Many parents dread the idea of traveling with kids, anticipating airport chaos and mid-flight meltdowns. However, there are families who defy this stereotype, demonstrating that with a touch of planning, the world can be as much a playground for children as it is for adults. Here are some helpful tips for new parents who dream of embarking on journeys with their little ones.
Start Traveling Young
- It’s beneficial to start traveling with kids when they are young as they adapt easily and look forward to traveling as they grow older.
- Don’t hesitate to go out to places with your kids right from the start, as it helps both the parents and kids to get used to traveling.
- Plan the trip considering both your and your kid’s interests.
- Be flexible with plans as things may not always go as planned especially with kids around.
- Be realistic about what can be achieved in a day, especially with younger children.
- Don’t expect to maintain the same travel pace as you did before children.
- Let go of stringent schedules; be prepared for things to go slower or differently than planned.
Plan Around Children’s Routines
- Consider nap times, early bedtimes, and feeding schedules when planning your day.
- Make allowances for rest breaks, especially when sightseeing or exploring new areas.
- Engage kids with activities and places that excite them like parks, beaches, or interactive museums.
- Allow kids to lead and choose activities whenever possible, making the trip enjoyable for them as well.
Choose Kid-Friendly Destinations
- Opt for destinations with activities and attractions that will keep children entertained.
- Some families found staying closer to home or picking places within a 3-hour drive to be more manageable.
- Choosing a comfortable and interesting place to stay is crucial as kids might need to nap or rest during the day.
- Some parents preferred staying in places like a 1000-year old Italian villa or a former castle in Scotland where the surroundings are part of the experience.
- Some parents found that having a nicer hotel with facilities like an indoor pool helped when traveling with kids.
- Some families find renting cars more convenient to manage kids’ needs on the go, while others preferred public transportation, especially if their children enjoyed it.
- Using car seats on planes can make flights more comfortable and safe for kids.
- Inflatable booster seats are great for older kids and are easy to pack.
Packing and Luggage
- Pack necessary items like snacks, entertainment, and comfort items to keep kids content during travel.
- Keeping snacks handy can keep kids occupied and less cranky during travel.
- Tablets can be useful for keeping kids entertained during long journeys or waits.
- Be prepared for more luggage, especially with the essentials for kids. But try to pack light yourself. It’s important to ensure to carry all necessary items for your kids.
- Carry a good backpack with multiple pockets to carry snacks, drinks, and other essentials.
- Engaging in local experiences, like visiting playgrounds or local amusement parks, can provide authentic and enjoyable experiences for the family.
- Plan around meals to ensure that there’s something for everyone, and avoid long waits at restaurants.
- Opting for road trips and local explorations can be a more manageable way to travel with kids.
Maintain a Positive Outlook
- Focus on the joy and memories being created with family, even if the travel experience is different from pre-kids travel.
- Factor in the added costs of traveling with children, such as additional plane tickets.
Involve Kids in Planning
- Include older children in the planning process to get them excited and invested in the trip.
Learning from Each Trip
- Each trip can be a learning experience on what works and what doesn’t work for your family. Reflect on each trip to make the next one smoother.