When I first got married and had my first son I kept hearing people say to me that I was not going to be able to travel for years until they were older. Everyone seemed to think that it is impossible to achieve successful traveling with kids because of all the hassle.
However, I did it and learned that yes, it is a lot different than traveling solo or with a partner but it is still a lot of fun. All you need to do is to take care of the details and avoid that moment when kids get cranky or overwhelmed.
My Top 5 Family Travel Tips for Traveling with Kids
1. Take Things Slow
Kids can walk as fast as you plus they also get tired much faster than we do. So my suggestion is to reduce to half the amount of things to do and places to visit that you normally plan in one day. This will allow everyone to enjoy the experiences a lot more, plus you won’t feel stressed or like you are missing something if you don’t get to do everything on the itinerary.
What you plan for a day should always be set to what your youngest child can handle.
2. Take everyone’s Opinion into Consideration
In the early stages of your planning process, you should always talk to each of your family members and figure out the one thing that they are looking forward to doing in the place you are going to. This will make them feel included plus everyone gets at least one exciting and memorable experience.
Also, don’t do your kid’s favorites from the very start of your trip. You need to keep them excited and interested.
3. Pack Smart
Create a packing list way before you have to actually stat packing. This will give you enough time to perfect it. It improves your chances of not leaving anything behind and not over packing.
You should also involve your kids during the packing process. That way they feel excited and it minimizes the chances of complaints once you are traveling.
Buying versatile and basic clothes can also save you tons of luggage space.
4. Consider Apartment Rental
There are tons of amazing kid-friendly hotels out there but I prefer vacation rentals. I found that they are a lot more private and allow you to save on food. That is because you get fully equipped homes where you can prepare daily meals and reduce restaurant visits.
You also get washing machines, essential when you have small kids.
Usually, they have two rooms. This gives your kids privacy for a nap while the rest of the family hang out in a separate room.
5. Tips for Flights
Whether you are going on a short or a long flight there are a few things that can make it more enjoyable. One of them is making sure you have some extra clothes on board. Accidents happen and you don’t want your kid to stink up the plane.
Also, try to maintain the same sleeping schedule like the one they have at home. This will prevent you from having cranky kids. This includes bringing their pajamas.
My final tip and probably the most important one is to have an open mind.
I know you put a lot of effort into planning your family vacation and getting everything ready but be open to changes. Chaos and unexpected things can also be a lot of fun and provide some amazing times for the whole family if you handle them right.
What other tips would you give to someone traveling with kids?