Tips for Traveling with Kids

Traveling with Kids TipsMake sure your family vacation is as fun and effortless as possible with careful planning and even a kid-friendly vacation rental!  

Will your family vacation be a cherished experience that everyone will fondly remember for years to come, or a headache that’s best forgotten? Will you spend all your savings in the name of a great getaway, only to end up disappointed and pinching every penny upon your return home? If you’re traveling with children, there’s a smart way to do it and a hassle-filled, expensive way to do it. Which way will you do it? With these simple tips for traveling with kids, you'll find it easy to please everyone.

Packing

The key to saving money and preventing stress is to pack wisely. Whether you’re headed to Disney World, the Outer Banks, or London, you’ll need certain items on hand. And the more you pack now, the less you will spend later. Think about your carry-on luggage specifically; what might you take for granted today that will be a miracle on the airplane? Baby wipes, extra diapers, a change of clothes, favorite (though non-disruptive) toys – like puzzle books and dolls, and snacks will come in handy on a flight or long road trip. What you pack and how much you pack not only depends on your children, but the destination; just make sure you designate plenty of time for this important activity!

The Journey

The road trip or plane flight may be the most cumbersome to prepare for, especially if it’s your child’s first vacation! Remember that simple games like “I Spy,” books on CD, and toys like coloring books can keep children preoccupied for hours at a time. Also if you prepare your child for what to expect while traveling, he or she will be less likely to whine and complain. If it’s your child’s first plane ride, describe how the plane will look, feel and sound! When you take the journey, however, may be the most important factor. Plan to travel when everyone is the sleepiest; for example at night or in the early morning.
Family Travel

The Destination

Congratulations, you have finally arrived at your destination (perhaps a family vacation home) and everyone made it in one piece! However, the battle may have just begun if you don’t have a plan to put in action. Beyond building a well thought-out itinerary and preparing your kids for it mentally, here are some extra tips to keep in mind for the duration of your vacation:


• Instead of denying your child the expensive digital camera they want to play with so badly, buy them a cheap disposable camera and let them go to town with it!

• Plan a night or two out on the town and enjoy more parent-friendly attractions; most popular vacation spots have child-care options, so investigate and budget for them.

• Seek out entertainment and activities the whole family will love; you don’t have to sacrifice your own fun just so the little ones can have a good time!

• Plan meals in advance so there’s never a moment when you’re tempted to dip into the closest restaurant (because the kids are crying for a food) and overspend. If you stay in a family vacation home, you can make most meals yourself!

• Instead of baby-proofing your hotel room, choose a kid-friendly vacation rental that’s meant to accommodate the youngest of the group.

• Don’t expect the sights-to-see to speak for themselves; give kids context and knowledge before sight-seeing! This way, everyone can fully enjoy the museum, nature tour, zoo, play, etc.

A kid friendly vacation rental is easy to find and book, and it will make your family vacation all the easier to enjoy!

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Photo by Tomek Broszkiewicz and Andy Ihnatko.