Whether you’ve agreed to watch your Grandkids over Summer break, or you would just like to spend some quality time with them, you may be thinking of taking them on vacation.
You may be thinking, “Can I handle that?!” Of course you can, and here some great tips to make it the best vacation possible!
1. Give your Grandchild a special role.
When children are out of their element, it’s important to give them a sense of self-control and importance. If they’re old enough, designate them as official vacation photographer, or let them choose where to eat every night. Have them be in charge of little chores throughout the day to make them feel useful.
2. Always carry favorite snacks with you
Kids are creatures of habit, and having snacks they’re use to having at home will make things go more smoothly! When a child’s sugar level drops, they can get “hangry” (angry + hungry) so to avoid tantrums and meltdowns, keep the snacks flowing!
3. Have “Must-Have” Medical Forms
Pack a medical release and a medical authorization form. The first gives medical personnel permission to treat your grandchild in an emergency, and the second grants you temporary authority to make medical decisions on behalf of him or her. And be sure to print them out and have parents complete them, scan and email them to you. If you hold on to them electronically, they’re almost impossible to lose.
4. Know Your Grandchild’s Allergies and What To Do About Them
Make sure you not only know of any allergies, but you know how to treat an allergic reaction. If your grandchild has an EpiPen, make sure you practice using it, and don’t forget to bring it with you. If you’re flying, be sure to carry any prescriptions with you on to the plane, don’t leave them in checked luggage in case they get lost.
5. Learn Ground Rules and Schedules in Advance
Try to keep your grandchild on a similar routine that they are use to at home. Know their bed time, at what time they nap. Even seemingly small routines like sleeping with their favorite teddy bear can be a big deal when they are away from home. It will makes things much easier on you in the long run!
6. Schedule Downtime
Make sure to leave time during the day to “do nothing.” You’ll find you will all need a breather to just relax. Whether it’s when they’re taking a nap, or watching a movie, quiet time will help everyone keep their sanity!
7. Don’t be Afraid to Say No
Vacations are meant to be fun, but don’t spoil your grandchild rotten, or going back home to reality will be very hard on your kids! Set limits when it comes to spending money, junk food and activities. Limits are good, even while on vacation.
8. Make a Plan in Case You Get Separated
If you’re headed somewhere crowded, there are some important safety precautions you can take. Each morning take a picture of your grandchild, that way if they become lost, you have a picture to show staff of what your grandchild is wearing that day. Also, write down your phone number in permanent marker on some first-aid tape and stick it on the inside of your grandchild’s shirt hem. Practice with them who “safe people” are (park staff, police officers, etc) and it doesn’t hurt to choose a meeting place if you become separated as well.
9. Bring a Comfort Item From Home
Whether it’s a favorite blanket or stuffed animal, make sure to bring it along to help bridge the gap between vacation and home. Just be sure to leave it in the hotel room to avoid the risk of losing it!
10. Always Trust Your Gut
You are capable, and you have a special connection with your grandchildren because they’re yours! Pay attention to those still small feelings when it comes to taking care of them, and you will be more than fine! Enjoy your time with them and make precious memories!
Taking grandkids on vacation is a win, win situation for everyone!