Advice so that parents can also…have a vacation…
If you managed to get over the season’s viruses you are already one step ahead! The second step is to resist the idea that going places and planning your vacation with your kids is necessarily a hardship. To enjoy such a vacation, however, you will need to do some advance thinking. You will need to be frugal and practical as you prepare your suitcase; to choose your accommodations wisely; and, especially if you only have one kid, to make sure he/she will have good company.
Truth be told, if this is your first vacation with your kid(s), it won’t be easy. You will get nervous and tired out but, at least, you will be wiser and more experienced the next time. Your performance will peak through trial and error, so just keep at it! We all have been through similar situations soon to find out that we were rewarded with unforgettable memories.
Getting prepared for a vacation with children
It is always good to prepare our kids for what is going to happen. According to their age, we can use maps or photos and discuss with them both the positive and negative possibilities of the upcoming adventure. That way, they will not be overly disappointed if a boat trip or plane flight is cancelled, for example. It is important to discuss the exciting as well as the not so much fun parts of the trip, especially if it will involve long travel hours. It is also helpful to allow the kids some personal choices so they may feel part of the preparation process. They can choose their travel bag or the toys they would like to take with them…but, really, not much else. They should not be allowed to think that they are in charge of the trip. The lower the expectations the more the fun!
Three are the main principles for enjoyable and relaxing vacations for kids as well as parents:
- Suitcase filled with as few items as possible!
- Correct choice of accommodations!
- Good company!
Vacation with kids rule #1: The suitcase
Travelling to Greece in the springtime during the Easter period can really be a puzzle as far as the weather is concerned. You will need both heavy and light clothing depending on your destination. Winter clothes take up a lot of space and as for summer clothes you may not even use them at all, especially during an early Easter.
If your destination is the Greek mountains, i.e. if you will be travelling to the mountainous areas of the Peloponnese, like mountainous Arcadia or mountainous Corinth, or the Zagori villages in Epirus or Mount Parnassus, “cute” clothes will basically prove useless. Forget your daughter’s cute little dresses and “Mary-Janes;” forget your son’s good-looking shirts and coats; go for a warm down jacket, a nice pair of gloves (maybe two, in case you lose one of them) making sure they are also good in the snow as you may come across snow and snow related activities in some of these mountains; take a warm hat with you, warm pants and long thermal underwear and you are ready to go!
If you have in mind to experience the special Greek Easter customs at a seaside destination you will need both heavy and light clothing. Whether you are heading to seaside towns like Leonidio, Monemvasia or Kalamata, or to one of the Greek islands like Corfu, Hydra, Tinos, Syros, Chios or Patmos, the evenings are likely to be chilly. Springtime humidity on the Greek seashores can make you feel quite uncomfortable, and some Easter customs will keep you out of your hotel room until quite late in the night. Also, make sure to take a first aid kit with you including a few vials with saline solution to possibly treat a runny nose.
Allow your kids to organize the small bag that they will carry themselves (the kindergarten type) or a small carry on with toys, books, crayons etc. It is very important that they carry it and that you don’t end up doing so yourselves. They will soon figure out to fill it with the absolutely necessary items because otherwise their bag or carry on will be too heavy for them. Make sure they have included their water canteens and some tissues. Explain that they should not choose toys with easy to lose small parts. Instead, drawing paper, markers, crayons and a small, plastic pair of scissors will always come handy for impromptu handicraft, especially at a mountain destination where you are bound to spend time inside next to a fireplace or in your hotel room. Check the Internet for handicraft ideas according to your kid’s age. If, on the other hand, you are heading to the seaside, a pail and shovel or any small container and a spoon-like utensil will be necessary for playing in the sand. As for books, take with you your kid’s “favorites” (you know, those your kids know by heart and like to read over and over before bedtime), preferably the ones small in shape.
In addition, it would be useful for the adults of the group to be carrying their own backpack with items of every day use, like hats, gloves, sunscreen, tissues, diapers, camera etc.
Vacation with kids rule #2: Choosing destination and accommodations
When travelling with kids, destination and type of accommodation are of the outmost importance for a relaxed vacation. That’s why the expert advice of an experienced family travel advisor is necessary.
Spring is particularly inviting in Greece and a very good idea would be to choose an agro-tourist or eco-tourist destination. Your kids will be able to play freely in nature, to enjoy the spring scents, to get in touch with Mother Earth and experience local life.
If you visit Greece during the Easter period you would want to be in the heart of the celebrations, so your accommodations should be in a local town or authentic village, not necessarily by the sea. In the summer, on the other hand, you should seek accommodations by the water so your kids can play in the sand away from cars or other traffic.
If you have decided on a destination in the mountains, check the photos of the establishment you will choose in the Internet because if the weather is bad, you may end up spending quite a bit of time inside. Don’t forget to take one or two board games with you, both for your kids and the adults in the group. Wooden motel units in small villages in the woods would be a great choice. Having good company is even more important in this context.
Vacation with kids rule #3: Good company
Ideally, you will have decided to take this trip with close family friends whose kids are also good friends with your own kids. Also, ideally, your friends and you agree on the handling of the altogether expected friction, bickering and quarreling among the little ones, bound to take place now and then. Good company takes the edge off such incidents and entertains the kids by focusing them on new points of interest. In addition, it balances out the group by creating two distinct subgroups, one of adults and another of young ones.
Plan your trip in Greece with kids with the guidance of an expert MAMAKITA family travel advisor choosing from the team’s suggested family trip itineraries or make your request to create your family’s next travel story!