Travelling with kids can be memorable, but if things are overly structured or there’s too much forced togetherness, family vacations can turn grim. To make sure that your family vacation is positive and leaves everyone wanting more, you’ll need to make sure you can travel in comfort, enjoy outings together and get a little alone time.
Rent a Roomy Car
If you’re planning to spend at least part of your vacation in the car, make sure that everyone has enough space. For those traveling with older kids, consider renting a vehicle such as an SUV or van with three rows of seats to give everyone plenty of room. Younger children will likely need to be closer so you can monitor them more closely. If you’ve never rented a car before, it may be a good idea to rent one similar to what you usually drive in this instance.
Plan a Space Where Older Kids Can Run
You’re going on an adventure, and your older children may want to be able to break free and stretch their legs a bit. You can make this more possible by setting an eye-catching feature that they must stay in sight of. If you’re taking the family to the beach, invest in a giant umbrella and make sure your older kids stay within visual range. If they’re not strong swimmers, invest in good quality flotation vests. If your kids are old enough to have their own cell phones, check in with them as they roam. You can keep tabs on them while allowing them to expand their own horizons.
Leave Time for Doing Nothing
If budgets are tight but you still want to get away as a family, make room for unstructured time. You can even have an exciting bicycle staycation in your city and arrange lunchtime picnics. Plan to spend a few hours letting your children run free at a local park. Bring large balloons or tie a brightly colored piece of fabric to a tree branch and let your kids go as far as they can while still keeping in visual range. Then, schedule nothing and see what their imaginations can do.
It can be tempting to pack as much vacation fun into your trip as possible, but this can leave everyone feeling exhausted and overloaded. Leave time for naps, for reading alone or just for daydreaming. Focus on comfort, not speed or efficiency.
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Travelling with young children, can be, shall we say, challenging. With a little advance planning, you can still enjoy exploring the world with your children in tow. Here are four tips to help make the travel process go more smoothly when on the go with infants and toddlers:
When traveling with young children, you never want to be caught empty-handed when it comes to snacks. The last thing you want is a meltdown because you forgot to bring critical sustenance. Be sure that your food will withstand the rigors of travel. Good portable snack choices include granola, fruit and veggie squeeze pouches, apples, and trail mix. Always be sure to pack more than you think you might need in the event that you end up with unexpected delays.
Traveling is no excuse to give up on your potty-training regimen. While you’d probably love to take a break and enjoy the vacation, consistency is key during this critical phase of a toddler’s life. Packing along extra changes of clothes, trash bags, and wipes will help to make the process easier and more convenient.
We have all heard the warnings about the danger of too much screen time for young children. However, traveling is a time when you want to give yourself a little slack when it comes to breaking out the technology. Handheld personal devices can soothe a cranky toddler on a long car ride or an airplane flight. As long as you use caution with the apps that you use, now is the time to harness the power of technology to make for a smoother trip.
Stick to Nap Schedules
While it can be challenging to stick to your regular routine when out and about, naptimes are the one element of your schedule that you do not want to ignore. A cranky child will ruin even the best-laid travel plans. Do not count on your child falling asleep on an airplane. The excitement of travel might be too stimulating. Instead, choose travel itineraries that maximize nap availability.
Although you may not be able to pack up and go spontaneously, you can still enjoy a lifestyle that places an emphasis on travel and seeing the world. The right planning and execution will ensure that the plans go as smoothly as possible.
Want more advice on how to survive the harrowing challenges of parenthood? Be sure to check Ceri Clark’s Parenting Category for more articles like this!