Sometimes traveling with kids can be stressful. Airports check ins, flights, hotels, and tours can be much more anxiety-inducing if you have small children to look after.
While we would all love to have a specialist household staff agency, on hand to deal with temper tantrums, we’re usually on our own, dealing with the side-eye from complete strangers while our kids have a meltdown in public.
Here are some of the best tips for traveling with kids:
It’s crucial to be realistic about the number of destinations you can cover if you’re traveling with kids, as too many time changes and long flights can ensure kids become upset and tired if they don’t have enough time to sleep and run around outside.
Traveling with a mountain of baggage is no fun, so try to keep your clothes to a minimum and do laundry more frequently. Hide some toys in your bag to pull out later in the trip so that the kids don’t have access to all of them at once and become bored.
Book in Advance
Flights will usually increase as you get closer to the date of departure, so booking early will mean you’ll be paying less for flights, and you’re much more likely to get to choose your seats so the whole family can be seated together.
Take Plenty of Food
While this may seem like an obvious tip, sometimes it’s easy to forget just how often little mouths need to be fed. Inflight meals can take a long time to arrive, particularly if the flight is delayed, so be sure to take plenty of your child’s favorite snacks, and stick to savoury foods and fruit, staying away from sugar and the inevitable crash.
Let them take Pictures
Give the kids a camera and let them document your trip. Not only will it keep them entertained, but you’ll get to see a different point of view of the trip, and one that you wouldn’t usually see since the eye level is a lot lower.
Organize a Home Exchange
If you’re watching your budget, swapping houses with another family can be a great way to get to know some locals, and instead of having to check in to a sterile hotel, you’ll have a ready-to-go, child-proofed house, with toys and information about activities in the area. Farm stays are also a popular option, and a good way to introduce your kids to some farm animals.
Sure, you may prefer to restrict the amount of time your kids spend staring at a screen, however while you’re traveling, these rules may have to go out the window.
An iPad or iPhone may just save the day if your kids are feeling tired or unwell, and you can download a bunch of educational apps so they’re not playing games the entire time. If they don’t get to use a handheld device often, traveling is the perfect time to relax these rules as it will be more of a treat and keep them entertained for longer.