No matter if you’re interested in taking an international trip to Barcelona or a domestic trip to Myrtle Beach, the thought of traveling with kids can be daunting. The traveling pains that frustrate adults, such as traffic or airline delays, could be magnified if you are traveling with children.
But those fears can be overcome when considering that vacations can create a lifetime of family memories. You should not forgo traveling just because of your children. Fortunately, these tips for traveling with kids can help make your next family vacation an enjoyable one.
Plan Your Trip Beforehand
If you are used to traveling spontaneously, you should accept that traveling with kids no longer makes this a feasible option. You’ll want to know exactly where you are going and ensure that you have a hotel reservation when you get there. Hungry and tired children will quickly cause stress on a trip. The last thing you want is to get to a hotel only to find they are out of rooms for the night. Taking time to plan your trip ahead of time will help your family trip run more efficiently.
Give Yourself Plenty Of Time
When traveling with children, it’s recommended that you give yourself more time than normal to travel between locations. This rule should be applied everywhere on your trip, from the initial trip to the airport to the dinner reservation on your last night. Children love to explore, and rushing them will only frustrate them.
In a way, this can be beneficial for you and your spouse. You won’t be rushing around from point A to point B, and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy yourself along the way. Who knows what you’ll see as a result!
Don’t Fill Your Days With Activities
The vacations of full-day hikes and sightseeing tours will have to be put on hold for a while. Children don’t have the attention span or endurance to last all day, and pushing them will only lead to tantrums and tears.
Kendra Thornton, president of Royal Travel & Tours, told the New York Times Travel Guide that you should only set aside a half-day for planned activities or tours. Then, play the rest of the day by ear. Don’t be afraid to enjoy downtime. Perhaps encourage your child to nap in the hotel room. Or, consider activities that you can leave at any time, such as visiting a pool or park.
Buy A Cheap Camera
Giving your kids a cheap camera could keep them entertained for hours. Photography teaches your children to observe and appreciate their surroundings. Plus, you never know what shots they will get from their unique vantage point. One day, your family can look back and laugh at, say, the blurry picture of a rock they took when Goofy and Mickey Mouse were standing a mere few feet away from them. It’s also interesting to look back and see how their photography skills improve from one vacation to the next.
Help Your Children Pack Their Bag
Children should have input on what they bring on their trip, but they should not be given exclusivity when packing their bags. Kids aren’t familiar with packing and will end up bringing things that are entirely unnecessary. 18 different books or an entire fossil collection are not needed on vacation. They’ll only weigh your child’s bag down, tiring them out quickly.
Have A Contingency Plan For Delays
Before you go, think of ways to fill downtime during delays. Games like punch buggy or I-Spy can keep kids entertained for hours in the car, while a game like Alphabet is better suited for air travel. If you find yourself where you need to kill time, you’ll want to act fast to keep your kids from growing bored.