Traveling with children is a nightmare for many people. In reality, traveling with the entire family can be a happy dream. It can be an experience of new sights, sounds, and memories. We’ve got a few tips that will help you create the vacation of a lifetime with kids in tow.
Let Them Help Plan
You can plan activities when you travel. Teach the kids the importance of family which starts with including all of the family in the planning of a vacation. They can throw out a few things they would like to do once they get to the destination, as well as places they would like to eat. They’ll feel more in control and feel like they’re an important part of planning the trip.
The best trick in the book is to give children entertainment. The idea of screen time might make you cringe, but it’ll help you keep your sanity during travel. Bring them their own set of earphones and a DVD player, iPad or iPod so they can drift away into a land of entertainment without being loud. Download movies so they’ll be entertained for a few hours at a time. Besides digital entertainment, you can also bring toys. Make sure they have their favorites so they can take them out to easily play.
One trick to keeping kids entertained on any long trip is feeding them. Keep them distracted with fun snacks. They’ll think it’s a treat, and you get a break from them asking if you’re there yet. If you’re traveling in the car, always be on the lookout for fun places to stop to eat. If you’re on a plane or train, make sure you have enough of a snack stash to get them through the travel time. Bring snacks that are not too messy so you are not left with a huge mess to clean up after they’re done having fun with snacks.
Drop Some Rules
We said it before, don’t be so strict about your usual rules. Let the kids have a little fun and free reign so they aren’t bouncing off the walls. Let them watch a little too much TV, listen to music a little longer than usual, and eat a little more snacks. You’ll keep your sanity intact while they think they’re winning at their own game. When you get to your destination, you might even let them stay up later than normal so you can get everything you want to be done in the day. These are simple things that give them lasting memories.
Pack Back-up Clothes
Make sure the kids have a set of back-up clothes. If they’re little, they may have an accident. Any age kid might get snacks and drinks all over their clothing. Pack a light jacket in case it’s cold in the transportation you’re using as well.
Travel With Basic Medicines
Kids can get sick out of nowhere. Make sure you have the basic medications for them. Whether they have a tummy ache, a cold, or a sudden earache, take it all. Think about motion sickness medication as well. Sickness often pops up randomly so you don’t want to be stranded and rushing to get extra medication for everyone.
Plan For Extra Time
Traveling with kids means lots of delays. They need to go potty, they lost their toy and are having a tantrum, and they suddenly get hungry. Always leave a delay in your planning time so you don’t pull out your hair. You’re going to stand in long lines if you’re flying, so plan ahead so you aren’t left running after them. Plan to be able to take your time. They don’t understand everything needs to be done in a timely manner.
The most important part of any trip is to have fun. Remember, you’re there to make memories with your entire family. Sing and dance, do things you wouldn’t normally do, and just let go. Let the kids see your silly side.
Family travel time doesn’t have to be stuffy and stressful. Try not to yell at the kids when they’re driving you nuts, but just laugh at the whole situation. Take lots of pictures as you go so one day you’ll look back at the crazy time with a smile on your face.