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Top 5 Unconventional Family Travel Tips to Improve your Trip

Family travel can be one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have. Everyone having a wonderful time together, sharing laughs, fun, and adventures. It can also be a very stressful time for parents. Long flights, foreign customs, and changing routines can cause friction and frayed nerves. These 5 family travel tips have been excerpted from “The Ultimate Guide To Family Travel” to help reduce stress and maximize fun on your next family vacation.

Top 5 Unconventional Family Travel Tips to Improve your Trip

Top 5 Unconventional Family Travel Tips to Improve your Trip

Family Travel Tips to Let The Kids Choose The Destination

Before you immediately hit the back button on your browser, hear me out on this one. Granted, some ideas they come up with may fall into the category of climbing Mount Everest while surviving on gummy bears and Coca Cola for a month. But some ideas will seem genuinely inspired, and may flip your idea of the perfect vacation on its head.
Even if they don’t have the final say on where you should go, involve them in the process. Children are full of exploration and innocent wonder. What better time to let that shine than when planning a vacation? If you’re already set on a place then get the kids involved anyway. Let them think they chose the destination and get them involved in choosing some activities. It will make for more enjoyable family travel all round.

Pack Light… Or Not…

If you’ve read travel guides or websites you might expect me to say something along the lines of, “Pack light, having less suitcases makes you more mobile, agile, and makes it easier to get from a to b,” well guess what? I’m not. When you’re traveling with children, mobile and agile are often not your top priority, especially if you’re not a very seasoned traveler. Making sure that you’re prepared is. I’m not saying that you should try to stuff your entire house into your case, but their is a happy-medium.

Two simple principles can help you decide how much or how little to pack.

First, do you really need to be light and agile? If you’re going to get off the plane and get private transportation to and from your hotel then no, not really. If you’re going to be moving multiple times, and be using buses, trains etc. then you probably don’t want to be humping the kitchen sink along with you.

Second, how important is the item that you want to bring? For the first pair of shoes that you pack the answer to this question will be “extremely, if I don’t bring them I’ll be stuck in the room all day every day,” But as you go through your packing list you’ll start to find things that are less critical. This is when you start to weigh the value of an item, against its physical size and weight.

Packing light has its upsides, as does bring a few potentially unnecessary items, don’t just assume one way is better than the other without consideration to your situation.

Direct Flights Are Not Always The Way To Go

Sometimes you need to put some thought into whether you’ll want to take a direct flight or multiple flights with layovers. Don’t just assume the direct flight is better, there are pros and cons to both. Lots of families have lots of different opinions on this but, it really comes down to personal preference.

The benefits of a nonstop flight is that you arrive faster. Once you’re on the plane that’s it. You give the kids their space, you let them get their stuff out and you do your best to keep them amused for the next 10-15 hours. That being said 10-15 hours stuck in the same spot can become very tiresome for young kids.

The benefit of breaking your journey up, is that the kids have time to get up out of their seats, run around for a bit and gain respite from the monotony of sitting for long hours. Airports often have play areas or arcades. Here the kids can run around for a bit and burn off some of that pent up energy that has been building up over the last few hours.

Different children will respond better to different methods here, only you know what your kids will respond to best.

Leave An Empty Seat Between You And The Kids

No, I promise I haven’t lost all of my marbles. Leaving an empty seat in the middle of a row is a trick frequent flyers often use to get extra space on the plane.

For example, If you only need 3 seats and end up in a plane that has 4 seats in the middle row, you can leave one of the middle seats empty, and take the two outside chairs. If the flight does fill up, the person who ends up in the empty middle chair will gladly swap for an aisle seat. If the flight doesn’t fill up, this will be one of the very last seats to be taken, and you stand a fairly good chance of getting yourselves a little bit of extra room.
Take a look at how many seats you need and the configuration of the plane, to see if you can choose seats that may give you a bit of extra space.

Family Travel Tips to Getting On The Plane. First, Isn’t Always Best

Many airlines will allow people traveling with young children to board first, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should. If you’re going to be stuck on the plane for the next few hours, you don’t need to extend this buy an extra 30 minutes. Pack your carry on so that if there’s anything you want/need for takeoff you can grab it, then put your bag away.

You can take the time that everyone else is rushing to board the plane, to take the kids to pee and stretch their legs one more time. You can then pass through the gate after the lines are gone. This means a much smoother and less stressful boarding, and a slightly shorter time on the plane.

While different families have different preferences regarding when to board the plane, there is one situation when you should never wait until then end. This is if your plane is full. On a full plane overhead storage can quickly fill up. If you end up being last on the plane, you may have to store your carry on much further away than you would like. If the plane is full, try to get on early and secure a bin that is close by for your travel necessities.

Don’t Assume Conventional Wisdom Is Best

During family travel don’t automatically assume that conventional travel wisdom applies. All of these tips come from years of travel experience and discovering what works best for us, and what doesn’t. Traveling with children can be challenging but also incredibly rewarding at the same time. Don’t get put off by fear. Thousands of people travel successfully with children every day, and the beautiful, rich growing experiences to be had, far outweigh the few difficult or stressful times.

Top 5 Unconventional Family Travel Tips to Improve your Trip

These tips come directly from “The Ultimate Guide To Family Travel”. Whether you’re absolutely terrified of traveling with children, or are just looking to pick up a few extra helpful tips, this book is an excellent resource. Go to Amazon and download your copy today.

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