Gone are the days when having children means your travel life has to end. Nowadays not only is it possible to travel with children, but it’s beneficial for their development and your family bond. I’m not saying there won’t be bumps along the way, but with some extra planning, you’ll have a great family getaway.
- Make sure to pre-book
Being spontaneous doesn’t work as easily when you’re traveling with children. To lessen the stress for you at your arrival, try and pre-book everything you can including your flights, accommodations, tours, and other activities. You can even make reservations for your meals. At the end of the day, you’ll feel great going into your trip knowing that most of the things you want to do are already planned out and all you have to do is show up.
- Choose the right flight time
If you’re embarking on a long journey, you’ll want to choose your flight time wisely. Most experts agree that booking a flight around your children’s normal bedtime is the best option as there is a higher chance they will sleep on the plane. If you have a connecting flight, make sure you have plenty of time to get to your gate, stop at the bathroom, and grab more snacks and drinks for the last leg of the trip.
- Pack less
It’s easy to overpack, especially when you’re traveling with kids. Many parents like to keep consistent routines for their children so they tend to bring EVERYTHING they would use at home. And while it’s a great idea, in theory, it can be difficult to juggle heavy luggage, kids, and a bunch of moving pieces when you’re traveling. Plus, chances are you can buy most things at your destination if you forget anything. Remember, less is always more when it comes to packing for a family trip!
- Give yourself plenty of time
If you are not someone who typically shows up at the airport at least 2 hours before your plane leaves, you’ll want to change that when you’re traveling with children. Traveling with a family can take longer to check-in, go through security, and board the plane (not to mention bathroom and snack stops!) The last thing you’ll want to do is rush through the airport with children worried that you won’t make your flight. Show up early and you’ll thank yourself once you make it on the plane!
- Let your children make some decisions
If your children are old enough, ask them what they’d like to do. Ask them to pick an activity or restaurant. Getting your children involved will make them feel valued, excited, and invested in your family vacation.
- Talk about safety
It’s SO important to discuss safety measures when you’re bringing your children to a new location. Make sure to discuss hotel names, phone numbers, and names so if your child wanders off when you’re not looking or gets lost, they know what to do. If you are worried about something like this happening, you can look into getting your child a GPS tracker that can be worn on their wrist or their bag. Check out airtags by Apple or trackers by Tile. Using a tracker might be a little controversial, but if you’re headed to a crowded place like Disney, better safe than sorry.
- Prep for travel days
Prior to heading to your destination, charge up all your devices and pack enough snacks and drinks to lessen the chance of your children feeling hungry or bored. The more your kids are entertained while they are traveling, the better! Make the journey a part of your vacation by playing games, indulging in yummy food, and watching movies together. Being prepped and ready for traveling will make you and your kids that much happier.
- Accept the unexpected
At the end of the day, traveling (even without kids) can present a fair share of stressful situations that can leave you feeling overwhelmed. It’s crucial to accept what is out of your control and focus on enjoying your trip with your family. Take everything with a grain of salt and remember that you are making lifelong memories with your family!
And, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of planning a trip with your children, take a deep breath, pick up your phone, and contact me.