5 tips to follow when traveling with your kids.
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Traveling as a family is a great way to build memories and expose your children to the many wonders of the world. If you wait until the perfect time to take that trip with your child, it may never happen. Make the most out of this time together by approaching the trip with the right plan and attitude. Here are five tips to follow when traveling with children.
Choose your destination wisely
The number one indicator of how successful your trip will be is how well you choose your destination. When traveling with children, it is imperative that you choose a location that is kid-friendly. You also need to consider the ages of your children when planning your trip.
Younger children will likely enjoy a more relaxed trip such as a beach vacation. Older children will appreciate a trip through a national park or a big city adventure. When looking to please a wide array of ages, a theme park destination is usually a hit. It is also important to choose your lodging accommodations with kids in mind. A condo or suite is generally more suitable for families, especially if it provides you an extra sleeping area or a kitchen to prepare meals.
Plan flights with child comfort in mind
One of the biggest challenges of traveling with children is air travel. Now is not the time to try to save money on flights by choosing a long day of travel or departures scheduled at off times. Do not mistakenly schedule your flight during your child’s normal sleeping time. The excitement of the flight may inhibit normal sleeping patterns and exacerbate the situation.
Be sure to pack plenty of snacks and entertainment to make the flight go more quickly for your child. If you need to make a connecting flight, make sure to leave plenty of time for the layover. Letting your child burn off some energy between flights will go a long way in ensuring a more enjoyable second leg of the trip.
Be prepared with a vehicle rental
While it may be exciting to rely on public transportation or rideshares on an adult-only trip, you will be more comfortable if you rent a private vehicle for a vacation with children in tow. Do not skimp on the size of the vehicle to save a few dollars.
If your budget allows, it is a good idea to spring for an infotainment system as well as a built-in navigation feature. Before you hit the road, be sure to mentally prepare for the most common type of road emergencies that you may encounter. Your vehicle may get a flat, your oil may be low, or you may accidentally lock your keys in the car at the worst moment. Know that accidents happen and eventually something is likely to go wrong on your trip, so don’t get flustered if you need to call a car locksmith or tow truck.
Although it may be tempting to bring your entire home with you on the road, it is more practical to travel as lightly as possible with children. Buying things like diapers and wipes when you arrive at your destination will save valuable space in your luggage and lighten your load. Be sure to pack your carryon wisely, especially if you are traveling with infants and toddlers.
Prepare for flight delays by bringing extra diapers, outfits, and food for your little ones. If your kids are old enough to handle the responsibility, you should consider getting them their own piece of luggage on wheels. This will lessen your burden while teaching your kids how to take responsibility for their own belongings while away from home.
Go with the flow
It is important to find the right balance between having a good structure to your trip and having room built into your schedule for spontaneity. Everyone will have a much more enjoyable trip if you let the children lead the way.
For example, you may have big plans for dinner out when your toddler wakes up cranky. Instead of forcing the issue, consider pivoting and ordering takeout and taking it to a park where your child can play and you can enjoy your food.
Traveling with kids is an adventure on another level. With the right research and attention to detail, you are sure to create lasting memories while you boost your family bonds in the process.