I wrote in this post about how to save for a vacation on a single parent income. Today, I want to discuss some different vacation ideas for with kids, at each age. Vacations are something we all look forward to and by choosing an age appropriate trip, you can make sure your vacation that you worked so hard to make happen, is as much fun as you had hoped!
Babies: Most babies are pretty portable and pretty flexible, so you can take them just about anywhere. You hear a lot of stories about crying babies on airplanes making people unhappy, but in my experience, most passengers are not bothered by fussing babies. So don’t be afraid to hop on a plane and head somewhere warmer. Babies particularly love being outdoors, so as long as you bring along an umbrella, you can head just about anywhere outdoorsy… the beach, the mountains, the lake. Big cities like NYC can be tough with little ones who are on a strict nap schedule and navigating subways with a stroller is really difficult, so keep that in mind. I love the blog Have Baby Will Travel, and have found it to be very helpful for last minute tips and ideas.
Toddlers: Toddlers are really curious and they typically love animals and water. Heading out for a vacation with a nearby zoo and/or aquarium can be a really great idea with toddlers. Lake and beach vacations are also great for toddlers. Just make sure you are staying somewhere close to the water. It can be tricky to hold little hands while crossing four streets and carrying thirty two bags. Easy nature hikes are a great way for little ones to get outdoors and enjoy nature while staying safe. If your toddler(s) enjoys riding in the stroller, city vacations that involve lots of walking and sightseeing can be really enjoyable for everyone.
Kids 4-12: Traveling with kids can be difficult sometimes because they don’t deal well with change. Kids in this age group are typically the most adventurous and the most flexible, which means vacations get more exciting and fun. If you have two or more kids, you’ll definitely deal with the sibling squabbling while on vacation, but you have the flexibility of having lots of options also. Theme park trips, airplane rides, extended stays at the beach, traveling with other families, road trips, camping, city trips…. the world is yours when your kids are in this age group. They are typically good travelers who are used to following directions and love playing pass-the-time games like I Spy and the ABC game. Kids this age love to splash in the waves, dig in the sand, explore new places, learn about new things, try new foods, spend time in nature, and go on rides that go up and down. The more your kids travel and explore, the better they will be at it, so start off with small adventures and work your way up.
Teenagers: Traveling with teenagers can be really fun and rewarding. They are old enough to participate in adventurous activities like driving ATVs or going scuba diving. Often times, you’ll get pushback from teenagers about taking a trip with their family. If you can include them in the planning process and make sure there’s something fun for everyone, that makes a big difference. Teenagers are particularly interested in adventurous activities and exploring new and exciting places. So theme parks and activities that put them in charge like paintball, ziplining, snorkeling, and rock climbing are great for this age group, as are trips to alluring places like New York City, San Francisco, or even somewhere overseas like Paris.
Lots of single parents have more than one kid and often times, they fall into more than one age group. If you’re able to travel with another family or a grandparent, that can really help in situations where your four year old wants to ride the carousel all day and your 13 year old wants to ride roller coasters. Focus on getting everyone in the family to be flexible and it will make any vacation so much more enjoyable!