Traveling is exciting and adventurous, but there is a lot to consider when traveling with kids. Each family knows there is not a one-size fits all, and that’s true for how to travel with kids as well. However, there are some tips and tricks I have learned over the years that continue to make things a little less stressful.
Being prepared doesn’t mean planning the entire trip out minute by minute. But it does mean having some pre-planned ideas of how the days may go, what you need to pack (always go less than what you think!) and having some overall structure for the kids while away from home. The younger your kids are, the more likely they will need some structure while they are out of their daily routines. Always bring a first aid kit and if you are traveling by plane, a change of clothes is recommended. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks!
“I’m bored!”, is something that kids of all ages tend to say, so don’t get worked up about it! It’s okay to be bored sometimes. But when you are traveling with kids, bringing things to keep their attention during down time is a must. This can be a book for those old enough to read, an iPad, games, coloring books, or whatever will hold your child’s attention for even a short period of time. We tend to play a lot of “eye spy” during our travels.
Spend the Money
Though we all may have a different opinion of what we are willing to splurge on, we can all agree that there are some things that are worth the money! For some, perhaps it’s the meals – a local treat or drink in a souvenir cup – but for other it’s the experiences – a fast pass at the park or a VIP ticket with special perks! Whatever it is, just know that it will cost a little more than what you want to spend, but that’s what you are there to do; create lasting memories and experiences for you and your kids.
Rinse and Repeat
Some of the most fun can come from visiting the same place. This is especially true when you found somewhere that everyone enjoys and becomes more comfortable. Plan your next trip and get the whole family involved in some of the decision making. That way the kids can take ownership and reduce potential complaints along the way.
Just remember why you wanted to travel in the first place and understand things are going to go “wrong”. Some of the best memories we share as a family are the stories that come out of all the “wrong” moments. Enjoy the time away!