Sometimes, even just going to the grocery store with your kids can be a hassle. Traveling is the dream for many, but it might seem like an impossibility to travel with kids. It is doable, however, and here are a few tips to make it a bit more manageable.
Nothing takes the wind out of your sails like lugging around half your belongings, plus the kitchen sink. When packing, be ruthless. Only pack what you know you will need, not for every eventuality. Yes, it’s good to be prepared, but if you’ve packed to make sure your outfits always match, it’s time to rethink.
This goes doubly for children. Kids tend to pack things they don’t need and forget the things they actually do need. Your best bet is to do the packing for them.
Dress for the Weather
What’s worse than being stuck out for the day and being too cold or too hot? Having a child that’s miserable from being under or over-dressed. You either need to make sure everyone is dressed properly when they leave or can change to suit the weather.
If it’s cold but likely to warm up, make sure everyone has some way to carry their extra layers as they shed them off.
When traveling, it’s common to want to see as much as possible in a short amount of time. Plan your routes to make the most of every outing. Your hotel concierge should be able to point you in the right direction for sights and attractions that would be fun for kids as well as adults.
Some kids need structure to enjoy themselves, so a bit of planning can go a long way.
Take Your Time (and Add Buffer Time)
Going anywhere with kids, whether you’re travelling or not, can take longer than you expect. Children are easily side-tracked, and it’s important to allow time for them to explore and learn on their own. So, add a few extra minutes here and there to stop for food, bathroom breaks, or other unexpected detours.
Go With the Flow
While it’s good to have a plan and stick to it, kids can be completely unpredictable. They may get tired, or they might see something they just have to go and check out. This tip ties into the previous and will help you to avoid stress.
Don’t be afraid to switch things up. Sometimes the best vacation memories happen from a spur of the moment decision.
Use Public Transport
Kids love things like trains or buses. And there’s no better way to soak in local culture than immersing yourself in the way they get around.
Buses and trains tend to take circuitous routes, so sit back and watch the new locales and streets pass by. You might even see something you’ll want to hop off and check out!
Give Your Child a Camera or a Notebook
Keeping your child busy with a project is a great way to protect your sanity. Give your son or daughter a camera—a basic one can be found super cheap—or even just a notebook and pen to log every sight or memory. They’ll have fun, and they’ll also build something they can take for show and tell and keep as a souvenir for the rest of their lives.
Choose an All-Suite Hotel
One of the biggest challenges of staying anywhere other than home is not having the amenities that you’re used to. This is doubly the case with kids.
Having an all-suite hotel room means you’ll have extra room for the little ones to spread out and play, and mom and dad don’t need to stress about taking the kids out for dinner. With an attached fully-equipped kitchen, an all-suite room means you’ll have a home away from home to cook those family recipes that your kids are used to.
Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare! Just remember a few of these tips and you’ll be sure to have an amazing time seeing the world with your family.