Tips for Traveling with Kids
If you’re thinking about embarking on a family vacation, it’s important to plan ahead. This will help you avoid any last-minute hassles and keep your trip as stress-free as possible for everyone. In addition to helping minimize the amount of chaos that accompanies a child’s visit to grandma’s, planning ahead will also help protect your kid from potential hazards and ensure they have everything they need while traveling. Consider these 10 travel tips for families before you head out on your next getaway.
Make a travel packing list
Before you head out on your next trip, write out a list of everything you’ll need to take with you. Be sure to include all of your kids’ clothes and accessories, any medications they require, their favorite toys and games, their favorite snacks, and any other items you think they may need while traveling. It may also be a good idea to include a pair of extra shoes or sneakers in your pack-list just in case your child goes barefoot for some reason.
Research local hotspots ahead of time
Before you travel to a new city, find out as much as you can about the local attractions. This will save you from heading out to the wrong tourist destinations. You can also use this time to research nearby parks and nature reserves. There are plenty of parks near major cities that offer camping facilities, swimming pools, playgrounds, and other amenities for families. Now that you’re well-informed about what you’re going to see, you can plan your itinerary. Try to aim for places with a variety of activities your kids will enjoy, such as museums, playgrounds, zoos, theme parks, and nature reserves.
Stay informed and know your rights as a traveler
Don’t assume that your kids will receive better treatment when they travel with you than they would if they traveled alone. Many hotels and cruise lines have policies that restrict the number of children in a room and/or require that they share a bed with an adult. Make sure you know these policies and that your kids are aware of them as well. It’s also a good idea to brush up on your travel rights. This will help you identify any issues or frustrations you may encounter at the airport or on a plane. For example, many airlines give parents two pieces of advice: Don’t be late and don’t try to drag your kids through the airport at 9 p.m.
Pack liquids in plastic bags
Do you ever notice how quickly a suitcase filled with clothes is emptied when you bring it on a trip? If so, you may want to consider packing everything you need in bottles or cans and putting them in a plastic bag. Not only will this save you the hassle of constantly repacking, but it will also keep your clothing and other items dry. If you’re packing liquids in plastic bags, be sure to seal them well. This will prevent them from leaking. You may also want to consider buying a bottleless suitcase if you’re prone to repacking. These suitcases have built-in bottle holders that let you pack more efficiently.
Wear shoes you don’t mind getting dirty
This tip is a little odd, but hear us out. When traveling with kids, chances are your shoes will get dirty. While this may not seem like a big deal, it can impact your trip negatively. Dirty shoes are harder to clean and take longer to dry, making it harder to keep your feet clean on a long trip. To avoid this, try wearing shoes or sandals without any socks. This way, your feet will be much easier to wipe clean when they get a bit messy. If you need to wear socks, you can do this while still keeping your shoes relatively clean. Another thing you can do to keep your shoes relatively clean while on a trip is to keep a plastic bag in your backpack. Once your shoes start to get dirty, simply put them in the bag and let them sit while you continue walking.
Always communicate with your child while traveling
Whether you’re traveling with one child or a whole family, you’ll want to make sure you’re talking with your child at all times. This will help prevent any confusion or resentment that may arise from the separation. You can also use this time to engage in any activities that would help you bond with your child even further, such as reading a book or watching a movie together. Keep in mind that this doesn’t need to be a long conversation where you talk nonstop. A quiet activity while traveling is better than none at all. You can also use this time to help your child unwind before bed. This will help avoid any stress or tension that could arise from being anxious about being separated.
Don’t skimp on sunscreen and bug spray
This may sound obvious, but we’ve seen it happen time and time again: Parents who don’t bring sun protection on a trip get burned, while those who do get a break. For example, if you go to the beach or the pool without protection, you’re more likely to burn compared to if you had it. If you’re going to an area with a higher risk of being bitten by bugs, you should also keep these in mind and bring bug repellent as well. You don’t want to make your trip less enjoyable by spending hours in the sun that could have been spent doing fun things. Make sure you pack sunscreen, bug spray, and bug repellent ahead of time. This way, you won’t have to think about it while you’re on a trip.
Protect your electronics while traveling
When you’re traveling with electronics, it’s important to keep them protected. This will keep them from getting damaged, as well as prevent them from getting wet. Try to keep your electronics in a plastic bag whenever possible. Make sure they’re also out of the sun when possible. If you must leave electronics in your checked bag, be sure to seal them well. This will prevent them from getting wet. You may also want to invest in a checked bag lock, which will make it harder for a thief to steal your bag if it’s left unattended.
Traveling with children can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be a headache. With a little preparation and effort, you can make your trip as enjoyable as possible. These 10 travel tips will help you make the most of your next trip with the kids.