Vacations are very different when the whole family is involved compared to when you’re flying solo or on a romantic trip. Here are some ways to ensure that your travel plans go well even when you’re bringing the kids along.
Allow For Delays
Kids don’t always stick to schedules, so one of the best things you can do to reduce stress on a vacation is to allow yourself extra time when possible to move a little slower. Toddlers in particular like to take their time and they can’t always be rushed when they are at a walking age. Tantrums and toilet breaks are just a way of life with kids so assume it will be no different on vacation as well.
Book in Advance
Traveling with spontaneity can be fun (and sometimes is a great way to snag deals), but it doesn’t always work with kids. If you arrive at the hotel after a long day of travel and there aren’t any rooms available the kids probably aren’t going to be thrilled to get back into the car. Make sure you have your hotels and any other booking reservations taken care of in advance.
Let the Kids Act Like Tourists
One fun way to keep kids occupied while you’re traveling is to give them their own camera and then see what kind of shots they come up with. It’s a great activity that will distract them endlessly and you might even end up with some good memories.
Don’t Try to Ditch the Electronics
In your day to day life you might prefer that the children do some drawing rather than watch a movie glued to a phone, but when you’re traveling it can reduce some stress to relax about the rules a bit. For one thing, carrying around a bunch of creative activities takes up space, causes messes, and might totally make you crazy. For another thing, letting them play games online is not going to mess with anything for the time being.
Embrace Public Transportation
You might not love riding the bus but kids often do. It might be easier to get them out of the hotel room door and keep them engaged during the day if they are actually looking to forward to the part of the day where you need to be getting around.
Bring Along a First Aid Kit
Kids tend to get injured and sick more than adults do, so it can save a lot of trouble if you just pack some of the possible first aid items instead of having to run out in the middle of the night in a foreign town when your kid gets a stomach bug.
Don’t Let Them Pack Their Own Daypacks
If your kids are going to be wearing their own backpacks while you guys travel around, be sure and oversee the packing process. You don’t want them bringing anything too heavy or anything that is actually valuable whether it’s monetary or just of emotional significance to them.