Traveling with children shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, it can be one of the best experiences you have as a family. When traveling with children, it is essential to consider their needs and find the right balance between rest and activity. Bored and tired children quickly become grumpy and frustrated children. Here are some tips for traveling with children.
tips for traveling with children
1. Slow down
Plan for a slower pace than you might usually attempt solo or in pairs. Especially if you are traveling with children and grandparents. Be realistic about what you can see and do when traveling with children. Don’t try to worry too much about your itinerary and take your time. In most cases, the pace of travel should be set to what your youngest child can handle. Plan breaks, snacks and naps in your schedule. If you can avoid grumpy kids, the experience will be much more enjoyable.
2. Determine your family travel preferences
Sit down with your family and discuss your ideas and interests. Memorable trips are those where each member of the family experiences something they love. Discuss budgets, expectations, and how you can use available dollars to plan an exciting family trip. Travel experts have found that the most successful family vacations are those that involve both parents and children in choosing destinations and planning their trip. During these conversations, you’ll learn more about everyone’s needs and discover destinations and activities that will suit the whole family.
3. Be flexible when traveling with children
Avoiding holiday periods when traveling with children and off-season can save you big bucks on flights and accommodation. Even if your children are in school, consider traveling just outside of major school vacation periods. Give yourself the best chance of catching a cheap flight. Leaving a few days or even a few weeks before or after your ideal date could represent a difference of several hundred euros.
4. Prepare the suitcases carefully
Buy a suitcase for your childand another for you and pack the bare minimum when traveling with children, as you can always buy what you need when you arrive at your destination. Roll up clothes and stuff socks and underwear inside shoes. Wear your heaviest clothes during the flight. Encourage kids to choose and pack their own clothes in their suitcase to minimize complaints and teach travel skills. Choose versatile, comfortable clothes and coordinated colors. So, if something is dirty, you only need to change part of the outfit. And get the bags ready with what you need on top first: a change of clothes for dinner, pajamas, or whatever you need!
5. Tips for your hotel or residence
Choose a child-friendly residence or hotel and stay somewhere safe and central, close to local attractions, restaurants, the beach, the park, and preferably within reasonable walking distance. It will save you time, money and keep your kids from getting bored. One of the main features of the Booking.com website is the search by family hotels. Always check offers for families and ask for discounted rates. Also check if the establishment has a swimming pool and a games room: children love these two options. Make sure the hotel has an elevator as carrying strollers, toys and luggage up multiple stairs is no fun! Does the hotel offer multiple cable channels etc?
6. Consider a cruise or an all-inclusive resort
With activities appealing to all generations, food choices suitable for all ages, and itineraries that are both intense and laid-back, a cruise or resort can eliminate the day-to-day decision-making that can cause conflict. Cruise activities for kids are often great.
7. Consider an apartment rental
Most big city hotel rooms weren’t built for families with young children. They usually don’t have fridges or microwaves, floor space is limited, and neighbors can hear every tantrum. But with an apartment you get more space, thicker walls, a kitchen, washing machine and separate bedrooms. These additional facilities on a long stay can make your family trip even more enjoyable.
8. Give it a try and go away for a few days with your children
If this will be your first serious family trip, consider starting with a shorter stay, like a weekend trip near you on a trial basis. It will help you understand what you need in your suitcases, daily routines, how quickly you can get around, and how you get along.
9. Set a family travel budget
Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be expensive. Pick a comfortable budget that works for your family and include purchases such as souvenirs, entertainment, and a few unexpected activities. Again, involve your children to ensure they feel comfortable with your travel plans. From time to time, increase your daily travel budget and don’t limit yourself to traveling for the sake of travel. Go splurge at a famous restaurant, attend a big concert, go to a big amusement park, attend a mega sporting event, go on a safari, jump out of a plane, do something amazing and surprising.
10. Incorporate private or “apart” time
While the purpose of your trip is to create shared memories, it’s also important to remember that children need time to expend energy and enjoy the company of children their own age. Likewise, we parents need periods of rest and companionship with adults. Keep this in mind and be a little flexible on your trip, as children’s moods and interests can constantly change. If you and your children find something you prefer, be spontaneous and follow your desires…