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How to Keep Tots Happy on a Family Vacation

Updated: Nov 29, 2018

If you're taking your kids on a trip to the Caribbean or Mexico for some fun in the sun & sand, it's important that you make sure they're entertained. Of course, keeping your children happy means you face less stress, & your family vacation should ultimately be relaxing & worry-free. However, it's not always easy to keep tots content. While you'd rather be basking on the beach, they have some energy to expend. You might be itching to go see a historical landmark, while they might have no interest or get bored. So how do you make sure they're happy while enjoying yourself, as well?

Here are some top tips for ensuring a calm, enjoyable & temper tantrum-free trip:

On the plane First of all, you're better off choosing a destination that's just a few hours away so your children don't get restless. For example, Cancun, Jamaica & the Bahamas are all a reasonably short flight from anywhere in the U.S. On the day of your departure, make sure to bring an activity pack for each of your kids to keep them occupied on the flight. Coloring books & games that aren't too noisy will prevent them from getting antsy, & make the flight go by much faster. Hungry kids get cranky quickly, so remember to give them each their own snack packs after take-off, too. Avoid any sugary foods that can make them hyper & eventually crash. Instead, go for a satiating combination of lean protein & carbs, like apples & peanut butter or whole grain crackers & string cheese.

At the resort Especially if you have very young tots or picky eaters, be sure to scope out which restaurants at the resort or nearby have kid-friendly menus. A vacation in an exotic locale offers a great opportunity to expose your children to some new kinds of cuisine, so you might want to order a few appetizers or a platter of foods they've never tried. Of course, it's OK to let them order their pasta or chicken fingers, but encourage them to take a bite of the exotic foods as well.

Since kids frequently have a tough time getting to sleep in a different environment that they're not used to, it's helpful to pack blankets, stuffed animals, bedtime storybooks, soothing CDs or other familiar items that will make them feel at home. Of course, don't forget to bring beach toys to keep your kids busy while you're working on your tan.

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