As parents, we excitedly plan a trip with the whole family. We’re finally spending some time on the road with kids, with the destination offering a promise of rest, fun and relaxation. Unfortunately, traveling with kids is not as simple as getting in the car, singing travel songs, and arriving at the destination with a smile on our faces.
Issues Faced when Traveling with Kids
Here are some issues that you’ll be faced with if you travel with kids:
- You encounter issues that compromise the safety of your kids.
- Your kids become uncomfortable in the ride, and they make it known.
- You forget a lot of things that they need.
- It seems that you’re always running out of time during the preparation and while on the trip.
- They get tired of waiting.
Follow these General Tips
If you want a safer, more fun and more comfortable trip with your kids, here are some general tips to help you out:
Take your time.
Don’t rush your kids. They will get frustrated. It’s not their fault if you’re running late. Remember, you’re the one who made the itinerary. Speaking of itinerary, the only way for you to get the privilege of taking your time is if you plan ahead. Make sure to consider potential delays.
Have a plan but be flexible.
It’s good to have a plan. As mentioned, having one gives you a lot of time. However, you have to be flexible. Things will go wrong, so you have to be flexible with your plan. This is where having plan b or even plan c will come in handy.
This will also help prevent disappointing your kids. Theme park closed due to sudden rain on the day of your visit? Have a plan b that’s equally fun. Museums can be fun as well!
Pack your kids’ essentials.
In addition to their clothes, don’t forget about the following:
- Proper paperwork
Speaking of clothes, make sure that you pack accordingly depending on the weather of your destination and the places that you’ll pass through!
Take advantage of technology.
We’ve gone a long way as far as technology is concerned and it can help you out when you’re traveling with your kids. For starters, you can use a child locator device. This will prove to be very important if in case a kid gets lost in the crowd.
You can also rely on a smartphone or tablet to keep them preoccupied during the travel. Pack them with age-appropriate apps that can keep them busy for hours.
You can even give them a camera if they’re old enough. Encourage them to take pictures! Tell them that they need to make a scrapbook of their travel to encourage them to take a lot of pictures.
Be prepared with games.
Even with technology, you can still go old school with travel games. These will be helpful to rest your kids’ eyes from using the tablet or phone. They can also keep them preoccupied if technology fails due to empty battery and the likes.
I-Spy is an old favorite that will still entertain kids of today. Of course, don’t forget about 20 questions!
Be prepared in case a kid gets lost.
It’s always a good idea to establish a place where they should go in case they get lost. Establish a spot for every place that you visit. This way, they will go straight there in case they get lost and you can go straight there as well.
In addition, you should write your contact information on a card and place it in every kid’s pocket. This way if in case they get lost and an adult finds them, you can be contacted.
Don’t tire them too much.
Sure, it’s a good thing if you get to visit a lot of places during the trip, but you have to consider that kids can get tired. It can make them cranky for the duration of the whole trip.
Stay in one hotel if possible.
Checking in and out of hotels can be tiresome not only for you, but for your kids as well. This is especially true if you have a big family and you have a lot of luggage.
This is why you have to plan ahead. Check out the hotels and choose the hotel with the best location as far as your destinations and activities are concerned.
Also, check out the facilities of the hotels that you’re considering. Book a hotel that has the facilities that your family will need like gym, sporting center, restaurants, swimming pool, day care, spa, laundry service and the likes. This is a good backup plan in case of rain.
As a bonus, it will give you and your family a sense of stability. This can counter the chaos associated with traveling.
Consider what your kids want.
While you may be happy with watching musicals all day long, you have to consider the fact that you’re traveling with your kids and they want to do kids’ stuff. This is why you have to do kid-friendly activities in between the things that the adults want to do.
If you want some quality time, you can pre-arrange booking with a reputable babysitter. You can ask trusted family or friends at your destination if you have any if they have babysitter recommendations or you can ask the hotel if they have a day care facility.
If you follow these tips, you can find that traveling with kids can be a joy. The kids and the whole family can have a lot of fun and relaxation.