience. If your child is into Harry Potter and you happen to be in Edinburgh, A visit to Elephant's café is a must. Here are five kinds of vacations every child must experience in their childhood.

A visit to an amusement park. Age range 5-7

Every child should experience the pure joy of an amusement park visit. Yes, they are cliched and on the expensive side, but if planned correctly, they can create special memories of pure unadulterated fun for a child. While there is no right age for a visit to an amusement park, there certainly is a wrong one. Children that are too young can find it overwhelming. 5-7 years of age is when children have increased attention span, start following TV cartoon characters, and are above the 40 inches height requirement. Where the obvious one, of course, is Disneyland . Florida and California come to mind first when thinking amusement Parks. But there are many to choose from across the USA. Here is a list of the 9 best Amusement parks listed by

A road trip/ camping trip. Age Range 8-12 years

Are we there yet? Maybe the bane of every parent's existence, yet road trips are a rite of passage for every childhood. There is a profound lesson to be learned in enjoying the journey. The USA boasts of some beautiful scenic drives, Driving California's Pacific Coast Highway or Driving from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon, Hana Highway, Maui, 52 miles from Kahului to Hana. Blue Ridge Parkway, The Carolinas, and Virginia about 500 miles through the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah national parks. A road trip with children needs some planning. Make sure the trip is not too long and that there are enough stops planned along the way to keep the children engaged and not too tired. Take it slow with night halts. Keep enough snacks packed. Plan fun family games to be played along the way. This is your opportunity to talk to them and tell them your childhood travel stories. Let them marvel at the view and make unplanned stops. Road trips can be an excellent family bonding opportunity. Trips into the vast wilderness. Camping in the wild is an adventure-filled vacation is a childhood must. It is relatively cheap, yet it teaches children to respect nature and enjoy its bounties. Here is an article by Conde Nast traveler listing some of the best camp sites in the USA.

Europe trip, exploring well-preserved history and culture. Age range 12-16 years

Europe is generally safe and has so much history, beautiful architecture, museums, and food that it is a must-visit for teenagers, A bit of a preview for them to savor, so they may be able to come back when they are older and ready to explore by themselves. The great cities of Europe, like London, Paris, Rome, Venice, etc. Have a lot to offer, but smaller cities like Salzburg in Austria, the town of Thun in Switzerland, Edinburgh in Scotland, Sevilla in Spain, and so many more offer adventures and cultural learning. Pick a place you think aligns with your teen's interests and let them help you plan the itinerary. Remember, too much of everything can be overkill. Plan an itinerary that not only exposes them to history through museums and castles, introduces them to taste the local cuisine but also gives them time to wander around and soak it all in. Here are some suggestions from

The culturally diverse international trip/volunteering overseas. Age Range 13-18 years

While fun family vacations are meant for making memories, it is crucial to show children how the other half lives so they can cultivate empathy and see for themselves that happiness is not just achieved through material things, that happiness can be found in simple things. Websites like volunteerworld or volunteerhq can help you find volunteering options for your family.

Taking teens on trips to countries alien to their surroundings and comfort zone is an excellent lesson in adaptability and gives them a different perspective on life. A visit to Peru , Colombia, Kenya, Thailand any place that is out of their realm broadens their minds and teaches them to adapt to the circumstances, will teach them skills to be world citizens, when they are older.

Trip to visit extended family – Age Range 1 to 18 years

A visit to grandparents during holiday seasons, a family cruise together, or booking a vacation rental for extended family time is always magical. Children get to meet their cousins, aunts, and uncles and get pampered by grandparents creating familial bonding that gives them a sense of belonging and a deeper understanding of their roots . Cruise ships are excellent for large extended families with varied tastes. You can plan things together or separately, plan large family dinners, daytrips etc. There are daycare facilities for younger children, arcades for the teens to enjoy, and fun parties and theme nights to attend for the entire family. Some options are Norwegian cruise line, Princess Cruises and many more to choose from.

Booking a rental home for your entire family and spending a lazy few days doing not much, just relaxing and bonding with family members while spending holidays together, can be therapeutic. It can be fun for children to hang out with cousins and family, creating a sense of belonging. There are many vacation rental booking options. You can try airbnb or vrbo

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