5 Tips To Remember When Traveling With Kids
I’m here to write all the advice I wished I would have had before I started traveling with my kids. Three kids, and many mistakes later, I have some advice and tips for parents who are looking to take adventures with their kids. Whether it’s a two-week vacation or a long weekend getaway we hope you are able to have a wonderful time exploring the world together.
1. Don’t Over Do-It
Nothing is more stressful then tired kids and exhausted parents trying to enjoy adventuring around a new place. Be flexible and avoid a strict schedule. Nothing is more frustrating for kids/parents than to be so busy that they can’t enjoy themselves.
Our most amazing trips have been those that allowed us to take a break in the afternoon and even to enjoy a nap. Anytime we are planning a trip the first question my husband asks is “so when do we nap”, so this is as beneficially to the parents as it is the kids. This “nap” time or “down” time is not limited to younger kids. Taking an hour to relax at a park or have coffee in a downtown coffee shop is a great way to slow down and recharge. Let me give you an example of what can go wrong when you are overdoing it.
2. Don’t Forget the Snacks
We have found that the easiest solution to most every problem is a snack! Seems simple enough right? However, packing snacks for a family of 5 feels a lot like trying to store enough water to cross the desert, it feels like an impossible task. The good news is it can be done, Pinterest has some great snack ideas! If you notice that the kids are getting cranky take a moment to enjoy a snack and watch as the fuel to their body generates a smile on their face!
3. Organize Backpacks for Each Kid
This is such a lifesaver for us. Whether traveling in the car, relaxing in the hotel or out walking the town, they all appreciate having their own things in their own backpacks. An hour of advance planning to organize their favorite things will provide you with hours of contentment. We love including a travel “scavenger hunt” list for them to find things we are going to see on our adventure. A backpack for each kid to carry just means mom and dad will look less like pack mules right?!
4. Research Your Destinations
Nothing is worse than getting somewhere and realizing that you should have done more research or read more reviews! This has happened to me more times then I’d like to admit. Let me give you some examples of my poor planning. One time our family was visiting Atlanta, Georgia. I had planned to take the family to the aquarium. Once arriving I realized this cost way more than I had assumed it would be. We travel on a budget and a surprise $175 (not including food) was a real shock to me. Had I planned in advance I could have gotten discount tickets online or had budgeted for it.
Another surprise we had was when our family traveled to the Dominican Republic. We were so excited when we got there that we couldn’t wait to head down to the beach to soak up the view. Well, we did a get a view all right. I failed to realize that the DR is a “clothing optional” beach! I will never forget the look on my innocent children’s faces as a grandma was jogging (free as a bird) right past us! Here is a handy travel planning checklist.
5. Embrace the Unplanned
When traveling with kids things rarely go as planned. We have experienced forgetting bags, 3 hours crying on a plane, the stomach flu & pink eye and so much more on our wild adventures. All I can say is embrace it! Just know in advance that there will be chaos and more than likely something crazy will happen but it adds to the priceless memories you will have.
Our best and most memorable trips have been those where we broke a window on our van on our 1,000-mile journey to Michigan or losing the keys to our vehicle while skiing the mountains of Colorado. My A type personality fought for a long time to stay in control of everything on our family trips but one day I realized I was fighting a battle I would never win.
Children take the predictability out of every occasion! Once I accepted that I enjoyed our family adventures together so much more! Embrace it, enjoy and keep on taking amazing adventures!
What’s the biggest travel disaster you have experienced while traveling with kids? Comment below!
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