6 Essential Tips for Traveling with a Family
Family holidays are the best time of the year – it’s the perfect getaway from the worries and struggles of everyday life and an ideal way to break out from your mundane routines and spend some quality time with those you love the most. However, traveling with a family can often be a tricky endeavor, especially when you spend your time worrying about all the obligations you have and everything that could possibly go wrong. But if you are willing to put some thought into these incredible family travel tips, you can ensure you have a happy, relaxing and satisfying family vacation.
Check out our 6 Essential Tips for Traveling with a Family
1. Book everything in advance
While it’s always exciting to go on an adventurous holiday without a plan and let the moment guide you, it’s not really the best idea when you’re traveling with children who tend to have a low threshold for being uncomfortable. So, do yourself and your kids a favor and make the transportation, accommodation, and even sightseeing reservations ahead of time to avoid any unnecessary frustration. Don’t forget to call the hotel or apartment rental before you set off to ask if they have a crib or a high chair available during your stay, as it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
2. Choose your destination wisely
Choosing the perfect destination can make or break any family trip. While it’s important to consider your children’s needs, it’s crucial to visit a place that interests you as well. Since most destinations have family-friendly attractions or some form of an amusement park, try to look for those places that offer some adult fun for you, too. Remember that long travel days are stressful for the little ones, so it’s best to choose a destination that has direct flights or trains. Another great idea would be to opt for accommodation that is close to the main attractions, such as the beach, in order to avoid long, tiresome walks, taxis and public transport.
3. Opt for central apartments
If you’re traveling with your family, chances are you’ll often need more than one bedroom to accommodate everyone. You can opt for an apartment rental, as they are usually cheaper than hotels, but offer all the comforts of home. Look for centrally located apartments, so that you can easily walk to the best areas and the main attractions, and also come back for naps whenever necessary. It would be best to choose an apartment that offers a living room, kitchen and laundry, as it will save you a lot of time, money and frustration.
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4. Pack as light as you can
When you travel with children, the last thing you want is to end up holding your baby in one hand and dragging a heavy suitcase in the other one for miles – it’s tiresome and completely impractical. So, try to opt for a small carry-on or a backpack and only pack a few changes of clothing, some toiletries and any baby essentials you may need, such as wipes, bottles, and diapers. Another great idea would also be to bring a lightweight baby wrap with you, instead of a stroller, as they are much more convenient and hardly take up any unnecessary space.
5. Don’t forget about the pastimes
Long trips can often be boring or even quite stressful for children, which is why it’s always best to bring something that will entertain your little ones during the ride. Take a few favorite toys with you, the smaller the better, so they can be packed easily. Tablets filled with interesting movies and educational games are also perfect for keeping your kids occupied, and practical enough to be easily packed and even used by you. Another good idea would be to pack some over-the-ear headphones as well, since earbuds don’t sit well in little ears, and give yourself (and the other passengers) a chance to relax while your little ones are having fun.
6. Slow down and enjoy the trip
A big mistake parents often make when traveling with family is trying to replicate the way they used to travel before they had children. Things are completely different now, so try not to squeeze too many activities and sightseeing into one day. Choose one adventure to enjoy in the morning when everyone is refreshed and recharged, then break up the day and spend some quiet time back in your room before you venture out again. Remember, travel is supposed to be fun, so do your best to make it as exciting as you can.
A family vacation doesn’t have to be a daunting experience; it just takes a little bit of planning and an adjustment of attitude. You’ll be glad you made the extra effort when you see the positive impact travel has on both you and your whole family.