There’s nothing quite as special as taking the grandkids on a magical vacation – especially when it’s to Disney World, the happiest place on earth. Yet when you take the kids on your own it can be more challenging than you may think. Not only will you be solely in charge of them for days at a time, but they’ll be out of their regular routines. Here are 4 tricks that can help assure your grandkids have the time of their lives.

Taking the grand kids to Orlando is a great vacation

Taking the grand kids to Orlando is a great vacation

1.         Pay attention to what they want – not what you want for them

There can be a lot of planning involved in taking a trip to Disney World and one of the biggest mistakes grandparents make is to take too much control. You may think that they’re too old for a character dining experience, but if they tell you they’re interested, trust them. In fact, the more involved they are in the planning process, the better their trip will be – and the less likely you’ll have to rally the troops while you’re there.

2.         Bring them comforts from home

No matter how old your grandkids are, whether they’re 3 or 13, homesickness is a real possibility. Many grandparents think only of the amazing time that’s in store for their grandkids, but the truth is that there’s a lot of stimulation at the parks and it can easily become overwhelming. A simple solution is to bring their favorite blanket, pillow, stuffed animal, or other relic from home.

3.         Make a checklist for several weeks before the trip

There are many things you’ll want to bring with you on the trip – some obvious and some not so obvious. For example, do you have Band-Aids on your list? If not, you may end up with a minor emergency on your hand simply because you didn’t think ahead. Keep a list handy, or make a list on your smartphone, and add items to it as you think of them the weeks before you trip.

4.         Take the time to carefully consider meals

If you’re staying in an Orlando vacation home you can prepare some or all of your meals very affordably. However, you may also want to eat a meal or two in the theme parks. If you’re planning to take advantage of any character dining experiences make sure you book your reservations as soon as possible. They are available for reservation 180 days in advance and many fill up quick. In fact, many of the table service restaurants, which are essentially any restaurants with waitress service, can be unavailable if you simply walk up and try to get seated on the day of your visit.

These simple planning tips will help give you the peace of mind that you’re prepared and will help ensure your grandkids have the best possible time on your trip.