Best Family Travel Tips: Vacations with Kids Can Be Easy!
If you have plans to travel with your kids, here are the best family travel tips for 2022. It doesn’t matter how many solo trips you have made in the past. Traveling with kids is a whole new experience. There is nothing that can make parents more anxious than the thought of traveling with their young kids.
- General Tips
- Safety and Security
- Health Tips When Travelling with Your Baby
- Traveling with Babies and Toddlers
- Flying with Kids
- Best Places to Travel with Kids
Below are general family travel tips you should consider before embarking on a journey with kids:
Prepare for Your Trip and Book in Advance
The earlier you book for your trip, the more likely you will save. Many travel agencies offer early-bird savings to customers. Also, booking your trip in advance allows you to explore more options. It is harder to secure travel opportunities during holiday seasons and other peak travel periods. Therefore, it is best to begin your preparations early enough.
Sign Up for Special Deals to Save on Cost
Many popular family vacation centers like Walt Disney have special deals throughout the year. When you sign up with them, you will be the first to receive information about these promos. The promos may include special price offers, available upgrades for hotel rooms, and even discount for children. Special deals can be a great way to save costs when searching for family trip ideas.
Sign Up Your Family for a Travel Reward Program
Likely, the adults in your family are already part of an airline travel reward program. Don’t forget to do the same for your toddlers. Ensure to register them for a reward program before traveling. The earlier your baby starts receiving airline points, the faster they will begin to enjoy the benefits. Some of the benefits include free upgrades and a choice of seat selection.
Ensure to Give Yourself Enough Time to Prepare
Preparing with kids always takes longer than a solo trip. Whether it’s your first family trip together or your tenth, always provide enough preparation time. It is always advisable to double or triple your estimated preparation time.
Remain Calm No Matter the Circumstances
Among all the family travel tips, this is the most invaluable advice you will get as a parent. Events like bad weather can happen out of the blues and affect flight schedules.
You know there is nothing you can do about the situation. Shouting at airport officials will also not salvage the situation. The truth remains that any open show of frustration will affect your day. Your children will most likely feel the weight of your annoyance in the end. It is best to maintain a friendly attitude and appearance at all times.
According to author and travel expert Dough Wallace, no matter how well you plan, it is hard to make provision for everything. Therefore, it is best to embrace unforeseen circumstances. Relax and enjoy your journey on the go, no matter how it turns out. Who knows? You might be on one of the best family vacations with your kids.
Aim for Early Afternoon or Late Morning Flights
If you are opportune to find flexible flight schedules, go for late morning or early afternoon flights. 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. local time are the best when traveling with kids. It ensures that your family has enough rest and time to prepare for the trip.
Late morning and early afternoons are usually the less busy times at most airports. If you are lucky, you can even get cheaper flights during these periods. It is the best way to save your sanity and some cash.
Never Go for The First and Last Flights, it Can Be Counter-Productive
Sometimes, an airline may decide to make sudden changes to their flight. Guess which flight is usually the target? The first or last flight of the day. The situation can lead to the main flight disruption for your family. What if you book the last flight and such an incident occurs? You will most likely be stuck at the airport overnight with your family. Remember that, each day you miss out can affect your days or experience.
If you must fly very early next morning, consider booking a room close to the airport. Note that many travel sites provide cheap last-minute airline bookings.
Consider Nap Time When Picking the Best Time to Travel with Kids
It’s a good thing if your kid can easily fall asleep at any time and anywhere. Picking a flight time that falls within their nap time is one way to have a peaceful and quiet flight. However, if your child is not good at sleeping on the trip, consider sticking to the initial plan.
Create a Trip Cheat Sheet
a cheat sheet for your trip should contain all the relevant information about your trip. Some of the information it should contain include travel dates, air booking confirmation codes, the address of the hotel you will be staying and all the members of your family on the trip. Collect all the information on an online centralized site like Trello or Google docs.
Also, create a list of all the necessary items you must take for your travel. Include your passports, reservation tickets, credit cards, and items your baby loves to cuddle.
Ensure you have all the necessary items you need for your journey before you leave the house. If you do a thorough job before you leave, you will have little or no worries about forgetting anything.
Repeat Same Place Vacation Over and Over
Many families that record success with traveling together repeat the same location over and over. The good thing about repeating the same location is that it allows you to master the location. You already know what to take for your trip and the things to expect.
It also saves you the time of trying to research family vacation tips. You already know what you need and can be on the road on the spur. A repeat vacation is great especially when you are planning a short weekend vacation. It allows you to take pictures in the same spot as the last. A repeat vacation is a great way to see how far your children have come over the years.
A Comprehensive Resort or Cruise is a Great Way to Cut Down on Vacation Planning
Consider comprehensive resorts when you are planning to travel with family. Comprehensive Resorts will help you cut down on planning time. They offer a variety of fun activities like:
Comprehensive resorts are a world of their own and one of the best places to travel with kids. Some resorts offer one price for all activities including a sleeping space. Nonetheless, other resorts may charge additional fees for extra activities.
Enquire About Laundry
If your sleeping space is not an Airbnb or a long-term rental apartment, you may not get a DIY laundry. You know how expensive laundry can be in a hotel, except you have too much to spend. You can save costs on laundry by looking up laundromats or enquiring from the concierge. Doing one load per seven-day gateway is worth it.
Enquire About Weather at Your Vacation Location Before Leaving
Ensure to look up the weather days before your departure. It will help you decide on the right items to pack for your vacation. The weather report can help you decide what kind of vacation is best for you. Whether you will be embarking on outdoor activities or indoor activities all depends on the weather.
Depend on Products that can Serve Double Purposes
There are special products like backpacks that can convert into a sleeping pod. Some strollers can easily turn into a car seat. If you have children, you might want to invest in these products. However, it is essential to pay close attention to the upper weight limit before purchasing some of these products. Once your child weighs more than the max weight limit, the product is no longer an option.
Pack a Toiletry Box for Each Member of Your Family
Having a separate bag for your toiletries will save you a lot of stress. You don’t have you dig around and scatter your luggage when the need arises. Ensure to keep them very close in case you need them on a plane.
Create a False Departure Deadline
Telling people, you will leave early is easier to say and harder to achieve. One way that most people have overcome this problem is by setting their departure alarm far ahead. You can set your alarm 30 minutes ahead to buy yourself 30 minutes extra time before your departure.
Safety and Security
Safety and security tips are vital and should make up your essential family travel tips. When traveling with kids, the most essential thing to take into consideration is their safety. Kids love to explore their world and mingle with other kids. You don’t need to stop them from these interactions that are vital to their development.
Rather, find ways to keep an eye on them as they wander off to play. Below are security and safety tips that you should consider.
Invest in Smart Devices to Keep an eye on Your Kids
Once your baby grows beyond the baby monitor stage, you need other ways to keep an eye on them. You can invest in smart devices like the Find My Kids app to ensure your kid’s safety. Don’t go on another vacation without first getting the Find My Kids app and smart device for your child. Follow the link to discover more about this device and how it works.
With Find My Kids app, you can monitor the position of your child in real-time. The app also enables you to listen to live audio of your kid’s surroundings in case she or he runs into problems. The app connects to your smart device and you can communicate with your child through it like a regular mobile device.
Know and Understand Your Kids
If you don’t know and understand your child well, it will be difficult to keep them safe during a trip. Children react differently to situations. Therefore, a good understanding of your child helps you know better, what they are dealing with. Some children have a strict nap time in order not to burn out. If that is the case, ensure to make it possible for them.
Drop Some of Your Parenting Skills On the Flight
Flying is already hard enough and even adults feel the pressure of the boredom on them. Consequently, it is not the perfect time to wear your parenting garb and descend so much on your child. Go easy, give them some room to relax. You wouldn’t want to be the one boring your kids out on the flight with doing this and that. Play fun family shows on your device and enjoy it together as a family.
Request to Book Family Seats Close Together
Enjoying a family flight together is one of the surest ways to keep an eye on your child. Booking sits that are close together allows you to enjoy family time together while on the trip. It will help you understand your child’s feeling and need at each specific time during the Journey.
Understand that Standards Will Vary from One Country to Another
If you are traveling outside the United States for vacation with your children, standards may vary from what you already know. For example, the United States has its standards regarding exposing wires in hotel rooms, balcony size, etc. The case may be different when you go outside the United States. So keep an eye on electrical fittings in the hotel room and the safety of your surrounding in general.
Ensure the environment is baby-friendly before letting your child play unsupervised. Always keep an eye on your children if they go close to the beach or swim. Not every hotel location has a child safety protocol in place.
In places where road trips record high hazard rates, ensure to inform your driver of the need to be careful. Buckle in everyone and be watchful on speed level. After all, it’s not a race but a fun family vacation.
Health Tips When Travelling with Your Baby
Children react differently from adults to new environments and conditions. Therefore, when traveling with kids, consider the following essential health tips.
Carry Along with a Hand Sanitizer
When traveling with kids, keeping your kids healthy should be the top priority. Always encourage your children to wash their hands regularly and travel with a hand sanitizer. Ensure that your children wash their hands after a trip to the toilet, before and after meals. Hand sanitizers can be handy where water for washing is not readily available.
Keep Plenty Fluid Available (Pedialyte Can Be Handy)
Your baby needs water, ensure you carry enough water and keep it close. In case of long trips, you may not have access to water. Therefore, keeping your cans of water close can be handy for your kids. Also, keep some electrolyte-rich drinks available (a sports drink or Pedialyte). When you notice symptoms of illness in your child, keep them hydrated and balanced with Pedialyte.
Ensure Give Your Child Flu Shots at Least Two Weeks Before Your Trip
Flu vaccines usually take two weeks to take full effect. Therefore, ensure you book an appointment with your child’s pediatrician for their flu shot two weeks before your trip date. Always have a pediatrician’s number available and don’t hesitate to use it when necessary.
Ensure Your Kids Stick to their Sleep Time
Rest is an essential part of your child’s health. Sticking to your child’s sleep pattern can be particularly hectic when you move to a new location. Therefore, plan your daily activities around your child’s usual sleep and wake-up time. It will help you to encourage adequate sleep. Don’t forget to bring your child’s sleeping pillow along with you during your trip.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
The temptation to live off junk food is higher when you are on vacation. Therefore, ensure to maintain a healthy diet. Fruits, vegetables, bone broth, and other mineral-rich foods will help your child develop a healthy and strong immune system. Stick to fresh food restaurants and invest in immune-boosting finger snacks.
It is almost inevitable to avoid eating out when you are on a journey. But choosing a sit-down restaurant over fast food is mostly advisable.
Traveling with Babies and Toddlers
Traveling with babies and toddlers is harder than traveling with grownups. Before traveling with toddlers, ensure that the following are in place:
You Have Made Adequate Provisions for a Stroller
If your family vacation involves a lot of strolling and sightseeing on foot, a good stroller is essential. It is even more necessary to bring a stroller along if you have babies below six months. Many parks that have kids in focus provide strollers for rent. The same applies to some family-friendly holiday homes and hotels. Always contact your choice location ahead to know what they have on the ground.
You Might Want to Invest in a Portable High Chair
Consider investing in a portable high chair if you are traveling with babies. Lately, there are high chairs available at many North American restaurants. However, if you are considering traveling to other regions where they are less in vogue, consider bringing your own along. Don’t worry, it will also be useful when next you go for holiday at granny’s place.
Ensure You Bring Along the Appropriate Clothing for Your Toddler
Children, especially toddlers respond to temperature change differently from adults. Therefore, having the appropriate clothing at hand to change over when necessary is essential. One moment your toddler may be feeling warm; the next moment they are cold. Try to understand these changes to know when to slip into cold clothes.
Don’t Forget to Pack Baby Diapers, Baby Wipes, and Towels
Babies just take a leak when they feel the press. It doesn’t matter whether you are on a flight. Baby diapers can be your lifesaver in such messy situations. It saves you the stress of trying to change over into new clothes on the plane. Remember to check your baby’s diaper from time to time. You don’t want to leave your baby in a wet diaper for too long.
Call the Location Ahead of Time to Know What Amenities They Have on Ground for Kids
Do you need a crib for your baby in the room? What about babysitting services? Call and enquire ahead of time to know what your choice vacation location offers. It will help you understand what to expect and what extra plans you need to make.
Flying with Kids
Kids can easily get irritated on a flight, especially when they are awake. Therefore, your major concern should be how to distract them from the inconvenience of flying. Below are some of the things you need to do to keep your kids occupied.
Charge All Devices to The Max and Load Them Up with Entertainment
There is no doubt today that many flights provide in-flight entertainment. Don’t ever count on them since you cannot determine the quality of the network. Also, the availability of in-flight entertainment greatly varies as a result of different factors. Since you cannot decide beforehand the nature of the network, it is best to prepare for the situation. Load your devices with games and shows that you can watch without the internet.
Allow Your Kids to Play Games on Their Tablet
Besides cartoons, there are many kid-friendly games that children love to play. Preload their devices before the flight and allow them to play these games during the flight. It is a great way to keep them busy and take their minds off the bumpy ride.
Make a DIY Spew Survival Kit
Spewing is not uncommon for children, especially first-time flyers. Every parent understands how irritating it can be when the spew splatters all around. Bringing a spew survival kit along might just be the best thing you will do for your family.
You can make a DIY spew survival kit by packing some essential items like plastic bags, paper towels, pre-moistened wipes, and changeover clothes. You can never know when they will come in handy. Also, don’t forget shoes, jackets, and socks, which are mostly at the receiving end of spew.
Bring Along Headphones for Your Kids
Downloading new movies and songs on the tablet is great. However, while doing so, don’t forget to pack your child’s headphones along. You can always get a new set of headphones at the airport. The downside will be the high price and less variety to select from.
You might want to go for Bluetooth headsets for convenience. If you’re traveling with more than one kid, you can invest in a headset splitter. It will enable all your children to connect and enjoy the show together. Even when your children all have separate devices, the splitter ensures that even when one kid runs out of battery, they can all still enjoy the show together.
Make Fake Wallets for Your Kids
By now you know how much kids love to play with a wallet? Use fake wallets to distract your kids during the flight. Load up an old wallet or buy a cheap one and fill them with old gift cards, expired credit cards, and photos. That way you will keep them busy throughout the trip. It can be the most satisfying way to engage your child in play and be free from disturbance. The good thing is that the method will cost you little to nothing.
Ensure to go with Only Bags You Can Carry Comfortably
Adhere to the golden rule of thumb and don’t lug more than two bags per individual. If possible, ensure that one of those bags is a backpack. It makes it easier to carry.
Get a Separate Suitcase for Your Kid and Allow your Child to Carry It
I know how much you love your kids and will like to help them out. But hey, your kids love to drag their suitcases by themselves. Don’t deny them of that privilege. It frees up some space in your luggage and gives you a sense of pride and fulfillment.
Allow your children to make their selection of the clothes and things they want to bring along for a vacation. Encourage them to pick out all they want and pack them in their suitcases a day before your departure. While it seems like a little and common thing to do, it’s a way to create excitement within your kid. Prepare yourself to answer any questions they throw at you, no matter how weird it feels.
It’s okay if they throw in a little too many toys into their luggage. You can always sneak them out when their attention is not there.
Related: Flying With Kids: A Guide for Parents.
Best Places to Travel with Kids
Considering the best places to travel with kids in 2022? Think of locations where your kids can freely explore their adventure spirit. Many kids love adventure as much as they love to experiment with new things. Below are some of the best places your kids need to see before they turn eighteen:
- Take them for an outdoor adventure to explore the beauty of nature. One place you need to visit with your kids is the Yellow Stone National Park. It provides your kids the opportunity to have a close encounter with thermal pools. Besides, it is also a great opportunity for wildlife observation.
- Visit New York City for great insight into America’s history. New York City is also home to the statue of liberty. Take them to Ellis Island, the Great Hall, and ground zero. All these will help them understand America better as they come of age.
- You can go for a tropical vacation on Cayman’s island. Let your kids experience the beauty of the water world. The Island is notable for its great diving spots and snorkeling locations and family-friendly activities.
- The Galapagos Island in Ecuador is another great site to visit with your kids. The island is alive with many exotic wildlife species. It is most notable for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. At Galapagos, your kids will get the opportunity to dive with Turtles and Dolphins.
- Visit the Crystal River in Florida and allow your kids the opportunity to view the rare manatees. The island is rich with natural springs that maintain a satisfying temperature of 72 degrees throughout the year.
One of the greatest things you can do for your children is to travel with them. Therefore, the importance of these family travel tips cannot be overemphasized. A family vacation is a great way to spend family time together. Don’t worry if things don’t go according to plan, your family will still love the experience.
Exposing children to new experiences and sights is a good way to prepare them for the realities of life. Seeing different sites enables them to develop and keep an open mind. The sites, the buildings, and the new food all come together to create something great for the child.
If it is your first time traveling with kids, these tips can help you make the best of it. Use the Find My Kids app to ensure that your kids are safe at all times.
When last did you have a family vacation? How was the experience? Tell us in the comment section.
The picture on the front page: Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock.com
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