Colorado attracts thousands of domestic tourists each year for its outdoor activities, skiing and hiking. And a growing number of families are also choosing the Centennial State for their vacation. Here are a few tips and suggestions for first-time visitors with kids.
Choose the Right Accommodation
From Colorado cabin rentals and family-friendly resorts to campsites, there’s almost every type of accommodation available. It’s essential for parents to always take their kid’s best interests in mind before booking up their dream room. Staying far from civilization might be an ideal retreat for you and the partner, but it might be incredibly boring for the kids. Instead, carefully research where you’re going to stay and make sure it has something to keep the little ones busy. This tip applies to anyone who plans to visit Colorado regardless of if you’re here to go skiing or for a city break in Denver.
Choose the Right Season
The landscape and climate in Colorado are both diverse. Scorching summers with temperatures in the 90s and the subzero winter freeze should make the weather play an integral role in choosing when to visit. Consider if the children are familiar with the warmer summer temperatures or if it would be better to come in spring instead? New flowers sprout in spring and the leaves change color in fall. The choice depends on the parents.
Don’t Go Overboard on the Activities
This one is sometimes easier said than done. If you’re heading to Breckenridge for a weekend of skiing or to the Rocky Mountains, it’s tempting to cram in as much as possible. But when you’re travelling with kids, their priorities should always exceed your own. Instead of planning a busy itinerary or a long day of activities, take it easy. Young kids will need lots of breaks and rest to stop them becoming cranky. Older ones and teens might be able to keep up, but you should consult them first. When the whole family goes on vacation, everyone’s needs and interests should be equal. It’s up to you to make sure this balance is met.
Know Where the Nearest Hospital or Medical Centre is
Accidents, sickness and illness can happen on the turn of a dime. One minute you’re all fine and suddenly someone slips and gets injured and the family holiday instantly becomes a disaster. In a place like Colorado, accidents are much more likely to happen as compared to back at home. Long days in the wilderness, on the ski slopes or just being outdoors increase the risk of falls. The chance is always there, and as a parent, you should know the location of the nearest medical center or hospital and have their telephone number at hand. It’s also a good idea to make sure your insurance covers accidents in Colorado.
Don’t Hike Too Far
With all the mountains and trails passing through some of the United States’s most beautiful landscapes, enthusiastic hikers might want to spend all day out on the trails. Some are easy and take less than an hour to complete. Others are much more strenuous requiring several hours and overcoming tough obstacles. Before you start on one of the longer treks, think if it’s fair to bring the kids on such a difficult hike. If you’re an active family with enthusiastic children, it might be possible to tackle it. And in which case go ahead, but bring plenty of supplies and water. If not, try the smaller ones first!
Have a Rest Day
Nothing can make a well-behaved child cranky and moody more than accumulated fatigue. Sure, an active day will help them sleep better on the first night. But if you keep at the same pace every day, sooner or later, everyone is going to be hit with tiredness. And kids will suffer more than you. Consider spending at least one day relaxing and doing something the kids like. This might be visiting some of the more child-friendly attractions or just having a leisurely day in Denver. Either way, having a break from the hectic days will lift their moods and spirit. If you’re flying or travelling long distances to reach Colorado, it might also be a good idea to spend the first few days relaxing.
Make it an Educational Trip
As a responsible parent, you should always take an interest in your child’s education. And family vacations can provide the setting for an impromptu field trip in ecology, biology and conservation. With all the national parks in Colorado, combining a trip to see the attractions with some background might encourage your child to develop an interest in the subject. Spend a night on the computer before you go and show them pictures of the landscapes. Explain the types of wildlife and animals that live there. You could also create puzzles for the kids to complete as you go sightseeing and give them a checklist to spot animals. Information boards are always a good source of information too.
Get the Kids Involved
Spending time with the family is always a fun experience. But why not try to make it even more wonderful for the kids by asking them what they want to do. Let them choose a few of the daily activities or suggest a place to visit. Keeping everyone involved keeps everyone happy.
Remember to Have Fun
But the number one thing to remember is to have fun. Keep the kid’s priorities above your own and factor in a few rest days, and you’re likely to have an unforgettable family vacation. And if you’re smart, you can even turn it into a fun educational experience too!