Family vacations can be an incredible and unforgettable experience, but traveling with small children or even babies can be quite a challenge. Gone are the days of smoothly getting through the airport and spending hours and hours in museums. Now that you’re traveling with youngins, you need to reassess your entire holiday and plan accordingly. From the activities you plan on doing to the food and luggage you bring, everything shifts when you’re packing for kids. In order to help you get started without stressing out too much, we’ve compiled ten tips for traveling with kids.
Take It Slow
While you might be used to rushing off the airplane and through the airport, with a baby or kids, you’ll need to slow down. Keep in mind they walk slower or you need to carry them. In addition, you’ll need to have toilet breaks and kids love to explore. Just be realistic about how long each thing will take you and stay patient.
Flights can be difficult for children for a variety of reasons. Sitting still for a long time, keeping quiet, and even getting sick are only a few struggles that kids can face. To make the flight as good as you possibly can, pack enough small toys and forms of entertainment. Anything like coloring books, games that don’t need internet on an iPhone, movies, tv shows, and card games will help pass the time. As for possibly getting sick, make sure to have a change of clothes accessible just in case as well as wipes and sick bags. Hopefully, you won’t need them, but better safe than sorry.
Make Sure There Is Variety
When you pick the activities you want to do and the places you want to explore, make sure there is enough variety so the kids don’t get bored or restless. Be sure to include somewhere they can run around or swim, whether it’s in a pool or at the beach. Museums can be great, just not for a long amount of time as it can get repetitive and boring for kids. By keeping the activities interesting and different, you’ll be able to enjoy yourselves more and make the most of your vacation.
Stick To A Routine
If you’re traveling with young kids, keeping to a routine is crucial. The best thing to do, if possible, is sticking to the same routine you have at home. Habits that can affect a routine, like a bedtime, should be kept while traveling as well.
One way to make your trip amazing is sitting down beforehand and coming up with a plan together, as a family. Meaning that everyone shares what they want to do or where they want to go and so on so that you can plan the trip in a way that everyone will have something to enjoy.
Location, Location, Location
When deciding on where to stay on your trip, pick a kid-friendly hotel. This means that it’s in a safe area, with amenities like a bathtub and a pool, and within walking distance of food outlets, the beach or a park. This way, you’ll save money and keep your kids from getting bored. Make sure there is an elevator since carrying bags and a stroller upstairs is certainly not a fun experience.
When flying for any amount of time, make sure to bring along low-sugar snacks. The last thing you want is the kids on a sugar high while on a plane. Stock up on fruits, crackers, cheese, nuts, granola bars, and the like to keep the kids from getting hungry and cranky.
One mistake parents tend to make while traveling with their young kids is overpacking. You need to keep in mind that what you pack you’ll need to carry with you on the plane. Not only that, but if you pack too many things, it will be difficult finding what you need at the time you actually need it. Stick to things you know you’ll need, like baby wipes, a change of clothes, snacks, games and so on. A great tip is using a backpack as a carry-on since that would leave you with your hands free.
If you have the option, take advantage of early boarding. This way, you’ll be able to get everyone situated and happy without a rush.
Before packing, call the airline and double-check their baggage guidelines so you don’t get stuck at the airport or have extra charges for carrying things you didn’t know cost extra.