How to keep the kids happy on holiday
You'd think it would be easy to keep the kids happy on holiday, but sometimes entertaining the little ones can be a bit of a challenge.
As you know, kids tend to have short attention spans and require constant stimulation and entertainment. You may be happy sitting by the pool and reading your book, but they would probably rather be running around a theme park!
It's a good idea to have a few tricks up your sleeve to keep them happy when there are no roller coasters or water slides in sight.
Here are some top strategies for putting a smile on their dial no matter what the holiday has in store.
Hungry kids = grumpy kids
It's amazing how sweet and cheerful kids can be when they have a full belly! On the other hand, when kids are hungry they can turn into mini monsters!
Holidays can be full on, so be sure to start your day with a good, healthy breakfast to keep your little ones energised and alert. Pack plenty of snacks in your bag in case they start to deteriorate throughout the day, and make time to stop for a nice lunch.
If you choose to stay in a Mantra holiday apartment, then you will have the choice to prepare your own meals before you head out - this could be a lifesaver if you have a large, hungry family!
Get your game on
Most family holiday destinations in Australia require a bit of driving. You may also feel you're constantly in the car if you want to explore your destination thoroughly. For example, up in Tropical North Queensland (TNQ), you may drive out to surrounding rainforests, or in the Gold Coast you may want to go exploring several different beaches.
The moral of the story is: be prepared to play some travel games!
"I Spy" is a classic car game and perfect for exploring a new area. A few rounds of this should keep the kids entertained for at least an hour!
Another great game is "What Am I?", which is perfect for slightly older kids. One person will have the name of a famous person in their head and the others will try to guess who they are by asking questions.
To make it really fun, pack some prizes in the car, such as lollies or stickers.
If the games start to get old, another great idea is to pack some music that the whole family will enjoy, or even some audio books such as Harry Potter or the Hobbit.
The thought of watching movies during a car trip when you were little may seem ridiculous, but thanks to today's modern technology your kids can enjoy their favourite films when on the road.
Simply charge up the family tablet or a little portable DVD player and let them sit back, relax and watch a DVD. This is a game changer for really long car rides!
They could even check out Pat Rafter's family vacation to Tropical North Queensland and make their own list of things they'd like to do in the area.
Other items of technology that may go down a treat include music players and video games.
Stay somewhere comfortable
No matter how well-fed and entertained your kids are, chances are there may still be a few temper tantrums if you are staying somewhere uncomfortable.
Be sure to pick a hotel, holiday apartment or resort that is family-friendly, so that your kids will feel at home and safe.
This will also help them to get a good night's sleep, so that they will wake up fresh and happy for another day of sightseeing and exploring!