Managing children on a vacation requires a careful balance of rest, food, and entertainment. If you are worried about long periods of travel, why not consider a bus tour to break up the monotony? Not only does this free you to spend time with your child instead of behind the wheel, these tours are also designed to combine a variety of activities and rest together. The following tips can help ensure your tour is a success.
Tip #1: Ask About Booster Seats
Depending on the age and height of your child, the window may not offer a clear view. When booking your tour, inquire about booster options. Some newer buses have windows that nearly reach the floor, so height isn’t an issue. For other tours, the operator may have booster seats available for your use, or you may be able to bring your own. If you do bring your own, make sure it has your name and address affixed to it in some manner.
Tip #2: Bring Along Entertainment
There may be long stretches on the bus. This can be nice if your child is tired or content to gaze out the window. It can be less pleasant if your child gets bored. Bring along some special entertainment that is just for the bus. This could be a specially downloaded game or video on your smart phone or tablet, or you can use typical road trip games. For example, many tourist information centers have check-off lists or books for children, which allows them to look for special sites in the area you are touring. These are also typically educational. If you are traveling with multiple children, consider having a friendly competition to see who can find the most items.
Tip #3: Don’t Forget Snacks
Most buses allow drinks, or at least water, on the bus, so make sure you have plenty for everyone. Call ahead to see if food is allowed. It is best to select a tour that allows food if you have younger children. Older children can probably wait until a pit stop. This way you can have a few special snacks available to treat your child with when they get hungry.
Tip #4: Take Advantage of Stops
Longer bus tours will have pre-arranged stops for meals or to see the sites up close. Ask for an itinerary of these stops beforehand and then research each one. For example, a stop near a historic marker may not be of any interest to your toddler, but they may enjoy the park half a block over to quickly burn off some energy. Check each stop on a map and make note of anything that may be a family friendly alternative or addition to the scheduled stop. This way you have a back-up plan if your child needs a break from the basic tour.
Contact a bus tour company in your destination area to find out more.
For bus tours in New York City, contact a company such as Open Loop New York.