Undeniably, traveling is an eye-opening and rewarding experience for everyone, regardless of age. Who doesn’t like exploring new places, new adventures, and some good old family time? But traveling with kids isn’t as easy and fun as it sounds.
Irregular sleep patterns, new schedules, and grumpy kids are a few challenges you may encounter. Not to mention little ones don’t possess the forbearance for airport security, which might make your job more challenging.
Five Useful Tips for Traveling with Kids
The good news? You can experience stress-free travel with a little bit of planning. Once you fully know how to travel with children, all your apprehensions will fly out the window. So revel in every moment of exploring the world and create memories to make your trip unforgettable with your family. Isn’t that the purpose of traveling in the first place?
Now let’s dive into some tips for traveling with kids!
Pick a destination wisely.
Considering the world is your proverbial oyster, it’s pretty challenging to nail down a destination for a family vacation. So it poses the question: how can you pick one?
Here’s the pro tip – rather than picking a destination, decide what you and your children wish to do on the family trip. Remember, the needs of every family member may vary. So preliminary research on family-friendly activities at the vacation spot can go a long way.
For instance, if your family wants to soak in breathtaking views and enjoy action-packed activities, and you don’t want to fly out of the country, take a trip to a different state. In our humble opinion, Gatlinburg – a gateway to The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, makes for a great family-friendly vacation spot. There are countless fun things to do in Gatlinburg, from musical entertainment and theatre shows to rip-roaring fun activities and seasonal festivals. This mountain resort city offers a little something for every visitor.
Strategically decide the time of flight.
When it comes to flight times, make decisions strategically. For example, if it’s convenient, travel early afternoon rather than picking late-night or early morning flights. You won’t need to rush during peak hours or rouse your kids from their sleep.
Also, ensure that your kids have considerable time to unwind before and after the flight. And if you plan to travel with a connecting flight, book the one that offers long layovers. Such flights provide a good enough margin to tend to your kid’s needs and care for everything else. So, there’s no need to rush, no fear of leaving your kid behind, and everyone has substantial time to prepare for the next flight.
Keep tabs on the kids.
While this might seem an obvious suggestion, it’s still critical to discuss. There’s no worse feeling than the one when you can’t seem to spot your kid when traveling.
You will find it surprising how easy it is to get caught up in logistical problems such as purchasing tickets for the train. And a bit of negligence at your end can spell repercussions. One moment you are dealing with logistical nightmares, and the next moment, your kid has meandered to purchase candies from the shop at the train station. And if that shop happens to be at the other extreme of the station and you can’t find your kid, it will lead to terror and tears.
Therefore, it’s pivotal to share duties with your partner. For example, one parent can choose to keep an eye on the kids while the other can purchase the tickets. And if traveling alone with children, consider using a GPS tracker to track their locations at all times.
Decide between a stroller and a sling.
Every parent’s frequent dilemma when traveling with kids is choosing whether to bring a stroller or a sling. The answer to this tricky question mainly hinges on your personal preferences. Ask yourself: are the streets at your destination wholly paved, or do they have chuckholes? Is the weather at your intended destination relatively cool or severely humid?
For most parents, if not all, going on a trip without a stroller can be unimaginable. And if you plan to explore on foot and go sightseeing, it’s always good to have access to a stroller, specifically for children below three. Today, several rental cabins, theme parks, or kids-specific spots offer stroller rentals. So, call them ahead of time to learn about this service.
However, if you plan to visit a cold destination and explore historical buildings and museums, carrying a stroller wouldn’t be a good choice. Instead, a sling would be a better option and can do the perfect job.
Accept things can go wrong.
When traveling with kids, specifically little ones, it’s imperative to adjust your expectations and stay flexible. For example, you might not have traveled much during your entire life and are now planning to treat your family to a nice getaway. Or perhaps it’s the opposite – you’ve explored one half of the world and eagerly anticipate going with your kids to see the other half.
Regardless, it’s important to remind yourself that life after kids takes a 180° turn. The same is the case when traveling. There could be times when things may go south. For instance, you may look forward to dinner at the destination only to find it closed due to refurbishments. Or maybe you might miss the train because one of your kids urgently needed to use the toilet.
Whatever the situation, there’s nothing that you can do to avoid such unforeseen problems. Getting frustrated and going off the deep end won’t make things right; it will only rob you of the fun. So, come to terms with the unexpected and accept the inevitable.
Useful Tips for Traveling with Kids
Traveling with kids wouldn’t be the same as traveling before you had them. But it doesn’t mean that you should put off your plans. Sure, it won’t be smooth sailing, and there’s a possibility things may not go the way you envisaged.
So, take a deep breath, stay calm, and be flexible. Remember, there’s nothing that opens kids’ minds like new explorations. Something will always be new for the little ones, from beautiful landscapes and historical spots to architecture and museums. So, venture out of your comfort zone, embrace new adventures, and make a lifetime’s worth of memories with your family.