Nothing can prepare you for what follows after you have a child. No matter how many books you read on parenting or how many people you talk to. Becoming a parent is one of the most amazing joys of life and at the same time, it is also one of the biggest responsibilities. Each and every aspect of your life will revolve around your kids, for the next 20 years, until they move out.
However at the same time, during the early years of childhood, you will have the opportunity to make some amazing memories that will be with you for the rest of your life. One of the best memories and moments of bonding between a parent and their children happens during a family holiday trip! Be it a weekend getaway, an outdoor camping vacation, or a road trip to Disneyland, going on a holiday trip will bring so much joy to you and your kids.
Although, as most people with kids would tell you, traveling with children is no easy task, especially with toddlers. They will always keep you on your toes, they will never get tired! As many of us at leisure.com have quite a lot of experience with going on holiday trips with children, we can tell you some important tips and insights that will make your life much easier.
Here are the most essential tips for traveling with kids that no one will tell you about!
Kids grow up fast, and to fuel their growth they need to eat. However, as most parents would agree, children are quite picky when it comes to meals. Though at home you have everything you need to cook up their favorite meals in a jiffy, you don’t always have that option on a holiday trip.
Therefore you need to make sure that you’re always stocked up on their favorite snacks when traveling. It is important to pick healthy snacks that they can enjoy as much as they can, instead of candies or a bag of chips.
As we said earlier, kids will always keep you on your toes, and therefore you must make sure that you are always ready to go. That means traveling light and only packing the essentials. When on a holiday trip with kids, the list of essential items is quite long as compared to traveling alone or with friends. Carrying diapers, bottles, clothes, footwear, snacks, entertainment, strollers, car seats, and other important medicines will fill your bag in a second. Therefore you need to prioritize what is important as per the needs of your children and what you can buy on the way.
This is one of the most important tips to keep in mind when on a holiday trip with children. Always make sure that you pre-book everything. From flights to cabs, from hotels to rentals cars, from day passes to tickets, book everything you can in advance. You cannot afford to stand in queues or going on an impromptu holiday trip when traveling with kids. Booking everything in advance with help you prepare for it in advance, get the kids ready too. It will also give you a lot of peace and time to relax as well.
This is a mistake most rookie parents make way too often. You cannot rush your holiday trips like you could when you didn’t have kids. You have to slow yourself down and give time to yourself and the kids, to settle in and get acclimated before you move onto your next adventure. Plus, being a parent and taking care of kids while traveling make you exhausted as it is. Therefore you need to make sure that you plan everything right and give yourself an adequate amount of time to relax and prepare yourself before heading out.
One of the best memories a parent can have with their kids is made while traveling. For many making memories and having a great time with their kids is one of the most important reasons to go on a holiday trip, whereas for some it’s a necessity because of work, or other commitments.
Irrespective of your reasons to travel you should always talk to your kids before, during and after your trip and not be too involved with your engagements. This promotes healthy conversations and will allow you to understand their troubles more easily.
Traveling can be expensive, especially when on a holiday trip with family. However, you don’t have to pay full prices everywhere. Most places have discount offers and deals for children under the age of 12. The age of the child to get a discount varies from place to place, but you must always ask if they have any special discounts or offers for children. This will save you a lot of money, and will also allow you to understand with the place is kid-friendly or not.
No matter how smart, or responsible your kids are, you can never leave them by themselves while traveling. Always stay near your kids, and book your seat together. Take shifts and divide your time, amongst yourself to keep a watch on them and make sure they don’t wander off too far.
An absolute essential tip whenever you go on a holiday trip or any kind of travel, is to make sure your children have your contact information. Details like name, phone number, place of residence, information about your car, or hotel, etc. The best way to do this is to have them memorize it, and also to put a card or slip of paper with this information with them at all times.
Infants and Toddlers have a much lower immunity against diseases than us, therefore you must make sure that they are protected from germs all the time. In addition to the common precautions, you must also have basic medications and any special meds your child may need. For example Allergy medication.
It is important to have the proper identification documents of your kids with you. Always have their passports and other documents with you whenever you are traveling or going on a holiday trip.
Most kids have their preferences and taste when it comes to entertainment. Without it, they may get cranky and cause some difficulties during your holiday trip. You cannot afford to rely on in-flight entertainment on the TV in your hotel. Bring your kid’s favorite entertainment along with you. But try to engage them in other things such as enjoying the views, doing some fun activities, or playing a car game and only give them their entertainment devices as a last resort.
At the end of the day, family travel and holiday trips are about bonding and exploring new destinations with your children. Therefore it is important to help them learn a thing or two about the place you’re visiting, and get them fascinated. Bring them out of their mobile phones and let them enjoy the views and the great outdoors.
Another essential tip for a holiday trip with children is to book an apartment or condo instead of a hotel room. As comfortable and clean as hotel rooms may be, they lack the freedom and most of the amenities of the home. Hotel rooms can work when you plan to stay for 2 days or less, but if you’re planning a trip for a longer duration, it is better to book an apartment through Airbnb.
You do not have the luxury to spend time alone when on a holiday trip with kids, you can sure enjoy some quiet time by using some good quality headphones. A good pair of headphones is very important when going on a road trip with children. They can keep them entertained for hours, so you can enjoy some quiet time.
And the final tip for traveling with kids is to let them play. After all, they are kids and that is what they do best. Let them have fun and enjoy themselves while you catch a break. You still need to keep an eye on them, but you can still dial down the strictness a couple of notches. An added benefit to this is that they’ll tire themselves out and go right to sleep, giving you a couple of hours to relax as well.