Typically when parents plan their family vacations, they purposely leave out all the cultural and historic stuff. But give the kids some credit. Don’t be afraid to add the Uffizi to your itinerary on a visit to Florence, check out the Alcazar next time you’re in Seville or see the Acropolis on your stopover in Athens. Instead, try one (or all) of these four ways to get them to behave at museums and other historic sites. The results just might surprise you.
Kids forget to misbehave when they’re preoccupied. So turn yours into a busy little shutterbug and let them snap snap snap away. (Calm down, it’s all digital, you can delete the blurry ones later.) Make suggestions on what might be a great capture and collaborate on ideas as you go along. Who knows — it may even turn into a real hobby one day.
Assuming your kid is old enough to understand what they’re looking at, offer a little background. He or she may actually get some real value out of the experience and take the memory with them for years to come. Be sure to make your explanation easy to follow and age appropriate (no big words) and be prepared to marvel at how engaged they might be.
Give Up the Map
Let your little control freak be in charge of your route. Kids like maps and they also like telling their parents what to do, even if they don’t know where they’re going and you’re not actually letting yourself be bossed around. This is a great way to get them involved and feel like they’re part of the plan.
Bribes, Bribes, Bribes
If all else fails, bribes go a long way. Another round of gelato. A turn on the coin-operated kiddie ride you walked past and dishonestly mumbled, “It’s out of order.” A gift shop trinket. One of those giant balloons that vendors sell in the piazzas all summer long that give kids nightmares when you take them back to the hotel room and they cast a shadow on the ceiling. Only as a last resort, Mom and Dad. But offer up a bribe if you need to.
Parents — what are your tricks?
– 3ONTHEGO’s new”How To” series features tried-and-tested travel hacks that help you travel smarter and more easily with your kids. Stay tuned for more tips this summer. You’re welcome! –