Family Holiday A to Z: Fun
Welcome to my A to Z series on surviving, enjoying and making the most of family holidays. As you read this I am on my own 24 day odyssey to the USA with my husband and three little bears – so I am truly living what I am preaching right now! Each post in this series is designed to cover a specific aspect of family travel and provide 5 tips for making your next family holiday more special, fun and memorable. I would love to hear your stories and suggestions too, so feel free to hit me with them in the comments. I look forward to conversing with you on my return!
All holidays should be about fun. No question about it. Even if your holiday involves the stress of lugging multiple children, luggage, pets, toys and bicycles with you. And every part of the holiday should have an element of fun about it too. Even the tedious bits that involve endless asking of that ever eternal question…”are we there yet?”
If fun doesn’t always come naturally to you there are things you can do to bring some fun back into your travels. Take a cue from your kids – see the world through their eyes and start recognising the potential amusement in everything around you. Start a game of tag. Play a board game. Have a game of hide and seek. There are so many ways fun can be incorporated into the everyday.
If after trying this you still feel like a stick in the mud, try out these tips for embracing fun in your next holiday. They should work a treat!
5 tips for finding fun in your next family holiday
1. View the car trip as an adventure
Instead of dreading the many hours of driving in front of you, be proactive and prepare some activities you can all participate in while on the road. They can be as simple as spotting red cars or counting the number of trucks you pass. Or they can be a little more challenging, such as preparing a mini bingo board and getting everyone to keep their eyes peeled for items that can be marked off, like railroad crossing signs, speed limits, pedestrian crossings and school zones (just to name a few). You could even run a scavenger hunt on the run, getting the kids to look for clues when you get to each stop along the way (just make sure you can exit the car first to place the clue!) There are so many ways you can make a long car trip a little less tedious and much more fun by doing a little preparation first.
2. Look for opportunities to play games with your kids while out and about
Don’t you think it could be fun playing an impromptu game of hide and seek in a new location with your family? Or playing tag in a rest stop on your way to your destination? As long as you are not bothering those around you, why not bust into a playground game on your travels. Your kids will love it and you will probably find that you enjoy it more than you expect as well. If anything, it’s a great way to break the boredom of travel and gives the kids a way to burn off excess energy if required. Other games you could play include rhyming games, clapping games, counting games and naming games, just to name a few.
3. Defuse tension by playing a silly game
My husband has the natural knack of surprising my kids out of their bad moods with outrageous comments and introducing them to silly games. Redirecting an unhappy child can often help defuse a difficult situation and help reduce family tension while travelling. One of our favourite silly games is called “Sausages”. One person is in and must answer “sausages” to every question they are asked, without laughing. It is a silly but very funny game and can be played while waiting in a queue, over dinner, in the car or pretty much anywhere. It’s always good to have a few of these up your sleeves when travelling to help out when things look like they may escalate quickly…
4. Challenge each other to take funny photos of each other
This can be a whole lot of fun. While out and about, why not challenge the family to take funny photos of each other? You can make silly faces, pretend you are holding up a local landmark, pose with other tourists or even surprise another member of your family with a prank photo – anything goes. This way, the fun never ends – you will have photographic proof of your day and you’ll be able to look back and remember the fun you had as a family. There is nothing better than the candid and silly photos that get taken while on holidays!
5. Recount your day together by telling some tall tales
Storytelling can be so much fun. Getting together in the evening over a joint meal is the perfect time to go over the day’s events and find out what everyone enjoyed/didn’t enjoy. To make this process a little more fun and interesting, why not invite everyone to tell a “tall tale”, describing an alternate version of their day. Their stories can shed light on the aspects of the day that they enjoyed the most while being very entertaining as well. This is a great way to end the day by going over the events of the day, making each other laugh and enjoying each other’s company all at the same time.
Bonus tip – 6. Try to see the world through your kids’ eyes
Kids see everything in more detail than we do. They marvel at the most seemingly insignificant things and find fascination in nearly everything around them. Try to look at the world through their eyes. Attempt to use this as a tool to find fun throughout your holiday. Kids have the knack of being able to amuse themselves almost anywhere so harness this ability and see whether you can capture the spirit of youthful enthusiasm as well!
Do you have any suggestions for bringing fun back into your next family holiday?