While there is no time quite as precious as going on a family vacation, but having to travel with kids can be trying at the time. Being full of energy, kids tend to get quite bored when spending long hours on the road or waiting at airports or train stations. When that happens, they can be quite a handful, so here are 20 tips you can use when traveling with kids to your next destination.
Don’t let fear hold you back
You might not look forward to all the complications when you travel with kids, but keep in mind that there is a beginning, middle, and end which means that it will not last forever. Just go and enjoy yourself as much as you can.
Plan Out Your Trip
You will need to plan your trip a little more extensively so that you have plenty of time to get to each location. This means that you cannot expect to keep the same pace when you were by yourself compared to carrying along with the kids.
Explain the trip to your kids
If they are new to this type of travel, explain what will happen in general terms so they can prepare themselves. You can even make a practice run to the airport with them, so they know what to expect. It may help them to adjust better for the trip.
Keep track of your child
Even the most attentive parent can lose track of their child, so you might want to invest in a GPS tracking device that your child can wear and write your name and phone number on them in case they get lost.
Measure your pace
Remember, your kids do not have the long legs you do, so keep things slow when traveling with your kids. This means that you will need to plan for extra time as well since it’s better to be a little early than a little late and must drag your kids along. Let everyone else get into a rush, you should just take things slowly so that everyone keeps up.
Start with the essentials and add extra wipes, diapers, and pacifiers. A couple of snacks is fine along with a change of clothes for the baby or toddler. Think about the weight of what you are carrying as that will help.
Create an activity bag for each child
This is a small bag with a few goodies like cheap toys, coloring books, or even Legos that will help keep them entertained. This will help keep them occupied during long trips.
Think about location
When planning your trip, consider the location of a hotel or vacation rental that you are staying in. It not only needs to be conveniently located but easy to access. Climbing up steep steps or having to walk extended distances will wear kids out quick.
Diapers, pull ups, and wet wipes
If your kids are still in the diaper and pull up stages, then you’ll need to be prepared. Having plenty of wet wipes and spare diapers and pull-ups just in case an accident happens.
For kids who can eat solid foods, snacks can be life-savers when your toddler gets hungry. This works well when meals may be few and far between. Be sure the snacks are healthy and tasty, so they enjoy them.
Go with the stroller
If you cannot decide between a carriage, sling, or stroller for your baby, go with the stroller since it is the most versatile. It’s also small enough to take aboard the plane and with blankets makes the perfect napping place.
To take a car seat or not
It may seem crazy to lug around a car seat, especially when having to pay for an extra airline ticket. However, you will always have one for every car ride. Choose one that has a pushchair feature, so you are not carrying it all the time.
Check out airline rules
If you are flying, check out all rules by the airline that have to do with children. This includes things you need to take, such as a car seat, travel cot, pushchair, and the like. You may find that there is an additional cost, or you might have to put some of the gear in with the luggage.
Smartphone or table to the rescue
Your mobile device may be a life-saver as it can provide many hours of entertainment for your kids. Be sure to load it up with apps that reach their favorite cartoons, music, and shows.
Distracting your kids with video or music is a great idea, but you don’t want to bother the passengers. So, invest in a couple of pairs of kiddie headphones so they can listen in private while you can enjoy your trip.
Use vacation rentals if possible
While hotels are nice and have nifty features like babysitting services, a vacation rental is better because you can make it your home away from home. It works well for children with special diets, but you also save considerably on food.
Nothing like a pool
When choosing between a pool and the sea, a pool is perfect for little kids and far less scary as well. Plus, it’s easier to keep your eye on them.
If your kids are scared of flying, role play with them and have your child pretend to be the pilot or maybe the flight attendant. By occupying their minds through role-playing, you can help ease their fears.
Stick to normal sleep cycle if possible
This means choosing flights where the kids may be ready to fall asleep, so they can crash on the plane. However, it might have the opposite effect, so be prepared for that as well.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
While you cannot prevent all accidents and bad incidents from occurring, you can be prepared for them which will bring you a little peace of mind. Knowing that you are prepared will let you enjoy your trip a little more.
When you travel with kids, the adventure of getting there can be managed if you abide by these tips and remember that no matter what happens, it will be over with at some point.