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Sightseeing and Vacation Activities with Kids

Vacation activities and sightseeing with kids!

Last week in our travel series, our travel experts wrote about choosing accommodations. There’s nothing like knowing where your home base is to provide some comfort before you explore the area!

When you’re on a family vacation, though–be it spring break, summer vacation, or anytime at all–it’s important to plan vacation activities ahead of time. That said, I’ve always said that on vacation, I like to go where the wind blows me. That’s my way of saying I love sightseeing without a plan. Alas, now as a mama, experience tells me it’s sometimes better to have an idea of what we’ll do before we go.

Let’s see what all of our travel experts have to say this week.

Sightseeing and vacation activities with kids: ideas from Dandelion Seeds

My best advice is to incorporate some memorable, fun, and unusual-for-you modes of transportation into your sightseeing activities. Preview the area you’re visiting online, including mapping distances, then decide who in your family can walk, light rail, bike, or tuk-tuk to whatever sights you’re prioritizing. If your kiddos are little, they might get a thrill from an open-family vacationair bus tour, and you’ll see places where you want to return and spend more time. The internet is great, but there’s just no way to replace getting the lay of the land with your own eyes.

One of my favorite vacation activities of all time was a horseback ride through the rainforest of Costa Rica, surrounded by howler monkeys, before swimming in a waterfall-fed pond. Getting there was (more than) half the fun. Make the journey part of your sightseeing adventure. What a wonderful way to make sightseeing memories! Check out our must-have travel items for kids of all ages, too.

Sightseeing and vacation activities with kids: ideas from World for a Girl

“Travelling with babies, toddlers and young children means very slow travel for us. Sight-seeing is spread out and copious amounts of time are spent in play parks and soft plays around the world. We try to factor in outdoor activities every day whether it’s beach time or a short hike. Making sure that the children get plenty of time to run around, be wild and have fun is an absolute Vacation Activitiespriority.

When it comes to family-friendly cultural experiences, it’s all about ancient ruins and history museums for us…From the Acropolis in Athens with a baby to visiting the temples in Bagan, Myanmar with kids we’ve had nothing but amazing experiences visiting historic ruins. When they were younger, we carried the kids around sites in baby slings but now they run around pretending to be explorers. Likewise…we’ve had the pleasure of visiting some amazingly child-friendly museums worldwide. For example, visiting South Korea with kids, we found that almost every museum has a superb interactive children’s museum attached. A brilliant way of combining sightseeing with play.”

Sightseeing and vacation activities with kids: ideas from Tips from a Typical Mom

“Activities and sightseeing on a family vacation are very important to us…We love to be outdoors so we look for a place with a lot of hiking, camping, swimming or historical sites to see. I start by finding the website for the Vacation activitiesdestination we are going to and seeing what the locals recommend. We plan our itinerary around these activities starting with the most active activity since the kids have been sitting in a car or airplane for so long. Next, we look for deals online from websites like Groupon. There is even sometimes a “City Pass” type of card that you can purchase for each family member that gets you into the most popular places…”

Sightseeing and vacation activities with kids: ideas from Mommy and Me Travels

“…I’m sharing my top 3 lessons I’ve learned over the last several years traveling with small children.

  1. Be flexible. Traveling with a baby/toddler means a lot of unplanned activities and stops. It’s nice to sit and enjoy the scenery, smell the roses, or chase a bird ;). Welcome these breaks instead of worrying about staying on a schedule.
  2. Ensure that throughout the events of that day you include fun kid activities. Most museums and architectural places will not keep a kids attention for very long. Plan fun things to do in-between the museum and old church, even if it is just a short stop at the local playground so that they can burn some energy.
  3. If traveling in and around Europe, invest in a great umbrella stroller. European attractions and activities (like taking a metro) are usually much more compact than we are accustom to in the USA…”

More ideas at https://mommyandmetravels.com.

Sightseeing and vacation activities with kids: ideas from Captivating Compass

“E=MC2
Excitement = Museums X Coffee 2 – That was our travel formula before we had teenagers. It was perfect for our little crew. It’s my number one sightseeing and activity planning tip. We’d take in a museum in the morning when we were fresh, stop for a spot of lunch near somewhere that had a place to let the kids get rid of some energy while the parents grabbed a coffee (double shot, of Vacation activitiescourse). Then, it was onto the next exciting activity.

We found that our kids regularly needed a time to just play – at a park, in the water, along a hiking path or out in a grassy field. Museums are fantastic! Art, history and science are all incredibly inspiring, but don’t forget to sprinkle in a bit of free play to let their little brains organize and process all that information. Now that we have teenagers, we still follow this sightseeing and activity formula. It’s worked for so many years, it’s now a comforting routine for all of us.”

Sightseeing and vacation activities with kids: ideas from Grab My Passport

“…Here are our top three tips:

  • TripAdvisor: We usually…read through user comments for additional tips and “can’t miss” ideas.Vacation activities
  • Family Travel Blogs: Obviously! We’ll do a good old fashioned Google search for “things to do in [+ city].” We’ll comb through family travel blogs for the best family-focused activities and tips, as well as “travel hacks” for traveling with younger kiddos.
  • Discount Deal Sites: We’re always checking sites like Groupon or Living Social for deals in the local area. You can find everything on these sites, from discounted shows, activities, restaurants, hotels, and more!

Once we’ve narrowed down our wish list, we plan out each day, leaving room for relaxing, snack times, and free time to just play around. We try to plan out restaurants too, to make sure we won’t need reservations and that they are kid-friendly!” – Read more at www.grabmypassport.com

Sightseeing and vacation activities with kids: ideas from Gofamgo

“Fear of Missing Out or FOMO is real. It’s a common mistake to condense everything into how long the trip is. You’re already there, might as well do it, right?

Try to not be tempted to overachieve. Enjoy and relax. Don’t drive yourself nuts as I did when we went to Walt Disney World for the first time. Have time for rest and cool spots...

Doing nothing should be in your itinerary. Take this time to rehydrate, rest your aching feet from walking, or talk to your family and reflect on what you just saw and experience.” – Read about their rookie mistakes here.

Sightseeing and vacation activities with kids: ideas from World Wise Kid

“…From our experience, giving yourself lots of time, being prepared and staying flexible are key to creating great memories.

Time. Allow yourself the opportunity to ease into a place…We find that discovering sights and wildlife on our own is so much more memorable than taking an expensive tour and having someone else show us and tell us about a new place. Often tours go too fast and don’t allow time to just wander.vacation activities

Being prepared. We try to do background research as a family before getting to our destination to know about the history, culture, wildlife, language and people. A story helps the kids connect to sights. Maps are fantastic visuals.

Be flexible and forgiving. Most important is balancing the kids’ and adults’ needs. Check in with everyone and learn how to compromise. Don’t be too attached to an idea of what the experience should be. You might not have time to see it all but you have an introduction to the place and can plan to return someday!”

Sightseeing and vacation activities with kids: ideas from Disabled Disney

“...We make a list of priorities that are important that we get to experience. Everyone gets to pick 1 thing that is we absolutely have to do. That way everyone gets a say in how the vacation goes. We also look at accessibility for my wheelchair. I normally Google the location to see what is interesting around the destination and also look for tours…”

Sightseeing and vacation activities with kids: ideas from State By State

“…being that we are very budget conscious, we try to participate in family-friendly, inexpensive activities that we all will enjoy. This often includes hiking and playgrounds, but can also be visiting museums and historical sites too. Having an ASTC membership has saved us tons of money and allowed us to visit some incredible museums across the country, for free. If you don’t have one of these ASTC memberships, but you enjoy visiting museums when you travel, I highly recommend getting one.Vacation activities

…By waiting until October to visit San Diego for instance, we were able to save a ton of money because kids go free the whole month. So instead of just being able to buy tickets to Legoland, we were able to visit several attractions.” – More at https://statebystate.net/6-tips-to-save-money-while-traveling-america-with-kids/

Come back next week for packing tips from our travel experts!

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About the Writer

Sarah R. Moore is a published writer, positive parenting educator, wellness advocate, and world traveler. Her work spans the globe, reaching readers on six continents and appearing in publications such as The Natural Parent Magazine, Scary Mommy, and Macaroni Kid.

She has been certified by the Raffi Foundation for Child Honouring.  She wholeheartedly recommends the course for parents, educators, and all others who influence the lives of children. 

She also holds BA / MFS degrees in Journalism, French, and Media/Arts/Cultural Production. Read more about Sarah here.