If you have kids, a road trip is a great way to bond with them and get them excited. It’s also a fulfilling experience. To travel with your family and spend those precious moments together before they are all grown up means investing in their memory banks. And as parents you also have a lot to look back to after they leave the proverbial nest.
Parents can sometimes get an overwhelming when travelling with kids, and poor planning can lead to disastrous experiences.
In this article, we will explore some crucial tips to keep in mind while travelling with kids, as a family. Though these are not extensive or complete, we hope they can help you have a wonderful experience if you are taking your children with you.
Booking seats with children in mind
Try and book window seats to keep them occupied and complacent. Try to calm them or soothe them with options like movies or books or talk to them about the places you’re going to visit. We all have seen and heard enough stories about kids throwing tantrums and making the flight a sore experience for other passengers.
So, let’s be mindful of that and prepare so you won’t end up as another man’s story. Try to avoid too many sweets or carbonated drinks right before the flight as they can cause a sugar high, and it eventually leads to them being hyperactive during the flight. Then comes the time when the high is over, and they eventually become depressed. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can avoid all that.
Consider the age of your children and plan accordingly
It’s easy to travel with children between infant to age 2. They are “portable”, and you can keep them occupied and docile if you create a relaxing atmosphere around them. Toddlers, however, are another story. You will need to leave time for them to spend and replenish energy every now and then since they are not always comfortable being strapped on to a seatbelt or confined to spaces like the inside of your car for longer periods of time. In case you are travelling with kids a little bigger, like pre-teens or teenagers, be sure to take their suggestions into consideration and involve them in planning as they will feel recognized and responsible. It’s a great way to keep them engaged.
Rooms or rentals?
This is an interesting question. Experts from many travel sites strongly recommend rental homes or Airbnb’s for your travel as they give you room to spread out. You, the kids, and your luggage all having to be crammed into one hotel room can take away the thrill of vacation or the excitement of the trip. It also allows you to save some pennies by cooking the meals yourselves.
However, the downside of booking a home is that you will miss out on the amenities of a hotel stay. So, at the end of the day, we’d recommend you book the room for extended stays but stay at the hotel for one or two days for the experience.
Pack light, Pack everything, Pack sensibly
It sounds confusing, but it’s true. You don’t pack the same way while travelling with kids as you would when backpacking in your twenties across a forest trail. Often, you will have some idea of what is necessary and what is not. But some things can seem unimportant but can save you in certain situations. A favorite doll or a comfy blanket that your kid sleeps with every day. It can be the difference between having to spend a scary and sleepless night at an unknown location and having a wonderful time on a beautiful vacation for them. If your kids are too young, then having a toy or coloring book can calm them down during long flights.
Similarly, go for high-quality stuff when buying your travel gear.You could’ve managed with carrying your bare minimum clothes when you were a bachelor, but with kids, you don’t want to carry them, and their stuff at the same time during the whole trip.
You can also spare a little to a high-quality GPS Tracker that can be of immense help when ensuring the safety of your kids and your luggage. Placing a GPS Tracker in your kid’s pocket can help you monitor their location and reach them quickly if they ever get lost. It’s also highly useful when you have to leave the bulk of the luggage at the hotel or home you’re staying in and go sightseeing. You can track its location and ensure that they are safe even when you are not around. Peace of mind during travel is priceless, and GPS Trackers can help you with that.
Brace yourselves for the impact
When travelling with kids, things can go wrong. The sooner you accept that the better your trip will be. Your kid might end up sick, or they might lose something, or maybe they have to go to the bathroom, and you end up missing the train. It happens and if you were to lose your calm over those things and end up scolding them, the whole experience will turn sour for you and your kids. So, as we mentioned in the first point, leave plenty of extra time, and be calm and composed when something goes wrong. Keeping your cool can possibly make your kids calmer. You’ll end up solving the situation without that big of a fuss in the end if you’re calm.