When our recent vacation plans fell through, we decided to spend the week at home enjoying down time with the family. As the vacation week wore on, I had completed house chores, wrote blog posts and hosted dinners para la familia. There had been very little relaxation. But when my husband suggested a day trip, I was hesitant. We hadn’t been on a day trip with the family since our toddler was born. Plus, I had plans to answer emails and clean out the linen closet. But, my husband was adamant. We needed to get away even if it was only for the day.
I finally relented. We left the house with no real plans and only a destination in mind. I am happy to say our day trip was a success! And, by allowing ourselves to just relax and enjoy the day without work, chores or electronics, the family had a chance to bond.
PHOTOS FROM OUR DAY TRIP TO WEST PALM BEACH, FL
Although we had no solid plans for our day trip, I did do a lot of pre-planning and employed a few rules. Here are my tips on taking a day trip with tweens and siblings:
- Pick a destination. Research sites that are within a two hour drive from your home and would appeal to you children’s age ranges. With two tweens and toddler, best bets for my family are parks and beaches that allow them to run around and make their own fun. Museums and zoos are great destinations for day trips as well.
- Pack snacks and activities for the car ride. Having snacks, drinks and activity sheets or car games will make for a smoother trip.
- Make a no electronics rule. My kids love to pop in a movie on the car’s DVD player the second they get in. I check my emails, tweet and catch up on news. While all of our faces are glued to a screen, we miss the beauty and learning opportunities outside the car window. On our last day trip, I made a no electronics rule. While the kids (and myself) had a hard time keeping to it, we ended up talking and learning more about our surroundings and each other. It also made the excursion a little more relaxing.
- Take impromptu stops. On a day trip to Everglades National Park, the kids were intrigued by signs for alligator meat. We decided to indulge them. The tweens still talk about the gator nuggets and memorabilia they snagged during that impromptu stop.