Traveling with kids is not necessarily a hassle. In fact, this may be one of the best experiences your whole family has. The key factor in enjoying a relaxing family holiday when traveling with kids is to pay attention to their needs and find the right balance between rest time and activities. Children who are overly tired will become irritable and frustrated children in a hurry.
Although our travel style has evolved from single travel to couple travel over the years, and now it is family travel, there are some basic travel habits that are very helpful to us, and we have been using it today.
How To Travel with Kids |And Best Tips For Traveling with Kids
Here are some best tips to travel with kids:
1. Pack Smart when you travel with kids
Pack the bare minimum when you travel with kids because you can always buy what you need in your destination.
Roll clothes and stuff socks and underwear inside shoes. Wear your heaviest clothes on the flight. Encourage kids to choose and pack their own clothes to minimize complaints and to teach travel skills.
Select versatile and comfortable clothes and color-coordinated separates so if something gets dirty you only have to change part of the outfit.
And pack bags with what is needed first on the top — a change of clothes for dinner, pajamas, or what is needed during the day including a change of clothes in case of accidents.
Hot Tip – Halve your clothes, double your budget.
2. Set a Family Travel Budget
Travel with kids does not have to be expensive. Decide on a comfortable budget that works for your family and include items such as souvenirs, entertainment, and a few unexpected activities. Once again involve your kids to make sure they feel comfortable with your travel plans.
Hot Tip: Every now and then blow your daily travel budget. We go away to experience things and create lifelong memories.
Don’t limit yourself to just traveling for the sake of traveling.
Go splurge on a famous restaurant, see a big concert, attend a mega sporting event, go on a safari, jump out of a plane, do something incredible.
Also Read: BEST PLACES TO VISIT THIS SUMMER IN INDIA
3. Pick a Kid Friendly Location
Stay in a safe and central area that’s close to local attractions, food outlets, the beach, the park, and all preferably within walking distance. This will save you time, money, and your kids from getting bored.
Stay More Than 1 Night – Many hotels provide their best deals when you stay over more than one night.
Stay over Sunday – Many hotels receive Friday and Saturday night bookings from leisure travelers and Monday-Friday bookings from their business travelers, so there can be a void on Sunday nights.
Check for Family Deals – Always ask about discounted rates, free meals for children, and an upgrade at check in – they can only say no.
A Pool and games room – Kids love both of these options. Does the pool have any special features (like a slide or waterfalls)?
Coupons and Discounts – Check out the brochure shelf in the lobby and any tourist literature in your room for ways to shave a few bucks off the price of your family vacation.
TV Channels – Does the hotel offer several family-oriented cable stations, like Disney, Nickelodeon, AMC, Discovery and Lifetime? Is there a movie library with kids’ movies?
Make Sure the hotel has a Lift – Carrying strollers, toys, and luggage up several flights of stairs is NO FUN!
Check the Dining Options – Does the hotel restaurant and room service have a kids’ menu?
Laundry – For longer vacations, check to see whether the hotel has coin-operated machines for hotel guests.
Bathtub – You’ll want to be sure that your room will include a bathtub.
4. Slow Down
Plan for a slower pace than you might usually attempt if solo or as a couple. Especially if you are traveling with kids and grandparents.
Be realistic about what you can see and do when traveling with kids. Don’t try to cram too much into your itinerary.
The less you feel you have to see, the more enjoyable and stress-free for everyone.
For the most part, the pace of the trip should be set to what your youngest child can handle. Build into your agenda time for stops along the way for bathroom breaks, snack breaks, and nap time.
If you can avoid cranky children it will make for a much more pleasant family travel experience.
4. Be Flexible when traveling with kids
Avoiding holiday periods when traveling with kids and traveling off-season can yield big savings on flights and accommodation.
Even if your kids are in school, consider traveling just outside of major school holiday periods. We enjoyed a quiet family beach vacation to Myrtle Beach by doing this!
Give yourself the best chance to capture a cheap flight. Leaving a few days or even weeks before or after your ideal date could mean the difference of hundreds of dollars.
Think about using airfare sales to help determine your family vacation destination and time of departure rather than the other way around.
5. Bring a Few Comforts from Home
Allow your children to bring along a few home comforts such as a stuffed toy, reading books, or a portable music player.
Activity packs can be a lifesaver on a plane and car ride
Make one with items such as coloring pencils and books, card games, board games, hand held electronic games, puzzles etc.
6. Do the Free Stuff
Many things to see and enjoy are absolutely free. See a street fair, concert, or cultural event. Catch a magnificent sunset, take a walk or bike ride, play in the park, swim at the beach or lake, climb a mountain.
Use the Free Days – Attend museums and tourist sites on FREE DAYS or when they are discounted. Most museums have special discount times or free nights. Before you go anywhere, make sure you look on their.
7. See Your Doctor
If you’re going overseas and have little ones, see your doctor at least two months before you leave to discuss your plans.
Mention the ages of your children and bring everyone’s vaccination records, and ask the doctor to note down their blood groups for you.
If any of your children has a pre-existing medical condition, ask for help in identifying a doctor in your destination who specializes in the same condition.
8. Road Trips with kids
Safety – Pack plenty of water, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight in case you break down at night. Call to make sure your road assistance plan is up-to-date and charge your phone beforehand.
Borrow an idea from the airlines: Purchase or borrow a portable TV/DVD player that mounts on the back of the seat in front. Rent a bunch of DVDs or borrow them from your local library for free.
Take Frequent Breaks – Preferably every two hours. Expecting young kids to sit still longer than that is unrealistic. Find interesting picnic spots, historical monuments, public parks or a playground. Let the kids run around and burn off some energy.
Have your vehicle completely checked out by your mechanic. Oil changes, brake checks, light checks are important to the vehicle’s safe operation. Also, double check the installation of all car seats to ensure they are properly set up for maximum protection.
9. Tips for Flying with kids
- Try to keep the same rituals as home when it comes to bedtime. Put the kids in their pajamas, read them a book, and sing them songs. And make sure they have their favorite toy or blanket.
- If possible, fly direct on long haul flights. Having to change flights mid-way at crazy hours of the night doesn’t help anyone. You want to arrive as fresh as possible.
- Feeding your baby with either a bottle or breast when you are taking off and landing, can help them adjust their ears to the change in cabin pressure.
- Take a change of clothes on board for you and your baby, especially on a long haul flight.
- Check in online to book preferred seats from home and cut out the hassle of queuing.
- Before disembarking, make sure they have been fed and to the toilet. Trust me, standing for an hour in customs with hungry and tired children is NO FUN!
10. Keep Meal Costs Down
Food costs can eat up a large portion of the family travel budget.
Self-Cater Where You Can – On long stays, we make self-contained accommodation with kitchen facilities a priority. Stay in places with a refrigerator so you can store breakfast foods, snacks, and bottled water. Purchasing your own supplies from the grocery store can save you big bucks.
Free Breakfasts – When booking a hotel look for one with breakfast included. Also, have picnics, barbeque’s, and house parties. This saves precious money.
Go out for Breakfast or Lunch – Try and avoid dinner as restaurants raise prices. OR, have brunch instead of 3 meals a day. Many restaurants offer lunch specials where items on the dinner menu are offered for a fraction of the cost you’d pay for the same meal in the evening. And we find that breakfast and lunch is easier with young kids as they are tired by dinner time.
Eat Away from the Tourist Streets – Just go one street or one block over and it will usually be cheaper and more authentic. Eat where the LOCALS eat. Also, eat at the popular street carts, usually the most authentic and cheapest meal.
One meal for two kids – Our kids are young enough to share one kid’s meal so on most occasions we only buy one. You can always buy another if they’re still hungry but you can’t send one back!
11. Capture Your Family Travel Memories
Consider giving your child a journal and a cheap digital camera. Kalyra loves taking her own pictures and it is fascinating to see travel through her eyes.
Pictures can be put into a scrapbook after you return, providing a lasting keepsake of your wonderful experiences together.
If your children are writing a journal, encourage them to draw and list things they see, eat and experience. And how about buying a cheap postcard from each destination and help them to note a memory on the back, or they can create a large collage to place on their bedroom wall once home.
12. Do a Test Run – travel with your kids before the real thing
If this is going to be your first serious trip as a family, consider starting with a shorter trip such as a weekend away or even just a day trip to the zoo as a trial run.
This will help you figure out packing choices, daily routines, how fast you can move around, and how you all get along and interact together.