The dictionary defines a vacation as ‘a period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation. Sounds simple, no? Parents of one-year olds, however, will know better. Imagine planning a vacation with plans for travel, accommodation, meals and sightseeing, without factoring in activities like changing diapers, feeding, bathing and managing tantrums. Sounds a little more complicated now, nay?
Till recently, I was not too enthusiastic about a family vacation with a small boy in tow. After all, a vacation should be something that you cherish for a lifetime, and you should preserve the memories. How on earth is a one-year old kid going to appreciate a vacation anyway? A family vacation can sometimes feel like no vacation at all for parents, what with all the chasing after kids that needs to be done. A few interactions with friends, however, changed this view. ‘Why should you let your child eat into your leisure time?’ they opined, ‘…you can have fun and make it fun for him too, so what if he won’t remember?’ That made a lot of sense. I might soon plan a vacation.
There are a few things I will have to take care of though, when it comes to vacationing with a small kid. Here is what I intend to do/take care of:-
- Safety - Safety ought to be the number one priority when it comes to going on a vacation with a small kid. It is very easy, while having fun and letting your hair down, to let down your guard and take your eyes off your kid. Small kids are very curious, and might unintentionally step into trouble. So you always need to be alert.
- Make sure you factor in child care necessities into your itinerary – So whether it is nappy change time, or feeding time, or just plain tantrum addressing, please be prepared with a decent time-table that would help you beat sudden shocks and surprises, and a whole lot of frustration.
- Babysitting – If it is feasible, see if you can find a hotel with baby-sitting services or a crèche. It would be great to tag the babysitter along on your vacation. Although it is not such a feasible idea, you could try hiring a temporary babysitter for the trip.
- A little twist to have some privacy – Booking a room with an attached balcony can be a good idea to get some privacy while the kid is asleep. Just be careful about the kid’s safety in the balcony.
- The family that vacations together – Taking parents and in-laws along on a vacation is a wonderful idea. Firstly, the more the merrier. Secondly, family members make good and trustworthy caretakers for a child.
So, there you are. Let the kids indulge in all the fun activities, let them soak up the sun, let them have a great time. All this while being safe. They might not remember a thing, but hey, you can click photographs for them to see when they grow a little older. The important thing is you can enjoy yourselves without feeling guilty or worried about their well-being.
It’s time for me to look up a good holiday destination.
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