Traveling is a wonderful and rewarding experience. Whether you’re traveling alone, with a group, with a special someone or with your family, the memories of your travels are something you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.
If you’re traveling with children, however, you’ll have to deal with quite a few challenges. Don’t get me wrong – it’s great to be able to travel with your kids and I recommend it wholeheartedly. But to be able to really enjoy your holiday, keep in mind the following children travel tips:
1. Plan ahead. It’s important to know as much information as you can about the place you’re going to. Find out if there are any theme parks in the area, what mode of transportation you’ll be using to get around, which hotels to stay in, etc. When you have little kids, you’ll need to plan for activities that they can enjoy so your trip will be fun for them too.
2. Don’t be in a hurry. What you need to understand is that when you’re traveling with kids, it’s simply impossible to try to fit in 10 different activities in one day. Kids like to explore and they have no real concept of time. If possible, plan to do just one thing per day so that you’re not pressured to stick to a hectic schedule.
3. Give them something to do. If you’re taking a long-haul flight, it can be really difficult to keep young kids pre-occupied so they don’t end up throwing a tantrum or wanting to go to the cockpit every hour. Bring their favorite toy or perhaps download a few educational apps and games that will keep them busy for hours. BTW many airlines nowadays have very good in-flight entertainment and some even have video games for your kids to play.
4. Bring a stroller. Chances are, your child will want you to carry him or her after an hour of walking. Their little feet will get tired really fast so make sure you bring a lightweight stroller. I remember a few years back when my family flew to Orlando to spend a weekend in Disneyworld. Our eldest who was 6 years old then was adamant that he would not ride in a stroller. But we brought two, just in case (his younger brother was 3 at the time). Long story short, he would not get off the stroller until we were back in the hotel room!
5. Bring their favorite snacks. Airlines always serve snacks and some are actually quite tasty. But there’s a very good chance your kids won’t appreciate them. So, it’s always a good idea to bring a bag of goodies filled with their favorite food.
6. Don’t forget their meds. A lot of kids fall ill while on a holiday. Mine get sick 2 out 5. It’s best to bring a first aid kit and a few essential medicines, just in case. You don’t want to have to run to a pharmacy at 2 in the morning in an unfamiliar place. If your child has asthma, make sure to bring their inhaler. If the asthma is pretty bad, it may make sense to bring a nebulizer. Just don’t forget to have a doctor’s prescription, in case airport security might want to see it.
7. Have fun! Isn’t that what traveling should be all about? I get it – it’s not always easy to have fun when you have kids running around or crying incessantly. The key is to manage your expectations and don’t expect everything to be perfect. The goal is to be able to connect with your family and collect new experiences together.