A Day on Your Family Vacation
As Eisenhower said, “Planning is everything, the plan is nothing” It’s important to start each day with a rough outline for how you’ll spend the day in advance, but don’t be too wedded to it. The plan will help you transition well between activities and spend a minimum of time figuring out details during the day.
When you're making your plan, consider your child's temperament. When are they most likely to be patient and well behaved? When do they most need physical activity? We like to plan museum visits in the morning (when the kids are most cooperative) and the activities get more kid-friendly as the day wears on. No parent wants to be stuck in a museum with a child during the 4pm "witching hour"
Each day needs to have:
- Three meals
- A couple of opportunities for snacks. You might want to pack your own to be assured of finding something that your kids will like at the right time. Bring a long a couple of kid friendly restaurant names along with addresses and hours. Ideally, you'll have the restaurant or cafe plotted on a map. Our kid friendly city guides can help with this.
- One cultural activity that the grownups are excited about along with any information about activities for kids. For example, some museums have a special kids area or special tour booklet for kids. Check out our guide to enjoying museums and other cultural activites with kids and toddlers.
- Some unstructured time to relax and be a kid. If there isn't a kids attraction you want to visit, look for parks and playgrounds on a local map, use google maps to find playgrounds, or ask at your hotel. You can also look for local events on What's On When
- Time for naps if needed. If your child will sleep in a stroller or sling, naptime is also a good time for a grown up meal or activity. If your child needs to sleep in a bed, consider taking turns staying with him or her so that each parent gets a chance for some downtime one day and a chance to explore on their own the next.
- Something that the kids will be thrilled with and that they don’t do at home. A new playground counts, so can a "cultural" activity like eating churros and chocolate in Spain.
- An activity before bed that helps the kids wind down. Perhaps a walk along a river, looking at digital photos of the day, or writing in a travel journal.
Here's more details to help you through your family vacation days:Meals and Snacks
Enjoying Cultural Activities with Kids
Naptime and bedtime
What's On When: Worldwide Events Guide