Who doesn’t dream of the ideal beach vacation? Hot sand. Cool water. Cold drinks. If you are like many parents, the days of international getaways are on hold or less frequent than your pre-child days. But do not dismay, you can get that Mexico feel right next door in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Penticton in the summer offers 30-degree temperatures, sandy beaches, festivals, farmers’ markets and lots of family fun.
If you have ever traveled with small children, you know how nerve-racking it can be. The stress level kicks up a notch when you are flying. Even short trips can be exasperating with an inconsolable toddler or multiple children. Maintenance delays and aircraft issues, traffic jams and construction, and many other un-anticipated issues often extend an already exhausting experience. Luckily, with a little bit of pre-planning, there are some easy ways to keep the kids occupied and happy while traveling, even on long trips.
My 10-year-old daughter stands motionless before a large black-and-white photograph of two girls on a beach. Nearby, her 12-year-old sister studies a photo caption, while my youngest tugs me toward another set of pictures. We linger unexpectedly during a summer afternoon in the gallery hosting this unusual traveling exhibit about Anne Frank. One would never guess the moans and complaints preceding our visit - moans and complaints that often surface at the suggestion of something new. But this successful outing gives me hope.
As a family of five, we don’t fly if we can drive. However, with extended family on the other side of the country and three boys close in age, I can’t deny that we’ve been the parents on the plane with the shrieking, crying children; the ones that quickly become everyone else’s nightmare. Through trial and error, we discovered that there are a few things you can do to make everyone’s trip a lot more cheerful, while minimizing the stress of a long plane ride.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2017 Calgary’s Child