Holidaying with kids is a tricky affair. As tricky as marriage in parts. You do the best of the planning, prepare yourself for the worst, still things surprise you. You let yourself free, casual as the word casually is and you gift yourself the best of the moments.
There is no checklist which works for all. There are no guidelines that tells you how to enjoy a holiday with kids. During my holiday on Goan beaches, the thing that helped me the most is breaking my pre-conceived notions. Things I did, failed in and experienced. Here is all.
Pack up the essentials, but not to the extent of packing the entire house for your kid. With holiday on cards you are taking the risk of taking the kid out of the comfort zone, but trying to recreate the comfort away from home is anything but a holiday. There are things that are unavoidabale, and it is subjective. In my case it was the rice cooker and the Fisher Price pot. First aid kit and Cornflakes. You choose yours, and restrict it.
Make plans to break plans. Making plans is imagination, breaking them is adventure. Holidaying needs both. I made plans to build sand castles, but with star fishes, jelly fishes and crab encroaching the beach badly, we just took a stroll. Instead, we threw the kid in the swimming pool. She managed fairly well. I planned to feed her khichdi and curd. Ended up, feeding her chicken gravy and cheese cake. She survived.
Tell stories. Before taking off, during holidays and after coming back. It helps increasing curiosity, and parents can encash that fairly well while holidaying. Stories started doing rounds while we have just booked the tickets.. of blue sea, gutsy fisherman, pretty mermaid with hat, boy who paint the shells. Eventually, spotting shells on shores became the obvious game. Wearing hat became the daily ritual. We collected stories there, while walking by the sea. We packed them tightly and bring them back. They now often come up during dinners and snacks. While bathing the kid or putting him/her to sleep. These stories are supplements. Boosting their imagination and memory.
Introduce kids to new people. Anyone and everyone. Introduce that chef who wears a white cylindrical hat, that guy who wears red jacket and saves lives of those at trouble in the sea, the old lady who makes mats out of coconut leaves. You will help your kid, expand his/her world. Bringing new people into his/her thinking and helping them stay using your stories.
Break rules and relax. Holiday is for you too. Refill your batteries, while you have someone else to cook for you. Holidays level spouses. Here, no one is a bread earner or butter manager, both are just a guardian to the kid on a holiday. Tear the to-do list in your brain. Pamper yourself, and each other. Observe people. Read books. Gulp Wine. Splurge. If at all you have to use your brain on a holiday, plan your next holiday.
Afterall, holidays are to unwind. Unleash the hidden you to experience fresh moments and preserve them for future conversations. Happy holidaying!