Family Holiday A to Z: Kids Clubs
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!
I want to start this post by stating very clearly – you are not a bad parent for wanting to take advantage of a kids club on your next family holiday. So kick that guilt to the kerb right now. You are as entitled to all the benefits of a relaxed break away as anyone in your family and if the only way to ensure that is to utilise child minding services while you are away, then do it.
On our current US odyssey, we will be away with our kids, 24/7, for just over 3 weeks. That is a long time to be all together in close proximity with little chance of any time out. We managed 10 days straight in NZ but we know that 24 days is probably going to be too much for all of us.
So we have made plans for the kids to have one or two evenings in kids club while we are at Walt Disney World and for them to have a few days in kids club on our Caribbean cruise. We will be spending a whole lot of time with them anyway – more than we would normally at home – so we aren’t feeling any guilt in ensuring that we also get a little time out during our holiday.
If this hasn’t yet convinced you that utilising kids club on a family holiday is a good idea, then check out these 5 reasons to use the services of a kids club.
5 reasons to use the services of a kids club
1. You deserve a holiday too
This is the number 1 reason to put the kids into kids club or in another child minding service while on a family holiday. It’s tough being a parent on holiday. You can never really relax as you are always at the beck and call of your kids. When you are not doing something for them, you are probably worrying about what they are up to. And there’s always that extra stress of being on edge and making sure they behave themselves in unfamiliar places while travelling. If there is a kids club or babysitting service available to you, take advantage of it. If only for an hour or so. Just an hour or so to yourself will give you the reserves you need to be the loving and caring parent you want to be.
2. It provides the kids with some structure
An organised kids club, holiday activity service or babysitter will more often than not set a structure for kids on a daily basis. Kids do thrive on structure and love knowing what’s coming next. Sometimes the chaotic and laid back nature of family holidays can cause them stress and lead to anxiety. Kids clubs give them the reassurance of a routine amid the non-routine of a normal family holiday. There will often be a daily schedule of activities to check out which will help them understand what’s to come and give them a sense of control over the day’s activities.
3. It’s the ultimate boredom buster
If you are getting those regular complaints of “Mum, I’m so bored!” then kids club could be the answer for you and for your kids. Most kids clubs are jam packed with activities, projects and workshops to keep kids entertained for hours on end. Some even take the kids on excursions or cultural tours. Kids clubs and other child minding services also provide the perfect place for kids to meet holiday pals – who knows, you might find that their interactions extend beyond the hours of operation of the kids club service and eventually grow into long term friendships.
4. Are you looking for a little romance?
Having a few hours to yourselves could be the perfect way to bring a little romance into your family holiday. You could share a special meal together, enjoy a romantic walk along the beach or just sit and chill by the pool. Another benefit of kids club – if you are sharing a room with your kids on holiday then there will probably not be too many opportunities for nookie while they are within eye-shot and ear-shot. A few hours away in kids club could be just the thing to bring back the romance in the middle of your travels. It’s up to you to use that precious kid free time to your advantage!
5. Tired of interceding in every fight?
There comes a time in every family where even the most loving of siblings have simply had enough of each other. Then the fighting starts – and never ends. The beauty of most kids clubs is the emphasis on grouping kids according to age. More often than not this means that your kids will be separated and given some necessary time apart. That way everyone wins. You get some adult time. Your kids get to have some time on their own. And peace should come to all…
Bonus reason – 6. Absence makes the heart grow fonder
If you’ve been driven more than a little insane by being in close quarters with your family, then a few hours apart will help you all rediscover your real and abiding love for one another. It’s true, absence does make the heart grow fonder. Well, in theory this works. If things are still tense after the first kids club foray then try it again until you see a difference in everyone’s tolerance and treatment of each other. In the end, you want to enjoy a fun and happy family holiday together. Sometimes a little time apart will provide some much needed perspective and make you all so much more grateful for the chance to make precious memories together as a family.
Do you have any suggestions for better utilising child minding services, such as kids clubs, on your next family holiday?