Lets be honest.
Traveling can be a different experience for everybody. Whether you are backpacking, traveling by yourself, or going with friends, things will always be different. This is especially true when you are traveling around with your family, and especially with kids.
Many first time parents find themselves in a jam because of all the new things they have to think about and do. Like what things to pack? What hotel to stay in? Is it safe to bring the baby? Do they need a passport? It’s things like this that can make things very hectic and confusing.
Often times, because the parents are so new at this, they don’t know how to travel with kids yet. So what do they do? They start planning the trip out like how it was when they were a couple. I mean, that’s close right? Well in a sense, yes it is kind of similar. But there is a difference. Planning your trip out as if you were still in your couple stages is definitely a good way to start things. However if you are wanting to travel as a family then you need to change it up a little bit.
I want to share with you some amazing tips and advice that others have given me to help you all learn how to travel better as a family.
Get a Hotel With Different Sleeping Areas
When you are choosing a place to stay for the night or the duration of your trip, try to look for one that offers multi-bedroom rooms instead of just the regular hotel room with 2 beds inside. It might be a bit more expensive however the convenience of having a good nights sleep is definitely worth it.
The reason for this is because say if you have kids with you. If they are staying in the same room as you, chances are they will be making noise and bothering you which can make you not sleep as good. Also the fact that if they are in the same room as you, you most likely have to go to sleep whenever they do. So you don’t really have that much wiggle room to do your own things. Which is why it’s better to book a room that will have different sleeping areas. This way your kids can do their own thing and you can do your own thing like watch movies, talk, or do some work.
Now not every hotel offers these kind of rooms, so you do have to do a little research to find the right one. You can use sites like Expedia or Booking.com to find some good rooms that might fit your budget. Or you can use my preferred method and get an Airbnb which will provide enough rooms as well as other amenities that you might need.
Rent Equipment Instead of Bringing Your Own
Bringing your own equipment can definitely come in handy at times, however it takes up so much room and space. Not to mention depending on how many items you bring, it could be heavy. Which is why instead of bringing your own equipment, why not rent out the equipment instead and leave your equipment at home.
The reason for this is because many popular travel destinations will offer families the option of renting equipment for kids. Things like cribs, strollers, high chairs, bikes etc…they will have it in stock for you to rent.
Whenever I travel with my friends and they bring their kids along, they always make sure to ask if the place they are going to has some type of stroller or cribs to rent. This makes traveling easier since you don’t have to bring as many items along with you.
So if you are ever planning on traveling, always ask ahead and see if they offer any type of equipment for kids to rent.
Always Make Reservations
Whenever you travel, you should always make reservations when necessary. This is because you never know what might happen and it can save you a lot of time. With places being booked up to waiting hours for something, it’s always better to reserve ahead of time.
This way you can avoid all the needless frustrations and anger of there being no rooms available or having to wait in line for so long. This is especially helpful if you have kids with you as you know they will be uncomfortable and do not like waiting long.
So instead, always think of your kids. Do what makes them happy and make any hotel and transportation reservations ahead of time so that you won’t run into any problems.
Also, if you have little kids with you, it is best to call the hotel or the place you are staying at ahead of time and ask if they have any cribs or high chairs available. Not every hotel has these for you to use, so do yourself a favor and ask beforehand.
Get Travel Insurance
This should be pretty well known already. But if you don’t then it’s okay, i’ll explain it to you. If you are ever going to be traveling around then travel insurance might be useful for you. Now I know that it might be an extra expense and one that isn’t fun to sign up for. But it is something really worth considering since\ it protects you from any bad things that might happen.
Things like lost luggage, injury, medical care etc…will all be handled by the travel insurance.
Now unless you are flying somewhere local and close, then you most likely won’t need travel insurance. But if you are traveling someplace new and far away then it is a good idea to consider picking it up.
If you want to know more about travel insurance, you can check out my detailed pages here about travel insurance.
When you go on a trip with your kids, you always have to think about them. You have to make sure that they are happy and enjoying the experience as well. One thing that can make the experience bad and problematic is when they get hungry. We all know what it’s like when kids get hungry, after all we experienced it as well when we were younger. Hungry kids can make the family trip a very miserable experience in a matter of minutes.
Which is why I suggest that any family trip should be stocked with tons of snacks.
You never know what might happen during a trip. Your planned eating time might get delayed, tour taking too long, stuck in traffic. You have to account for all things possible that might happen. So it’s always a good idea to have some snacks ready in case of moments like these.
These snacks don’t necessarily have to be what your kid usually eats. Just something small that will make their hunger go away. Like snack bars, fruit candies, etc. As long as you can keep your kid from going hungry, they’ll be happy for the rest of the trip.
Pro Tip: It’s not just kids that might get hungry, adults can get hungry too. So pack enough snacks for both kids and adults to eat.
Fill Up Your Tablet With Books and Games
This is probably my most favorite tip of them all. It is something so essential to my travels that I find myself bringing it with me all the time. A tablet is so useful because it can do so many different things. From acting like a portable computer, a phone, a book, console to play video games, the tablet does it all.
This is especially helpful when you have kids. After all, kids can get tired and bored easily. Which is why you want to have something to keep them entertained. And what better thing to use than a tablet. You can put movies on for your kids to watch or even some games to play. The possibilities are endless and is a great way to help keep your kid in a joyful mood.
Explain The Trip
Before you go on the trip, it might be a good idea to explain to your kids ahead of time what the trip is going to be like. The reason for this is because kids are always cautious about new things. They might get uncomfortable. Which is why its better to ease them down by telling them everything that you’ll be doing at the destination. This way they can fully expect everything that is going to happen and be prepared for it.
This can include telling them how airplanes work, how the trip is going to be, what things you are doing, what hotel you are staying at etc.. This way you can prep them up so they can act accordingly as well when they get their.
Take It Slow
One thing you have to realize is that you aren’t traveling as a couple no more. You aren’t traveling by yourself anymore. You have a family and you have to travel together now.
Take your time when you are out seeing new things. Don’t just rush around and try to do everything at once. Kids are slow and they like to take their time roaming around. So enjoy whatever adventure or activity you are going to do.
Some of the most memorable experiences I had with my family is when we all done things together at a leisurely pace.
After all, travel is suppose to be fun. So go out with your family and make some memories together.
Choose Your Destination
The destination you choose to go to is very important as it can make your trip go either good or bad. First and foremost, you have to always be thinking of your kids. Will they like the location? Is there stuff for them to do? Although you don’t really have to worry nowadays, since most destinations will have some form of entertainment for kids. But it is still a good idea to pick accordingly.
For instance, will the destination have a lot of walking involved? If your kid gets tired easily, then it might be better to pick some place where walking isn’t a burden. Or how about the terrain? Will the stroller be able to roll around the rocky grounds? It’s little things like this that can make or break the trip.
You want to pick destination where both you and the kids get to enjoy the experience.
Be Calm On Flights
One of the things most parents are fearful about is bringing their young kids on flights. I mean, we all been there. We know how kids can behave on flights. Some are really good and some don’t really do too well on flights. Most parents don’t want to be the person to cause other passengers discomfort.
However the thing is, it’s not really something to be worried about. Most passengers on the plane are probably parents as well. They know what you are going through. They will usually be very nice about things and not make a big fuss. Heck, some might even offer to help you out. It’s perfectly fine to bring kids on a plane.
You don’t want to be one of those people who will fuss all the time when your kids are not behaving properly. They are just kids after all. Whether your kids are cool headed or throwing a tantrum on the flight, you need to put on a good face and try to calm them down as nicely as possible.
Extra: Be Flexible
One of the things you should know about traveling with kids is that you have to be flexible. After all, you never know whats going to happen. Things might go wrong, you might miss the bus, or you might need to take a longer resting period. It’s good to know that traveling will never go as planned. things will always get in the way.
It’s never a good idea to rush things as well as traveling stressed. Instead take your time and relax. You might not be able to see all the things you wanted to see, but you still get to spend time with your family.
So remember, be flexible with your schedule. Let things flow naturally. Whatever happens will happen and you just have to keep moving along.
Overall, family travel doesn’t have to be complicated.
Whether you are a new family or old, the main thing to do during family travels is to be together and have fun. Sure it might take a little bit more work with kids, you might have to change up some things, however the memories you make from these trips will last you a life time.