On Kids and Family Vacations

Kids are well, kids. They have way too much energy, they can make you want to hug them and never let go at times, and at other times, tear your hair apart. During family vacations, especially, their “fresh eyes” and excitement that is so pure is, unfortunately, also accompanied by the compulsory incident when they go red in the face and scream so much, you wonder how. But no vacation is complete without them! The excitement that radiates from them as a result of things that we’ve begun to take for granted gets to me every time.

From my vacation experiences as a kid, I also know that satisfying them is way hard or shockingly easy, depending on the way you look at it. Our parents had, for instance, bought my little brother and me a model toy train set from a gift shop, this one time. But what really really made our day was cutting out pictures of mobile phones from the box of our parents’ newly purchased phones (It was the era of the Nokia 1100 then), sticking it on cardboard and talking to each other through our pretend-phones throughout the trip. This really amused passersby and sort of baffled our parents, especially since the train set was used twice or thrice, at most.

Also, “monuments” and “scenic routes” bored us to death. There were only so many gardens we could gush at and so many miles we could walk. It was the roadside cotton candy stall that made us clap our hands with awe! And the gift store next to the EXIT sign of the monument. Of course, I guess that was just us. There probably are tons of other kids who appreciate these things. But if the kid is going to like Disney World more than the museum or Euro Disney more than the Eiffel Tower, do not exclude these things from the itinerary. Other things that we’re really glad we did was collecting souvenirs in the form of shells, Polaroids, random “journal entries” of my stay written in my then loopy cursive… Making a “scrap book” of things they’ll remember ensures that they have a bit of the memory with them throughout their life.

Along with the usual “sites to see” and so on, I guess an equal amount of mindless, unaccounted for “plain family time” goes a long way. Just sitting by the beach, playing a game of throwball, lounging by the pool and having an impromptu picnic (even better if the kid is involved in preparing for it), is as important and enjoyable as “getting the feel of the city” or “soaking up in the culture”. Vacations are a time when everyone is off schedule so turning it into another scheduled run-around might just kill it. I loved visiting the Taj Mahal and Jurong Bird Park fascinated me, but ask me what I remember the most, and it’s definitely my dad finally having time to crack jokes and be relaxed, my mum enjoying breakfast that she didn’t have to wake up for three hours earlier to cook, running around by the pool and playing a quiet game of carrom: the “boys” of the family versus the “girls” in the hotel’s game room.

This post is a part of Indiblogger’s Happy Hours Activity, courtesy Teddy Travelogues. Visit their website here: http://membership.clubmahindra.com/TeddyTravelogues/index.html

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