Family Travel A to Z: Kids Club
I want to start this post by stating very clearly – you are not a bad parent for wanting to take advantage of a kids club on your next family holiday. So kick that guilt to the kerb right now. You are as entitled to all the benefits of a relaxed break away as anyone in your family and if the only way to ensure that is to utilise child minding services while you are away, then do it.
I also want to acknowledge that kids club may be something your child is not suited to. Autism or another diagnosis may make kids club a much longed for dream. Never give up on that dream. More and more providers are coming on board with activities and programs to support autistic children. So, don’t dismiss this post out of hand just because kids club doesn’t seem like a possibility for you or your child right now.
Case in point – on our 2015 US odyssey, (knowing we were going to be away with our kids, 24/7, for just over 3 weeks), we made plans for the kids to spend time in kids club at our Walt Disney World resort (Beach Club) and on our Caribbean cruise. At that time, our eldest two kids (both on the spectrum) were 11 and 9, and they were looked after really well in both settings. You never know, if you never give it a go!
If this hasn’t yet convinced you that utilising kids club on a family holiday is a good idea, then check out these reasons to use the services of a kids club.
6 REASONS TO USE THE SERVICES OF KIDS CLUB
You deserve a holiday too
This is the number 1 reason to put the kids into kids club or in another child minding service while on a family holiday. It’s tough being a parent on holiday. You can never really relax as you are always at the beck and call of your kids. When you are not doing something for them, you are probably worrying about what they are up to. And there’s always that extra stress of being on edge and making sure they behave themselves in unfamiliar places while travelling. If there is a kids club or babysitting service available to you, take advantage of it. If only for an hour or so. Just an hour or so to yourself will give you the reserves you need to be the loving and caring parent you want to be.
It provides the kids with some structure
An organised kids club, holiday activity service or babysitter will more often than not set a structure for kids on a daily basis. Kids do thrive on structure and love knowing what’s coming next. Sometimes the chaotic and laid back nature of family holidays can cause them stress and lead to anxiety. Kids clubs give them the reassurance of a routine amid the non-routine of a normal family holiday. There will often be a daily schedule of activities to check out which will help them understand what’s to come and give them a sense of control over the day’s activities.
It’s the ultimate boredom buster
If you are getting those regular complaints of “Mum, I’m so bored!” then kids club could be the answer for you and for your kids. Most kids clubs are jam packed with activities, projects and workshops to keep kids entertained for hours on end. Some even take the kids on excursions or cultural tours. Kids clubs and other child minding services also provide the perfect place for kids to meet holiday pals – who knows, you might find that their interactions extend beyond the hours of operation of the kids club service and eventually grow into long term friendships.
Are you looking for a little romance?
Having a few hours to yourselves could be the perfect way to bring a little romance into your family holiday. You could share a special meal together, enjoy a romantic walk along the beach or just sit and chill by the pool. Another benefit of kids club – if you are sharing a room with your kids on holiday then there will probably not be too many opportunities for nookie while they are within eye-shot and ear-shot. A few hours away in kids club could be just the thing to bring back the romance in the middle of your travels. It’s up to you to use that precious kid free time to your advantage!
Tired of interceding in every fight?
There comes a time in every family where even the most loving of siblings have simply had enough of each other. Then the fighting starts – and never ends. The beauty of most kids clubs is the emphasis on grouping kids according to age. More often than not this means that your kids will be separated and given some necessary time apart. That way everyone wins. You get some adult time. Your kids get to have some time on their own. And peace should come to all…
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
If you’ve been driven more than a little insane by being in close quarters with your family, then a few hours apart will help you all rediscover your real and abiding love for one another. It’s true, absence does make the heart grow fonder. Well, in theory this works. In the end, you want to enjoy a fun and happy family holiday together. Sometimes a little time apart will provide some much needed perspective and make you all so much more grateful for the chance to make precious memories together as a family.
Do you have any suggestions for better utilising child minding services, such as kids clubs, on your next family holiday?
Learn even more strategies, systems and tools to successfully travel as an autism family in our new guide – click on the image below to get your copy today!