Going on a family vacation creates magical memories that your kids won't soon forget. It expands their horizons and gets the entire family out of the rut of work, school, and technological devices.
However, going on a trip with your kids requires a high measure of planning and care.
What should you know about planning a vacation that the kids are tagging along for?
Here are a few travel tips that'll help you out.
1. Organize Your Documents and Bookings and Make Sure Everything is Lined Up
Getting organized early should top your list of tips for traveling with kids.
Skimming details leaves you open to travel setbacks and holdups. Book every part of your trip early and keep copies of your documentation.
This means printing out hard copies of your boarding passes and hotel reservations while also keeping them in your digital wallet. Know what ground transportation you're taking and how long the trip will take.
Every detail matters when you're traveling with children challenges will always arise. Control all of the variables within your grasp and the rest will take care of itself.
2. Always Travel as Comfortably as Possible
Comfort is king, as airplane travel tips go. You'll also want to stay comfortable when going on a road trip.
Investing in a lumbar support pillow will help you make it through car and plane trips.
Your comfort should take priority because you'll have far less patience when you're in pain. Use equipment that helps you to keep your spine erect to avoid pain and swelling.
The less strain you put on your back or coccyx, the longer you'll be able to sit in one position as you travel.
Think about comfort when planning out your mode of transportation as well. Book your flight well in advance to get the prime seats.
Prioritize things like legroom and keeping the family seated together. You might also want to choose seats that are in close proximity to the bathroom.
Spring for first-class or other luxurious options so that you can sit comfortably without strain on your body.
Think about the size of any vehicles you rent for a road trip as well.
Always choose cars that have plenty of legroom and sleep room for the passengers. Make sure the vehicle has climate control settings and entertainment options that everyone can enjoy.
3. Keep a Bag Filled With Snacks and Emergency Supplies
Make sure that you always have access to the supplies that'll help you out when you're in a pinch.
Being able to whip out some medicine or bandaids from your supply kit will prevent you from having to find a gift shop or pharmacy. Packing a backup charging cable will help you power a device.
Take time to plan out your snacks shopping list. So much of travel involves waiting, and waiting is harder to do when you're already hungry.
Pack all of the necessary snacks to get you through any leg of your trip. It'll keep your kids' energy levels up and everyone happy and enjoying the vacation.
4. Plan the Trip With Your Child's Temperament and Limitations in Mind
Chances are high that you might need to temper your expectations a bit.
If it's just you and your sweetheart, perhaps the two of you would be happy to hike a difficult trail in Puerto Rico's El Yunque National Forest. Maybe you'd be fine traversing busy and impatient streets in New York.
However, you'll need to consider the energy levels and temperament of your kids in these situations.
They get tired and cranky and won't necessarily enjoy certain pitstops the way you might. Always have some kid-friendly options in mind and make the trip one that everyone can enjoy.
Let your kids pick out an excursion or two in advance so that their voice is heard. Perhaps you can allow them to pick out what restaurant you dine at as well.
Consider your kids' temperaments for the more logistical parts of the trip as well. Always consider an option that smooths out the rough edges and waiting times.
Pack a memory foam cushion in your carry-on in case seating is limited in an airport terminal. You and your kids will remain comfortable as you await the connecting flight.
This can also make you comfortable enough to get some work done while you wait.
5. Nail Down Your Packing Equipment and Process
Begin packing for your trip about 2 weeks out to lower the stress and make sure you don't forget anything. This goes in line with controlling all of the variables that you can.
Spring for some high-quality luggage that can accommodate everything on your packing list. The last thing you'd want is to have to replace your baggage quickly because it starts ripping, bending, or otherwise giving you problems.
Make the luggage as easy to maneuver as possible since you're traveling with kids. Minimize the need to carry anything, and choose baggage that rolls and zips snugly and tightly.
Choose luggage that is eye-catching as well so you can spot it on baggage claim conveyor belts. You will spend less time waiting and more time enjoying your vacation.
Set up a packing method that makes your travel as simple as possible. This helps you to remember the essentials and pack them in a manner that is neat and easy to find.
Keep a list or database of everything that you're storing inside of your luggage. This list makes it easier to file a claim if something is lost, stolen, or damaged in transit.
Choose airlines that have attractive baggage policies. Go with an airline that gives at least one free bag when possible.
These costs tend to add up otherwise since you're traveling with your kids. Make sure that the baggage fees and limitations as reasonable as well. You will get the most bang for your buck when you travel.
6. Choose the Best Lodging and Dining Options
Think about where you're staying and where you're eating during the vacation.
Consider the cost and available options to optimize your choices. For instance, decide whether you want to stay in a hotel, Airbnb, or some sort of rental option.
Resorts are a great idea when they are all-inclusive or have lots of dining options and entertainment on-site.
Research the facilities to make sure that they're kid-friendly and have plenty of attractions that are fun for the whole family.
Booking a property with a pool is a must if you're traveling with kids. Taking a dip in the pool also helps your kids stay healthy and active over the summer break.
Think about your dining options for any trip that you're booking. You should always push your kids' tastes and limitations, but also make sure they have crowd-pleasing kid options for when they're not feeling adventurous.
Make sure that the restaurants allow you carry-out and delivery options in case you need to make plans that are more flexible.
Get the most bang for your buck when choosing your lodging. A place that includes all meals or at least includes breakfast will make your money go further.
Eating out for every single meal will eventually add up and make the trip more expensive.
Consider booking a property that has a kitchen or at least a kitchenette. This lets you shop for groceries and prepare meals in your travels.
7. Get Your Kids Mentally Prepared for the Vacation
It's up to you to prepare your kids' minds for the trip. Let them know where you're headed and find ways to explain everything in an age-appropriate way.
Above all, make everything about the trip an adventure. When they are looking forward to the vacation, your kids will be willing participants and less fussy.
Prepare them to expand their horizons as well so that they aren't caught off guard by the changes in scenery.
The internet is your friend when prepping your kids for a trip. Show them the sights and attractions that they will soon get to see in person. Pull up videos of other kids or families going to those locations so that your child can see it for themselves.
You may even want to start an official countdown so that they can begin getting their excitement level up.
8. Make it an Educational Experience
Your children will really enjoy the trip when it poses an opportunity for them to learn.
Travel gives your kids a sense of how large and wondrous the world is. Make sure that they're aware of the matters that set this destination apart from other areas.
Teach them how kids their age live in this area so that they can picture themselves in the same situation.
Don't hesitate to tie in some information that they may have learned in school, particularly related to their favorite school subject.
When you stimulate your child's mind they'll have more patience and willingness to enjoy the trip.
9. Subscribe to Travel Perks
Look for travel perks and memberships that will make this trip easier for you. Travel vendors are always looking for ways to generate repeat business.
Considering things like frequent flyer miles and travel rewards points can go a long way with your trip. You can make your trip cheaper and more useful for your needs.
Memberships that give you access to airport lounges will take your travel to the next level. Each airline has lounges all over that you can take part in.
These lounges give you optimal seating and nap space, larger, cleaner bathrooms, hookups for all of your electronic devices, and more.
This is the far more comfortable way to wait for layovers and can help you out if you have a particularly lengthy one.
10. Plan to Take Plenty of Breaks and Naps
Don't try to road warrior it up on a family trip. Instead, plan with breaks and downtime already built-in.
This is great for the whole group and will help you maximize the time and energy you spend. Naps will be your best friend, especially if you have small kids accompanying you.
Pack a travel pillow to optimize nap time. Whether your kids are enjoying a nap in the car or in the hotel, you'll need to give them what they need to fall asleep easily.
Don't underestimate how powerful naps can be for you as well. It'll help you to stay patient and refreshed during the vacation.
Taking a nap is also great for your immune system. This boost in immunity is important as you travel from time zone to time zone.
Naps aside, make sure to plan plenty of bathroom and food breaks into the trip. Put aside the idea of making your best time and instead understand that frequent stops are a reality of traveling with kids.
11. Master Teamwork and a Routine
Think about the good of the group and always work together. When you and the other parent have quality teamwork you can move mountains.
This means understanding when the other needs a break and tackling issues with the kids together. Always have a plan and stay in constant communication to properly execute this plan.
Use These Travel Tips When Planning a Trip With the Kids
Let these travel tips steer you in the direction of an amazing trip with your children. These are days that you can't get back, and you'll be glad that you put the time into getting the most out of each trip.
When you're looking for some must-have supplies to take with you we'd be happy to help you out.
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