Going on trips with your kids is an important parenting activity. Not only does it help the children’s development; it is also a great way to bond with each other and provides a lot of learning opportunities for the kids. Children gets easily bored so travelling can help them explore new things, stimulate their mind and imagination.
But how do you start planning a trip when all you can think about is the preparations that you have to do to make it possible. Just thinking about what you need to prepare like food, clothes, toys and anything that can keep your kids occupied during the flight makes you cringe and you are probably starting to think that the trip will be a nightmare! How do you find balance with having plenty of rest and at the same time having fun with lots of activities to do?
You must be contemplating the “joy” of traveling with kids. If you have been planning to travel and take a vacation somewhere but have been putting it off because you’ve got kids to tow along and you are clueless on how to manage them, then I suggest you take a look at these top secrets and tips to make travelling with kids enjoyable and fun.
Always try to pack light. Pack the bare minimum or essentials like clothes, underwear and socks. To save space on your luggage, roll the clothes and put socks and underwear inside the shoes and wear heavy clothes like jackets or coat on the flight. You can have your kids help you pack so that they can learn early on and this can also be a fun activity to do with your kids.
Bring an iPad or Tablet
Devices like iPad or Android tablets can help keep kids occupied and can come in handy in stopping tantrums. Make sure that you load it with their favorite shows or games. Allowing them to watch on their iPads gives you some time to rest and relax but make sure to limit screen their time too. Don’t forget to bring earphones as well.
Pick hotels in kid friendly locations
Picking a hotel in a kid friendly location is important to make sure that the place is safe and close to shops and local attractions. This will help you save time and money if you’ve got all you need within walking distance. You can easily go from one place to another once the kids get bored.
Ask your kids what they want to do or where they want to go
Get your kids involved in planning the trip. Ask them what kind of things they would like to do or try. Where do they want to go and what place they want to visit. This process can help create interest and spark excitement in them.
Bring their favorite toy
I’ve mentioned about packing light but make sure there’s some room for your kid’s favorite toy; might be a stuffed toy, a toy car or a book. This can help kids be comfortable in flights and long trips.
Flight meals or snacks can be expensive and might blow your budget away but you can stay on track with your budget if you bring snacks for the family. Not only that your kids will surely eat it, you can also avoid spending too much on food that you might not like as there is usually a limited selection. I suggest you bring dry snacks packed in plastic containers. Avoid bringing chocolates as they can melt during the journey.
Plan your travel time
If you are going somewhere far that requires long hours of travel, plan your travel time so that you can sleep through the journey. You may choose to leave at night so that it also coincides with your child’s sleeping time. They can spend the whole journey snoozing away.
Bring a first aid kit
Always bring a first aid kit; this is essential. Kids are prone to accidents since they are active and likes to explore so it is always best to remember to bring a first aid kit that you can use in case of emergencies.
Packs sweets like candies, lollipops and gums
If you are having a long flight, make sure to bring candies or gummies with you. This can help their ears adjust to the cabin pressure and make the flight more comfortable.
Check location and website
It always helps to know the in and out of a place. I suggest that you check the website and download a copy of the map of the place. This might be really useful in case you get lost or if you are looking for a specific place.
Don’t forget your travel documents
Make sure you have every one’s passport or visa with you if you are travelling overseas. Also bring IDs, green card and birth certificates; you don’t know if you might need them. Make scanned copies of the documents as well and email them to yourself so that if ever you lose them, you have copies you can use as reference. Have a separate handbag or sling bag that you can use to put your travel documents in. You need something handy that will allow you to easily get them in case you need to show it to immigrations officers.
Secure luggage bags and back packs
Before you leave, make sure you have all your luggage bags secured by putting in locks or use those with number locks that you can use number combinations to unlock. Put tags on each bag with your details like name, address and contact number; in case one bag gets lost, they can contact you when it is retrieved.
Take your credit card with you
It is always good to bring one or two credit cards with you when traveling. You might never know when you would need extra cash. You can use it in a lot of establishments like restaurants, shops and stores. If you have your ATM with you but can’t find an ATM machine, a credit card can come in handy.
Orient your kids on safety precautions
Before leaving, it is best to discuss with your kids safety precautions and do’s and don’ts. Explain to them what is safe and not. You won’t be able to keep an eye on them all the time so it helps knowing that you can actually trust them to do what is right.
Double check everything
Before leaving the hotel, double check the room and see if you have all your things in your luggage bags and back packs. You might forget some important stuff and it will definitely be a hassle to go back to get it if you are already at the airport.
Take lots of photos!
Traveling with your children is like a lifetime investment. You get to share and experience wonderful moments with your kids. Don’t forget to bring your camera and take lots of pictures so that you’ll have something to remind you of that wonderful trip. Create a photo album or journal. It is always nice to have something to look back on.
Aside from the tips mentioned above, I suggest you take into account your kids’ personalities, likes and dislikes, this gives you an idea on what kind of clothes to pack, food to bring and toys to carry. Plan ahead, and have ample time to create an itinerary and map out your activities for each day. This way you can save time and do more activities in a day.
“Why traveling with your family is important?” you might ask. Well, we are all busy; we have our works to go to each day while we juggle our duties and responsibilities as a parent. Our kids are also busy with school and homework that we rarely have time to do something enjoyable with them. Travel with family is very important in building a happy family. When you go on vacations, you are able to give your kids attention, relax in each other’s company and learn new things while having fun. It can be expensive but it gives you a great way to spend quality time with your kids and get to know them better.
Although traveling with children maybe a challenge at times, it can be rewarding and worth your money. You can ignite your child’s imagination with traveling, train them to have a sense of adventure and encourage them to try something new. Not only that, they can also learn things that can help them later on in school or in life in general. It is a wonderful experience altogether.
Seize every opportunity you get to travel with your kids. Have some fun, try new things, say “yes” to new experiences, and be a kid again…after all; there is always a kid inside all of us. So go pack your bags, hop on that plane and make memories together.