Travelling with kids may quickly turn from a list of minor annoyances to a never-ending nightmare filled with cranky children and annoyed parents. There are two schools of thought on how to deal with this. The first one dictates that you should give in to the fact you’ll never be as carefree as you were before you started doing your share to populate the planet, and drinking your way to the bottom of a bottle of Chardonnay while going over the holiday pictures of those golden years will do nothing to change that fact. And then there’s the school of thought that suggests that if we adapted our way to the top of the food chain, surely we can manage to put together a holiday fit for adults and their offspring that will preserve the sanity of both parties.
First thing to keep in mind in order to achieve that goal: location, location, location. The farthest away your destination, the biggest the headache involved. And if you’re considering travelling across time zones, that’s a bold and ill-advised move that will no doubt haunt you for many sleepless nights and days filled with temper tantrums. Specially if you’re new to the whole family vacation thing, you might want to start small and go from there.
The UK has a never-ending supply of destinations that can cater to both children and grown-ups for far less expense and inconvenience than travelling abroad. Driving a car hire to Milton Keynes, for instance, for a day at the Woburn Safari Park is a fabulous idea. You can’t compete with cute jungle animals roaming wild. For a relatively small journey, you get a wonderful family experience that will be both entertaining and educational. If your children are Willy Wonka fans, driving your car hire to Birmingham for a trip to Cadbury World is a great way to spend a day filled with goodies. As a downside, that trip will probably prompt back-to-back reruns of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but at least your kids will be entertained, leaving you free to pursue other activities.
Theme parks are also a great way to keep the whole family entertained. The Waterworld on Stoke-on Trent is the best choice for water enthusiasts, and if your kids are more of the thrill-seeker type, then the Blackpool Pleasure Beach in Lancashire is just the thing!
The key to a successful family outing is to make sure you can find activities that will bore neither yourself nor your kids. Find a middle-ground and use it as an experience to bond with your children! Maybe you can no longer go trekking in the Himalayas as before, but that’s no reason not to have a great time out!