Tips and Tricks to Make Traveling With Kids Easy-Peasy
Many parents shy away from traveling with kids because, admittedly, it is a little more work. But kids are natural explorers and traveling fuels their curiosity. Don’t let the extra planning that’s required keep you from the joys of giving kids those opportunities. Use these travel hacks to make your next trip with kids easier and fun for the whole family.
Organization and Packing
Planning and organization are crucial when traveling with kids, especially when it comes to packing. Packing for a trip with kids can be tricky because you want to make sure you have all the necessities, but you don’t want to over pack (and overburden yourselves) either. If you have an infant or small children, those necessities can really pile up.
To travel lighter, you may want to pack only enough diapers, wipes and other disposables to get where you’re going, and then stock up when you get there. For everything else, create a checklist and start packing before it’s crunch time to make sure you don’t forget anything. Whatever age your kids are, be sure to pack a small bag for the car or plane with an extra change of clothing, pajamas and a toothbrush.
Whether you travel by plane or by car, kids need activities to keep them occupied on the way. Younger kids really love surprise bags. Your local dollar store is full of card games, puzzles, crafts, action figures and other small toys to include. Keep the bag handy while on the road or in the air, and the key is to only give out one surprise at a time so your kids always have something new to hold their interest.
If you’re going on a road trip, use organizers that hang on the back of your car’s seats so kids can have easy access to their books and activities. You can also keep kids happy by creating travel versions of their favorite activities such as travel Lego boxes. Older kids are likely to want some good books, music and headphones. And even if older kids or teens think it’s cheesy at first, playing car games including I Spy and spotting license plates is fun when you get the whole family involved.
Along with activities, you also need to keep everyone fed while on the road. It’s easy to fall into the trap of relying on drive-through food, but everyone will feel better when you pack healthy car-friendly meals. Keep it simple with healthy snacks that are easy to pack ahead of time and grab quickly. Some of our favorites are good old-fashioned PB&J, crackers or veggies with hummus, wrap sandwiches and protein boxes.
Where to Stay
Everyone will sleep better when you find a family-friend place to stay. Travel & Leisure recommends searching for a family-friendly home or apartment that you can rent, which may even be set up with a crib, bunk beds, and other accommodations that are perfect for your brood. If you stay in a hotel, they suggest getting a suite so everyone has a little more room to spread out.
What to Do
Just like everything else when traveling with kids, planning your itinerary is all about striking the right balance. The blog Two Scots Abroad suggests planning some activities that each member of the family will enjoy, not just the kids. Let older kids help choose some things to do, and then balance out the kid-focused activities with ones you choose. While some planning ahead is necessary, and can even save you money, don’t over pack your itinerary. Leave room for being spontaneous, dealing with the unexpected and down time, so no one gets overly tired and crabby.
Being ready for the unexpected is simply part of parenthood, not just while traveling, so keep that in mind if things get rocky. Even when there are road bumps, travel with kids is always worth it. The whole family gets new experiences, and you get to enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of a child.
Photo credit: Pexels
Happy Travel Adventures,