Taking a trip gets much different when you have little ones to think about. Kids can be great travel companions, but it's important to prepare properly so that they're comfortable while you travel and enjoy what you do at your destination. To make sure your entire family has fun on your next trip, here are five tips on traveling with kids.
1. Choose the Right Accommodations
You'll need to decide whether to book a hotel or a vacation rental for your family, and there isn't a clear-cut best choice here. It just depends on if your kids are the type to enjoy hanging out in a hotel, or if they'd rather have a place that feels like home.
Whichever you choose, remember to think about the logistics of getting to your place with your kids. If you need to climb up a hill or several flights of stairs, it may be best to book somewhere else to avoid a potential hassle. If possible, book a place with a pool, as it will definitely make your kids happy.
2. Look For Evening Flights
You don't always have tons of options as far as flights are concerned, but you should try to score an evening flight. Ideally, you want the flight to be taking off near your child's bedtime, because then they can sleep through it.
As you look for flights, be careful about flights with connections involved. The last thing you want to do when you have kids is end up rushing through an airport to make it to your connection on time.
3. Pack the Essentials
When you're packing for a trip with kids, you need to have essentials, but it's important not to overpack, because you'll hate that you did whenever you need to walk anywhere with your luggage. A backpack diaper bag is perfect as a carry on if you have a baby or toddlers. Other good essentials for your carryon are plastic bags, quiet toys, headphones, baby wipes and healthy snacks. Remember that you can buy supplies wherever you're going, too.
And for yourself, you can pack a supplement like greens powder to maintain your energy for all of the traveling ahead.
4. Be Patient
If you try to rush as you get on a bus or go through the airport, it's more likely that your kids will become upset. You're much better off being patient. Don't worry about having a good time anywhere. Instead, focus on staying relaxed and happy.
Now, it's easier to be patient when you have time to spare. Aim to be a bit early everywhere you go so that you don't need to pick up the pace, even if you run into any delays. Take care of what you can in advance, as well. For example, instead of spending time at the airport checking in, do that the day before.
5. Plan Your Trip (Within Reason)
On the one hand, you want to have a general idea of what you're going to do on your trip. This is particularly important so that you don't forget any major attractions you and your family want to see. On the other hand, too much down-to-the-minute planning can have your family vacation feeling like more of a precise military operation.
The smartest thing to do here is figure out your must-sees, and then add some tentative activities you'd like to do if you have time. Don't cram too much into a single day, because you may want to have more time to spend on one activity. Before your trip, download one or two travel apps that can help you find family-friendly activities in a pinch.
When you've done all the prep work, it's much easier to relax and have a good time on your trip. Use the tips above for your next family vacation, and you'll all make some fantastic memories.