For many parents, family vacations can sometimes feel like more work rather than a chance to relax. Not only do you need to prepare provisions for half a dozen people, but you’re practically packing half of your house for just one weekend.
Do you think that bringing four children to a water park weekend is already a challenge? Try bringing four children who can’t swim! The stress of thinking that one or two of them might get lost or drown in the kiddie pool is simply horrifying.
But, despite all this, one fact won’t ever change: making your children’s school break memorable is definitely worth every sweat, minute, and cent you spend.
Rather than avoiding these trips altogether, you can find ways to make your aqua water park vacation less stressful and more enjoyable for you. Here are five tips on how you can do just that:
1. Choose the Biggest Space You Can Afford
Choosing the biggest room may be more expensive, but it will surely be worth it.
For big families on an overnight getaway, it is recommended that you book the largest rooms available. This might come in the form of a suite with pull-out couches and a private room for the adults or a room with several bunk beds for older children. Either way, the point is to keep all your kids in the same place while creating a separate space for you and your partner to relax in.
If possible, try to upgrade to a cottage complete with a kitchen and separate smaller bedrooms. While this may seem like an unnecessary expense, it will do you good to have such areas to get some relaxation done while still keeping your little ones close.
2. Make the Kids Wear Life Jackets
They may not look cool or teach your kids how to swim, but life jackets can definitely prevent them from drowning. This would be helpful if you have toddlers aged two to four, especially when the little ones want to join their older siblings in a wave pool. Of course, you should still make sure that they stay within arm’s reach, just in case.
Many water parks require children to wear these vests until they reach a certain height, or restrict certain sections for the use of older or bigger kids. Others offer life jackets to anyone who wishes to use them.
The bottom line is that having your family wear these safety devices can help lessen your worries – if not remove them altogether – and help you enjoy your vacation more.
3. Feed Your Brood Before the Pool is Within Sight
One major issue that parents with three or more kids face when going to water parks is the appeal of water and slides. Whether you expect it or not, there’s a huge possibility that your children would immediately run towards the pool the moment you arrive, even without having their lunch first.
This is the very reason why you must make sure your children are fed before the pool is within sight. This way, you won’t have to spend all your energy trying to gather them in the lunch area at the exact moment you arrive at the water park.
To do this, you can pack a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches you can eat on the way or in your room. Just make sure no one in the family has peanut allergies.
You can also prepare a quick breakfast of muffins, doughnuts, and several fresh fruits. Doing this can help you save both money and time as you no longer need to spend hours finding a food establishment with tables big enough to accommodate your big family.
4. Establish a “Me Time” Agreement With Your Partner
Vacations may often mean hard work for parents, but you don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The solution? Some pre-arranged "me time" for both you and your partner.
For example, you can split up for one hour per day during your water park weekend to give you and your partner time to explore the adult facilities and get a break from watching the kids. Some water parks offer spa massages that are most appealing for mommies, while daddies can spend some quality “me time” at the gym.
5. Bring Your Own Kiddie Rides
While all your children may already be at an age where they can walk without any help, spending the entire day splashing, sliding, and simply enjoying the water park facilities can leave them exhausted. This means you might need to carry one or two of them back to your room. The problem is, you'll most likely be in the same state after all the activities of the day.
When this happens, it would be best for you to bring a wagon or a kid’s stroller on your trip. Not only can it serve as kiddie transport, but it can also help you haul all your belongings to and from your accommodation.
Here’s to a Stress-Free Water Park Weekend
Bringing a big family to a weekend getaway in a water park can be challenging, but you don’t need to get stressed because of it. With the right amount of planning and enough preparation, both you and your children can enjoy the experience to the fullest.