How To Avoid Pulling Your Hair Out When Traveling With Kids
Traveling with kids is not always easy. That’s why I’ve listed 4 tips to help you enjoy stress-free travel with your little ones.
1. Schedule Less, Enjoy More
I cringe whenever a parent shows me their itinerary for their upcoming trip and every minute of their vacation time is planned down to the last minute. Don’t get me wrong, having lots of fun things to do is exciting, however, you can quickly ruin a good trip (especially with young children) by having too many activities scheduled.
Children become cranky and less cooperative when they get tired (come to think of it, so do I). My husband and I have found that the best way to keep kids happy is to plan activities with plenty of downtime in between. We thoroughly enjoy the things we do plan with our three young girls by not feeling pressured to do and see everything at once. Quality, not quantity….
2. Get Your Kids Involved
We always include our children when planning our next trip. We ask them what they want to see and do. We allow each child to pick an activity they think the whole family will enjoy experiencing together. This builds their excitement and keeps them engaged during our vacations.
Your children are not too young to be involved. You would be surprised at how opinionated our three-year-old can be! Check out books at the library about your destination, watch videos online to prepare them for what they will soon experience. Our main goal when traveling with our children is to create incredible memories together, allow them to play their part.
3. Be Prepared
There are so many times when I hear parents complain about the experiences they had while traveling with their kids. The plane ride, car ride, hotel stay, or excursions didn’t go as they planned. Kids are unpredictable and sometimes they just have bad days (click here to read about a bad day we had while traveling and see how we can laugh about it now).
Road trips and plane rides require some effort and pre-trip planning. The more you prepare for traveling with the kids, the better the outcome. Sometimes it takes me several days to research what to expect at each place and to prepare each child’s backpacks accordingly. The time spent prepping is always well worth it!
Don’t forget to pack snacks and have ways to entertain them for long waits or unexpected delays. This is something I mention in a post I wrote previously entitled 5 Things To Remember When Traveling With Kids. I hope these tips will help you enjoy your time together away from home.
4. Remember the ‘why’
Most importantly remember the why. Why are you visiting this destination, why did you chose to bring the whole family? When we remember what motivates our actions we will have more patience and enjoy our time together even when the unexpected challenges arise. I took my children to the Dominican Republic to experience something completely different than they used to. The plane ride was difficult and we caught the stomach flu while we were there. This could have ruined our experience, but looking back, I have amazing memories to accompany the not-so-fun moments. I choose to see the bigger picture and learn from our mishaps instead of letting them defeat us.
We each choose to travel with our children for different reasons. When you head off on your next adventure be prepared to show patience, change your plans as needed, and always focus on the good. You’re making memories together that your children will cherish all of their lives. Let the adventures continue!