Traveling with your family can be pretty tricky without the proper planning. Traveling with your kids can become quite a hassle if you're not careful, but planning out your trip and preparing the essentials will help you cope better with these difficulties.
Read on for the best tips on how to prepare for traveling with kids so that you and your family can avoid stress and have more fun on your adventures!
19 Best Family Travel Tips With Kids For An Extra Fun Vacation
Here are some of the best tips to ensure you are completely prepared with all the essentials and fun activities before you embark on your travels.
1. Choose Your Destination Wisely
Will you need self-catering accommodation to suit your family's dietary requirements? Or, do you need an all-inclusive hotel to give you and your partner a break from cooking for a while? These are things you need to consider about your destination, along with the services your hotel offers, like:
- Laundry facilities (children are prone to accidents)
- Daycare facilities for if you and your partner wish to have a little alone time
- Activities for you to enjoy throughout the day (tennis, hiking, swimming, beach activities)
Think about your family and any specific needs they may have, and factor this into your decision on where you'll go. Also, consider what kind of holiday your children would prefer. If they don't like hot weather, a beach vacation wouldn't be such a good idea.
2. Plan In Advance
Planning everything is essential. You need to know what you're doing and when you'll be doing it. Come up with a travel itinerary that includes any additional traveling you'll be doing when you reach your destination and the activities you have planned for each day.
Having a precise itinerary will allow you to pack appropriate clothing for the activities and entertainment you will be enjoying on your holiday.
3. Consider Travel Times Thoughtfully
It can be cheaper to book flights at less convenient times, but you must consider whether your children will be compliant with being woken up at 3 or 4 in the morning. If this doesn't seem like too much hassle, and your kids are used to early mornings - then go right ahead. However, most children will be unhappy with being woken up in the middle of the night, which might get your holiday started on the wrong foot.
4. Don’t Overpack, Travel Light, And Pack Essentials
If you overpack, you're going to be left with heaps of laundry when the trip is over (as you won't be able to tell what's clean or dirty), and your bags will be cumbersome. Try to plan your family's outfits for each day, and maybe one or two extras. Traveling light will mean less laundry when you get home and fewer suitcases to lug around the airport or cram into your car.
Be sure to pack a medical kit equipped with the essentials, too, like allergy medications, painkillers, and car sickness tablets (with plenty of plasters for potential boo-boos).
5. Snacks! Snacks! Snacks!
If you're going on a road trip, you don't want to be stopping every twenty minutes when your children are hungry. Hungry kids can cause tantrums and quite a bit of trouble, so stock up on snacks to give your kids throughout the journey (try snacks that take a long time to eat, as this can provide a little entertainment and keep them occupied for a while).
If you are flying overseas, be sure to bring snacks too. Your kids may not be accustomed to foreign foods, meaning they will need some home comforts to see them through till the end of the trip.
6. Make Lists
Make lists of all the things you need to remember to pack, and write a to-do list for each day of your trip to ensure you get everything together and ready for the day ahead. This way, you won't forget anything resulting in bored and unhappy children or a potential hissy fit.
7. Pack Your Entertainment Carefully
Kids, especially tiny children, need help staving off boredom while traveling. If you're on a road trip, you will grow tired of the question 'are we there yet?'.
If your kids mustn't use technology, think of other activities they would enjoy on a flight or in the car, like a book, podcast, or certain toys they like to play with.
Of course, the technology works like a dream for keeping your children entertained on long journeys. They can watch a film or play games on a tablet until your journey is complete. Be sure to choose the right entertainment to put in your carry-on bags.
8. Prepare For Jet Lag, And Use It To Your Advantage
If you are traveling to a new time zone, jet lag is inevitable. There are some ways you can offset jetlag, including using essential oils. Some great essential oils to use include:
- Lavender essential oil - if you're struggling to sleep, try sprinkling a few drops of lavender oil on you and your family's pillows to receive its calming and soothing properties.
- Lemongrass essential oil - if you're feeling sluggish throughout the day, try inhaling some lemongrass essential oil from the bottle to help you feel bright and fresh.
You may also wish to pack some peppermint essential oil in your carry-on bags or keep some handy in the car on a road trip. Peppermint oil can prevent headaches and soothe both nausea and anxiety - a lifesaver when traveling with kids involved.
9. Plan For Stops At Sights, Not Service Stations
Road trips can be pretty tiresome, mainly if you don't make any exciting stops on the way. You can make the road trip part of the whole family trip by stopping at theme parks and taking day trips on the way to your destination.
Take a look at your route, and see if there are any theme parks, national parks, or other attractions you can visit along the way. You can get your kids out of their car seats for a while and stretch your legs. Taking the time to make these excursions can result in a successful family trip for young toddlers and kids.
10. Pre-Book Attractions And Activities
If you're planning to visit some attractions and have some activities in mind when you reach your new destination, then it's best to plan. If you don't plan ahead, the activities you want to do on your family vacation may be fully booked, which is especially likely during the school holidays.
So, make a few calls and pre-book tickets and slots for all the attractions and activities you have in mind for your family vacation. This way, you can avoid disappointment, and your whole family will have a great trip.
11. Take A Road Trip
A family road trip is an excellent idea. If you have teenagers, the car journey will give you a chance to reconnect without distractions. You can chat with your kids, bond over music, create a collaborative Spotify playlist.
When you take a road trip, be sure to plan where you'll stop so that you can have separate sleeping areas and some quiet time - being confined in a small space with your whole family for a few days could push you to breaking point otherwise!
12. Include Variation In The Trip
If you're planning on traveling abroad for your next family vacation, you may want to ensure that your plans don't just involve lounging by the pool. Most destinations have much more to offer than just a beach and a pool, so take a look at the best attractions in the area and make plans to visit restaurants, national parks, and tourist attractions. If tourism is your primary goal, be sure to include some downtime in your schedule, too, maybe a free day for your family to relax. Variety is essential when it comes to making travel plans.
13. Let The Kids Play, Let The Kids Be
Your kids will want some time to themselves, so consider involving them in kids club activities at your resort or letting them make friends by the pool. Your kids will enjoy their vacation much more this way, and you will get some alone time with your partner. Some kid's clubs even offer nighttime activities like crab hunts on the beach, which is the perfect excuse to slip away for a romantic dinner!
14. Bring The Kids Toys
No matter where you go, young kids need a way to entertain themselves, whether with pool floaties, footballs, or card games. Sitting in hotels can be pretty dull for young kids when they don't have a form of entertainment. So, think about where you're going and what games your kids might like to play when you're there.
15. Try To Look For Animals
If there aren't any attractions on your road trip or traveling to an area rich with exotic wildlife, looking for animals is an excellent activity! You can hunt for lizards, squirrels, or exotic birds. This will entertain your kids, and it's a perfect excuse for a nice family walk.
16. Stick To Existing Routines With Kids
Your children will likely feel out of sorts as they transition to a new place. To help them adjust, stick to their sleep schedule. If your children are used to having nap time, then do not deviate from this. Set time aside to make sure they get their power nap; otherwise, they may be sleepy and want to return to the hotel room right in the middle of dinner.
17. Go To Nature Destinations
Nature destinations are a great way to turn your kids' heads away from their screens, get some exercise, and experience new surroundings. Nature destinations are a great way to immerse yourself in your surroundings and see unique wildlife. If you're stuck on activities for your itinerary, nature destinations make a good choice.
18. Be Flexible
Not everything is going to go to plan. Your kids may get travel sick or simply not feel like doing the activities you had planned for that day. Be flexible to ensure your kids are comfortable and enjoying themselves, and prepare to change your plans if needs be.
19. Live In The Moment
With the responsibility of planning a trip comes a little stress. Instead of thinking about your next destination, be sure to take a deep breath and soak in the experiences around you. This trip isn't just for your kids, and you need to enjoy yourself too!
If you follow these family travel tips, you're bound to plan a fantastic trip for yourself and your family! Enjoy yourself, ensure your children have fun and make the most of your trip!
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