Lower your expectations! That’s it.
I never went on a family vacation as a kid, not one. Maybe this is why I used to expect my kids to be so overwhelmed with appreciation on a trip, they would be perfect angels with an expression of constant awe and jubilation on their little faces. When they were anything but grateful and excited, I would get annoyed. I must’ve said a thousand times through the early years of parenting, “Do you know how lucky you are?” and “Do you know what I would’ve done to be able to go on a vacation with my parents?” My annoyance would translate into diminished fun for everyone. At some point in my older age, I realized this was my problem, not theirs.
– On a beautiful snowy mountain, sporting very expensive gear and an even more expensive lift ticket, cold hands will still lead to complaining.
– In crystal blue waters, under a sunny sky, bug bites still itch and sand will still get into eyes.
– On a fully equipped cruise ship, complete with super slides and arcades, boredom is still boredom.
– In Disney World, despite living characters who look exactly like the characters on TV, fear of strangers and large stuffed things will still prevail.
– Even at one of the seven wonders of the world, little legs will still get tired of walking and you will end up with a rider on your shoulders.
Perspective is a wonderful thing. Some of my favorite vacation memories are of very imperfect moments. Change of latitude does not always result in a change of attitude. The trip is paid for. Even if you have to ignore your children, just enjoy it!