Planning a trip for yourself is a lot different than planning a trip for the entire family. As an adult who has likely taken a vacation a time or two in the past, you have a better idea of the things you want and need to make the excursion a meaningful one. Yet, when you add the needs and desires of the children to the mix, there are a lot of other things that need to be considered. Failing to adjust your travels to meet the needs of both you and your children could result in a disaster of a trip. To keep it fun and stress-free, here are some tips to follow when traveling with the kids.
Above all else, while on your family vacation, you want to make sure that your children are safe. Below, are a few tips on how to protect your children during travel:
Bring Car Seats
Whether traveling by car or plane, children of a certain age and weight class are required to be secured in car seats. If your children require a child safety seat during drives, you should bring those seats with you on your trip. You’ll need them for the plane ride and may also need them in your rental car or when using public transportation to commute during your vacation.
Speaking of traveling by car and child safety, there are a lot of things that could go wrong on vacation that you can’t shield your children from – like an auto accident. If you’re out of town and involved in a collision, you’ll want to have coverage to take care of the costs. You can find cheap insurance online and print proof of coverage before heading on your trip.
First Aid Kits
Another element of safety when traveling with kids are first aid kits. Children are always getting banged or scraped up somehow, and this won’t stop because you’re far away from home. Rather than having to pay high costs to sit in an out of town emergency room for a few scrapes, cuts or bruises, you should have a first aid kit on hand. This way you can personally tend to your child’s medical needs if they get injured.
Where are you going? What do you plan to do when you get there? Here are a few tips on planning a stress-free family trip:
Age and Destination
Children have a very short attention span. Traveling too far too soon could turn into chaos. As your kids become more bored and unraveled by the minute, they start to act out. When deciding where you’ll take the family on vacation, consider the age of your children. If you’re traveling with toddlers, for example, traveling for days in a car or plane wouldn’t be ideal. However, if you have teenagers, going the distance can be a wonderful experience.
If you have a sizable family and are also looking to save money, you might exclude hotels and instead look for apartment, house, condos, or villa rentals for your family. These forms of vacation accommodations are generally a lot more affordable and comfortable than a hotel. You have several bedrooms, an eating area, a living room, a restroom, as well as a fully-equipped kitchen. So, if you chose, you can prepare meals to save money before going out.
Things to Do
Going on vacation is all about exploring new things. Yet, it is important to keep the kids in mind when looking for things to do. Remember to keep age and attention span in mind. Going to a museum might be appealing to a teenager but probably not as entertaining for a toddler. If you have children of varying ages, try to plan things to do for each of them to enjoy. Perhaps you go to the mall one day and the amusement park on another.
On the Road
You’ve made safety a priority, found the perfect destination, and a list of cool things for the family to do. There are just a few more pointers you’ll need to keep in mind when traveling with kids. This includes considering their needs while on the road. Here are some quick tips:
Pack food and snacks to curb hunger and save money
Pack games, toys, and electronics for entertainment in a car or on a plane
Keep things like diapers, wipes, a spare change of clothes, and other baby essentials nearby
If you’re going to be trooping out of town with the family, you want to be prepared. Not only do you want to make sure that you plan a vacation that you’ll enjoy, but one that compensates for your children’s wants and needs as well. Keeping the above tips in mind will reduce the stress in traveling with kids and allow you and your loved ones to have a great time exploring.