Theme-Park vacations are often fun in theory but actually physically, emotionally and financially draining. (At least it is for all the parents involved!) But if that’s what the kids have their hearts set on this summer, stay savvy -and sane- with these tips.
Make sure everyone is dressed comfortably! There’s nothing worse than sore feet or uncomfortable clothing. (Except maybe whiny kids.)
Loose, cotton fabrics and sneakers work best.
Carrying a bookbag around might sound like an inconvenience but so is having to stop every half hour to purchase something you or your group could’ve just brought from home- like sunscreen, water, sunglasses, hats, etc.
Give everyone a lightweight bookbag to pack with a few essential items.
Don’t exert half of your energy waiting in the ticket line. Buy them online. They might even be a little cheaper that way.
Boom! Your first win!
Have the Talk
About a talk about safety and staying together or -if some of the kids are old enough- breaking off in a buddy system. Ideally, everyone should be with someone at all times.
You should also figure out a good meet-up spot and time to regroup, in the event someone’s cellphone dies or doesn’t get service. (Charge your phones before you leave the house!)
No matter if you have a full day or a half day to spend at the park, you will want to prioritize your time. Which rides is everyone looking forward to the most? Which ones could they live without? And figure out your route that way.
Consider going against the flow
If some rides are extra popular, consider going against the flow and hitting all of the shorter lines first to ensure you get to see everything on your list.
Know where the bathrooms are before it’s too late.
If your theme park allows it, pack your lunch. It will save you a ton of time and money. When everyone is ready to eat, all you have to do is find a picnic table, a shady spot, and have at it.
Maybe the compromise can be if you bring your own lunch, you will spend money on ice cream or another special treat inside the park.
Talk about the gift shop before you enter the park to avoid any meltdowns on your way out.
Are you going to stop inside or no? Should the kids bring their allowance money? Or are you gifting everyone a certain amount to spend? (This is another reason why packing your own food is beneficial. It frees up some fun money.)
Don’t forget to have fun. After all, it is a vacation.
Maybe do one thing that scares you. Find a ride you’ve avoided in the past and jump on that one first. Everything after it should be a breeze.