Some people view travelling with kids as a hassle, when in reality it’s one of the best experiences you can have as a family. If you don’t plan ahead, it can get expensive. There are steps you can take to prepare yourself for any challenges that may come up. Check out these tips that could help you save money and time on your next family trip.
- Plan ahead and leave plenty of extra time to reach your destinations. Kids don’t have a timeline and it’s hard to force them to conform to yours. Your children will most likely want to explore their surroundings, so consider leaving time for when their curiosity takes over.
- If flying with children:
- What to pack. Pack at least one extra outfit for when you’re on board, in case of emergencies or accidents. Let your child help packing their own bag and consider getting them their own little luggage to carry around the airport.
- Flight times. Strategically pick flight times that coincide with your child’s bedtime to make the flight more manageable. Figure out if direct flights or flights with layovers are more suitable for your kids. Depending on the child, having to change flights can either be beneficial or detrimental: beneficial in that your child can let out some energy and explore the airport, or detrimental in that your child could get restless and little cranky.
- Choosing seats. Choose seats that are close to each other so that you are your spouse can easily pass things around without disturbing other passengers
- Keep your child busy. Boredom can be your worst nightmare when travelling with children. Be sure to pack several forms of entertainment to keep them busy while waiting in long lines, on the flight, and in the car. Some ideas include:
- Window clings
- Interactive books with stickers/clings
- Wrapping toys individually. Kids get so excited to unwrap new things!
- Magnet boxes that can be used as games
- Be sure to pack snacks, snacks, snacks….and more snacks! You know what your child is like when they’re hungry. Although we all have our moments of hunger, kids can get “hangry” relatively fast. So it doesn’t hurt to always have a snack available for everyone, to avoid any cranky travelers.
- Check for child discounts for hotels, resorts, flights, restaurants, etc. Many hotels have family deals that can provide a child-friendly environment. The hotel/resort may have a kid’s room or specific features for family guests. If these amenities are not advertised on the hotel website, don’t be afraid to call and ask or ask at check-in.
- Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Not everything will go as planned and that’s okay! You want to be ready for every possible outcome so that you can be both mentally and physically prepared for anything.
If you remain hesitant and you start overthinking it, you’ll find yourself putting it off rather than exploring the world with your family. So, get out and travel with your kids!