The time has finally arrived! You’re counting down the hours to when you’ll be heading to the airport and boarding your plane to the next destination on your family bucket list.
Make your next family vacation the best one yet with these eight tips for traveling with kids.
- Get Creative With Their Luggage
Getting your kids to pack for a trip can be tricky. Most of the time, people tend to overpack, and kids are no exception. They’ll want to bring toys rather than extra pairs of clothes. This is when you can get creative.
Scooter luggage and backpacks make travel feel more exciting for them. They come in fun options like ladybugs, robots, or even penguins. It’ll limit the amount of space they can have and, as a bonus, it’ll keep them entertained while you wait at the airport.
- Take Things Slow
No one likes rushing at the airport. With kids, you’ll inevitably have to slow down. Everything will take much longer than you expect – going through security, a million different things to see, and the hustle and bustle of an airport.
Do yourself a favor and leave earlier than you planned. You’ll thank yourself while trying to figure out how to break down your stroller while going through security.
- Pre-Book Everything
As much as we love to be spontaneous, it’s better when traveling with children to pre-book as much of your trip as possible. Things like your hotel and rental car are obvious. But your excursions and what you plan to do while you’re traveling will be helpful, too.
You’ll help prevent boredom tantrums, and it will give kids more opportunity to explore rather than keep their eyes on a screen.
- Explain The Trip Ahead of Time
This could very well be your first family vacation where your child is old enough to comprehend what’s happening. It’s important to explain what’s going to take place on the trip.
Airplane rides, for instance, might be a bit scary for them. And when children are scared, they’re going to be unhappy. Talk to them about what they can expect the plane ride to be like.
You should also have a conversation about what you expect of your children on the trip. Be upfront with them and let them know how they should act while traveling. Clearly explain what behavior is allowed in hotels, on airplanes, and how to be safe during the travel experience.
- Make It Kid-Friendly
This might sound obvious, but a family vacation should include kid-friendly activities. Your family might be going to a beach in Florida, but your children might not want to lounge around all day. Plan some kid-friendly activities; find parks, playgrounds, etc.
If you’re taking a road trip with kids, plan some great stops along the way they’ll want to see. Because, let’s face it – not every child wants to see a giant statue after sitting in the car for three hours.
- Have Things to Keep Them Busy
Traveling means there is a lot of downtime. As an adult, it’s easy to stay busy by scrolling through your phone or checking your email. Prepare for antsy children by having things to keep them busy.
Books and toys are great tools. Have a charged iPad or tablet readily available with children’s shows downloaded for the flight.
And most importantly, have snacks at your disposal. You don’t want to spend a fortune at the airport on food, and you’re most certainly going to need them throughout several hours of travel.
- Give Kids Your Contact Information
Teaching your kids how to be safe in public areas is crucial to having a successful trip. While you may be keeping an eye on them at all times, things do happen. Make sure to give them your contact information with a name, phone number, parents’ names, and addresses.
A great tip is to put an emergency contact phone number on the inside flap of their sneaker written in permanent marker. If they become separated, they can always provide another adult with the phone number to call you immediately.
- Provide Them With a Camera
The world is a great big, beautiful place. If you want to start teaching them about the world and seeing it through a different lens, give them a camera.
It’s a fun activity to help them focus on what’s happening around them. It’s also a great show-and-tell for their friends in school when they return home.
Taking a family vacation might sound a little daunting and perhaps stressful. But if you prepare ahead by pre-booking your trip, setting expectations, and packing the necessary items, you can spend more time enjoying the experience rather than worrying about it.