Traveling with your kids can bring a sense of joy you never knew existed. There’s nothing more magical than viewing the world through their eyes and making new memories together. As rewarding as traveling with kids can be, the idea alone can be very stressful and overwhelming. For many parents, the thought of disrupting their already fragile routine is too much to bear. Don’t let your fears get the best of you! Being exposed to new surroundings is critical to your child’s curiosity and development. Not to mention, your own sanity! For those still having doubts, here are 6 tips to execute successful travel with the kids.
Outline The Trip
As mentioned in our 5 Ways to Prepare for Your Next Family Vacation, managing expectations is critical. Make sure you explain the trip to your young ones to give them a sense of what’s to come. Naturally, there will be some deviations from the original plan but everyone should have an idea of what to expect. This way no one will be disappointed by the itinerary. This will also help give you a sense of what the kids are most looking forward to you so you can keep them engaged throughout the trip.
Allow Yourself Plenty of Time
When traveling with kids, you’re bound to move a bit slower than you would as a solo traveler. Not to mention, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong when you’re traveling with little ones. Whether your kids left something behind or decide to throw a temper tantrum, you need to be ready for anything. Do yourself a favor and buffer lots of time to ensure you’re not constantly rushing to every destination. No one wants to spend their entire trip on edge so cushion more time than less to ensure you’re not in a constant state of stress. Even if you budget too much time, the alternative of missing a flight or tour would be way more painful.
Pack Lots of Snacks
This tip might get overlooked but there is nothing worse than a “hangry” child. Make sure you pack lots of snacks so that your kids always have access to something to eat. When traveling, you need to be prepared for any scenario. Whether that means your flight getting delayed, or a line lasting longer than expected, you’re going to want to make sure you can provide a quick snack on-the-go. Kids aren’t the only difficult ones to deal with when they haven’t been fed. Make sure you have options for the adults too so everyone can remain in good spirits.
Don’t Be Shy
Traveling with the whole family can get expensive so don’t be afraid to ask if there are any good deals for kids throughout your journey. Often there are discounts for transportation, meals, and attractions but you won’t know unless you ask. Inquiring about deals for kids will help you stretch out your budget even further so don’t let your ego get in the way of some serious savings. In need of additional tips? Don’t miss our Family Vacation Ideas on a Budget: How to Get the Most out of Your Trip.
Keep Tabs on Your Child
The excitement and chaos of a new location can throw any parent off their game. Whether you’re asking for directions or trying to buy tickets, it’s easy to get distracted. Make sure your children remain close at all times. Before you embark on your trip, reiterate the importance of this to your kids so that they are doing their part in staying safe. Unfortunately, even the most mindful parent can lose sight of their child. If a child does get lost, make sure they have your contact information available in their pocket, memory, or whatever creative means necessary.
Balance Your Digital Usage
While most parents love the idea of a digital-free trip, it’s unrealistic (and not in your best interest) to enforce this on your children. With so much time spent traveling and waiting, it’s crucial that your kids stay entertained. A bored child is not the most pleasant travel companion. On the flip side, make sure your kids aren’t spending too much time on their electronic devices. The whole purpose of your trip is to experience new things together and your kids can’t do this with their head down. Make sure you set a good example and limit your own digital usage!
Traveling with kids isn’t easy but it’s absolutely worth it. Your kids will experience all sorts of new things and you’ll all make memories that will last them a lifetime. Don’t let fear get in your way. Executing a successful trip with the kids is totally doable – see for yourself!