Written by Allen Brown.
Travel is an eye-opening and enlightening experience for young minds of any age. New food to be discovered, sights to be seen, and not to mention family time as a bonus. Although that may be true, traveling with children can also be overwhelming for adults because they can often bring long packing lists and unpredictable schedules with them.
Kids that are cranky are just a small thing you can encounter while traveling. However, there are six things that can make your trip with kids a breeze. After all, you and your children should enjoy every moment together while discovering what the world has to offer, and this is some advice on how to do so while also creating everlasting memories along the way.
Leave Some Extra “Room”
When traveling alone, there is no need to plan for extra time. Adults without children can get to the airport and get through security and walk to their gate quickly and can board the plane within 2 or 3 minutes.
However, that is certainly not the case when you are traveling with kids. When planning a trip with them, it would be wise to plan ahead since everything might take longer to do. For example:
- Boarding the plane
- Getting through security
- Checking in at the airport
- Purchasing drinks and snacks
It is recommended to get to the airport as early as possible and leave plenty of time in case something goes wrong. Just imagine the horror of missing your flight because you had to get your bottles and stroller longer than expected through security.
All you would be left is being stuck there with some unhappy children. Airport would not be the only example of taking things slow. Leaving some additional time could come useful if you were planning on taking them to restaurants, museums, walking or biking tours, or anything you have planned for a day on a trip. For instance, if you have planned a road trip, renting a travel trailer to help you on your travels, would be best to do in advance. Children will not be as cranky if they have everything they need right on a spot. Not to mention that their crying is additional stress which any of you do not need on a family vacation. This brings you to step number two.
Pre-planning should not end as soon as you book tickets for your trip. With kids, the idea of just showing up at a place and getting a stroll around the town while picking a place to stay is simply not possible. It would be wise to leave your children some time to rest upon your arrival before heading on an adventure.
The best advice would be to go straight to your booked accommodation and drop off your bags. Before you are at your destination, it would be a wise thing that you already picked up where you are staying. It all depends on your preferences, however, the location should be flexible and should be booked at least two nights ahead of time so your family vacation would not turn out to be a total nightmare.
Talk to Your Children
For first-time traveler kids, it is important to be introduced to the possibility of leaving their home. When feeling uncomfortable, children can misbehave since they are not happy. Especially if there are plenty of things going on. Your child will understand the situation they are in as well as each point of the trip if it would be previously explained to them and were presented with the outline.
As a result of them knowing what to expect, they will be more comfortable. For instance, you could explain to them what will be happening at the airport, on the plane or even as well what will be happening when you arrive at the desired destination.
It should be emphasized that happy children are those that are not thirsty or hungry. Meaning, the difference between a happy family trip and the miserable one would depend on those two basic needs.
For that reason, it would be wise to have something always prepared. You never know what might happen. The flight might get delayed, or there is unexpected traffic on the road to your hotel, and so on.
Ask for Discounts
When traveling with kids, there is a way to save a lot of money. It is simply by asking for child discounts. Even if it might be uncomfortable to ask, once it is done once, every next occasion will be easier. Many places will provide you discounts only because you are traveling with your young kids. You could ask for discounts for:
- Private guides
- Attraction entrance fees
In some cases, you could find a child pricing on the website of the accommodations you are dealing with. Even if sometimes nothing will be written, make sure to ask for it just in case. Sending an email ahead of time with simple questions when buying tickets or booking a ride can end up saving you half of the cost you would pay otherwise.
Accept the Inevitable
One of the main things you should do is to accept the inevitable. There are many instances where things can go wrong, and some might go true. For instance, your child might have a need to go to the bathroom urgently which can make you lose your flight or they could lose their favorite toy inside of a taxi and cry for the rest of the trip.
The point is to be aware of those potential situations and accept them since as soon as you do, the less stressed out you will feel when they happen.
The last additional thing you need to know is to stop putting off the travel experiences with your children and just go. There is a big possibility that nothing will go according to plan even if you follow these precautionary measures.
Although that may be the case, you and your family will be planning the next trip as soon as this one ends. Memories and experiences you will share together are irreplaceable and when some time goes by, even those events that were seemingly frustrating will be looked upon as something endearing and beautiful.