Having a beautiful vacation is something that almost everyone craves for. Still, a lot of parents think that traveling with kids is too much of a burden. But it shouldn’t be like that. With a bit of preparation, common sense and by following certain tips, you can have the perfect vacation with your kids. So, forget the whining and crying. Look forward to a vacation where everyone – your family’s little members included, sport a smiling face. Here’re some great tips that’ll ensure you and your kids enjoy your travel to the fullest.
Involve the kids in planning
Once you have done your research on the destination, see what the kids have to say about it. Discuss your findings and let them decide certain things they would like to see or do at the chosen destination. This way, they will feel involved in the trip. Remember - the more involved the children are, the better your holidays will be.
Choose the hotel wisely
Several hotels aren’t family-friendly. So, be cautious while selecting your hotel. Ideally, you should stay in a central and safe area, at walking distance from a garden or park. Choose the right room type based on your family size and needs. Both junior suites and connecting rooms can accommodate the entire family, though the experience may not be the same.
Pack only the necessities when traveling with children because you can always buy the required things at your destination. Try to wear the heaviest clothes during your journey. Encourage children to select and pack their own clothes to teach them travel skills and to minimize complaints. Select comfortable and color-coordinated separates so that the kids can easily change part of their outfits if something gets dirty. Don’t forget to pack some medicines for car/motion sickness (which is common in children) and some other general ailments (fever, cough, pain etc).
Set a travel budget
Traveling with children doesn’t need to be expensive but to do it, you should decide on a comfortable budget. Keep some additional funds for items like entertainment, souvenirs and unexpected activities. Traveling just for the sake of traveling would neither make the kids nor you happy. So, use your additional funds on a delicious meal at a good restaurant, attend a grand sporting event, see a concert, or have a ball on a safari. The key is to do something fun and memorable.
Take your own food
Always take your own food on flights, road trips and buses, where possible. Long flights or road trips can leave the children feeling hungry and cranky. Pack adequate amount of snacks for the entire family. It’s wise to steer clear of the idea of buying snacks at the airports as they’re usually quite expensive and have limited selection of healthy options.
Hire a car with driver
If your destination is a developing or inexpensive country, it’s wise to book a car along with driver instead of taking the wheels yourself. Prices are generally reasonable and knowing the roads better (than you) would make them find your address easily. Since these local people also know the region’s driving rules and customs much better, coming across any problem or roadblock would be handled much more effectively by them.
Prepare for the unexpected
With all these tips, you can be almost rest assured of having a great vacation. However, things can go still go awry at the drop of a hat. Delays and sickness are something that can’t be predicted. In case of delays, get your kids involved in some activities. From giving them some money to go and explore the shops in the departure zone (and perhaps even buy a few things), to reading the departure boards and asking them what they know about the destinations (where it is, if they have gone there, any memories of such trips etc), guessing the number of planes that’ll take off before you board your flight etc, the key is to be imaginative to keep the little ones involved. In case of sickness, give them the medicine you are carrying. If you aren’t, find a pharmacy at the airport to get the medicines. The trick in such cases is not to panic. Else, you’ll drain the energy of your entire family.