Outings can be stressful if you are travelling with children, as their expectations differ from that of adults. The stress of finding right activities for each age group and food needs leaves you with no time to relax. Here’s how you can keep your brood happy while you enjoy your ‘me’ time…

According to Girish Shenoy, a banker and a father of two daughters (aged eight and three), a vacation with kids is a sure way to get post-vacation stress. “You not only blow your budget with extra add-ons, with each kid demanding something other than what is provided in terms of food and amenities, but also come back tired instead of refreshed,” he says. The story is more or less similar for every couple with children. Shubhra Jaiswal (39) too, came back stressed from her recent holiday as there was nothing much to do for her two kids at the place chosen by her for the family’s vacation. “I realised that finding beforehand what activities or fun things are there for your kids is of supreme importance,” says Shubhra. She suggests going for holidays which are all-inclusive, so that needs of each and every person of the family is taken care of.

What to do when you are there

 – Attend to the needs of the kids first so that they don’t complain about being bored. Once they are happy, it is easier for you to take time out for yourself and indulge in your favourite activity, like reading a book on the beach.
 – Give a break to the rules that you have made for kids while on vacation. But make sure that they get enough rest in between activities. You don’t want to go back home with an ill child as that would really be a downer.
– Many resorts offer in-room babysitting or kids’ activities. Make use of the service so that you can have a relaxed evening. If that’s not available, order room service when the children are asleep.
 – Most all-inclusive resorts have, at least, one buffet restaurant. This makes things easy for the parents, as kids can eat quickly — without waiting for an order to come — try new foods and serve themselves. But do keep an eye so that they don’t waste food.
 – Even though resorts offer games at the kids zone, you should carry those that your children enjoy playing at home. Remember, there will be extra charges levied on you at such places. So, having your own game with you will help you save some money.
 – Plan your days in such a way that more exciting and tiring activities are done in the beginning of the schedule and restful activities are taken up towards the end, leaving you less exhausted.
 Do some pre-planning before you book
 – Inquire about the activities, operational hours and what ages are eligible for admission at kids’ clubs in the resort. Also find out about the charges.
 – Find out if there are ‘adult only’ areas and restrictions on certain sites in the hotel or resort. While it can be advantageous as you can have your peace and quiet in those areas, this also eliminates certain restaurants and activities you were looking forward to try with your little ones.
– Try to draw up a rough schedule of things you’d like to do with the kids. It eliminates incessant questions like ‘When are we taking a boat ride?’ or ‘Can I go to the fun zone now?’ It is good to have a schedule even on holidays when you have to deal with children.