Finding the perfect way to spend a family vacation can be daunting and expensive, especially when you have kids of varying interests. Even when you lock down the when and where, you still have the inevitable question of what: What on earth will you do all day?
To answer that question, we’ve put together a list of fun family vacation activities based on your kids’ personalities that are all-around winners – no matter where your family travels take you.
For the Wild Child
Kids with endless energy will start to feel cagey after a few hours in the car or hotel room. Instead of hoping they can contain themselves (spoiler alert: they cannot) plan for an activity where they can stretch their legs. A nearby park or swimming spot, if the weather’s nice, can be a great inexpensive option.
When all else fails, think big: Airplane and railroad museums usually cover a wide expanse of land that will take some time and energy to explore. Plus, they’ll learn a bit about infrastructure and transportation history while sprinting around the exhibits.
Tip: Even if your kids are bouncing off the car walls, you can at least keep everyone a little cleaner and more comfortable by stocking up on Puffs Plus Lotion tissues, a Tide-to-Go Stain Remover pen (for cleaning up stains from on-the-go meals), and a roll of Bounty paper towels.
For the Bookworm
Independent bookstores are great places to take your little one with a love of reading. Plus, many serve coffee (or are near a coffee shop), so you can sip on your favorite morning beverage while the kids peruse the racks. And as an added bonus, buying a book or two will serve double duty as reading material and a treasured memento from your trip.
For the Animal Lover
Some kids love nothing more than animals, so why not add an animal exploration to your spring break itinerary? Zoos and aquariums are obvious choices available in most cities, but if your family is more of the outdoorsy type, try to find a farm nearby that offers tours. Your kids will not only meet the animals, but they’ll learn something new about how our food grows and where it comes from. As a bonus, they might be more eager to help out with grocery shopping and dinner prep when they witness firsthand the love and effort that goes into getting food from the farm to the market.
For the Adventure Seeker
Zip-lining, rock climbing, nature hiking, white-water rafting – accommodating your little adventure seeker can be surprisingly freeing for the rest of the family, too. So instead of planning every minute of your trip, take a day to enjoy the fresh air and simply let the day unfold on its own.
Tip: Keep the car smelling fresh and eliminate odors – even after a long day on the trails – by clipping Febreze CAR in a spring scent to your car vent.
For the Deep Thinker
Sometimes, the best way to keep your kids entertained is to give them the space and freedom to entertain themselves. For your child who loves to learn new things, consider adding a stop at a historical site or science museum to your list of must-see attractions. Let them explore a different culture, learn about a time long past or see the world through a new lens by giving them the gift of exposure. Bonus: You’ll have plenty of new and interesting things to talk about on the journey home.
For the Art and Music Lover
Museums and art exhibits are wonderful, but they aren’t the only place your budding artist or musician can inform their creativity. Outdoor sculpture exhibits are experiential and kid-friendly – after all, if they have to withstand the elements, they can probably withstand a little roughhousing. Consider checking the local entertainment listings for live performances scheduled while you’re in town, or simply stop to watch street performers if you’ll be in a big city.
Once you know where you’re headed and what you’ll be doing, it’s time to get the kids excited for the trip. Have older ones help you plan your itinerary, or let everyone pick out their own travel-sized toiletries to help them see that the trip really will happen soon. And for tips on how to travel with young kids, check out our list of travel tips by age.
What new stops can you plan for your vacation this year? Tell us in the comments!