Travelling with kids has long been thought of as somewhat of a waste of time and resources. After all, kids of a younger age won’t completely remember travelling when they grow up, but regardless of if they hold the memories or not, you will, and the benefits travel can offer children are vast.
Exposing your children to new experiences and showing them the world around them can profoundly impact how they develop and improve their confidence, development, curiosity and knowledge. While not all kids are lucky enough to be able to travel from a young age, for those families who have the means, travelling with children of any age can be a valuable asset to their childhood and growth.
That being said, travelling with kids isn’t always easy. Knowing how best to tackle the task at hand and ensure a smooth passage from your home to your destination or destinations, as the case may be, can help everyone remain as stress-free as possible and increase chances of success.
So what tips do parents need to know for travelling with kids?
Talk to Them
Don’t just plan your trip and avoid telling your kids what is happening, where you are going or what to expect. The unknown can be scary for people of any age, so as much as possible, include your child(ren) in all of the planning and preparation. Discuss how you will get there, what you will be travelling on, who they can expect to meet and what they might see. If it’s their first time on a plane, for example, allow them to watch videos of aeroplanes or people in airports (other family bloggers’ and vloggers’ videos can be helpful here), show them pictures of where you will be going, and ask them what they want to do or see.
Give yourself enough time to get to your transport of choice as much as possible. If you are travelling by train, it can be a good idea to leave home a few hours before your train departs to allow you plenty of time to get to where you need to be and navigate the station. If your train times are at unsociable hours or you have a long period of time between connections, you can use options at the train station to help you avoid carting all of your luggage with you. The left luggage euston service can be a lifesaver for families who have to hang around the station. The same applies to flying. Leave earlier than you think you need to so you’re not rushed at the airport; consider booking into an airport hotel the night before so you know you are close by, and you can easily get up and move across to the airport for early morning flights.
Take Home Comforts
Travelling with kids requires considerably more “stuff”. This experience is no different than having kids’ favourite items during their usual routines. Make sure your child has the option to take one thing they can get comfort from to keep with them during your trip. This will help them to feel more comfortable and have something familiar with them when venturing to new destinations, especially if you are going away for longer than a week or two.
Consider A Home From Home
Renting out a villa or a home Airbnb accommodation over a hotel room might be a good idea. Children might settle easier if they are in a familiar environment and know what to expect. It can be the home comforts that make all the difference to how enjoyable the experience is for them. Plus, unlike hotels, there is more freedom to move around and space to unpack to help you settle everyone and have room for kids to explore and relax when you’re not out and about.
Generally speaking, wherever you go, you will be able to buy supplies. While the cost might differ depending on your destination, you can still find stores in most places, so you don’t need to pack the kitchen sink. Packing for kids is already a big task, especially for babies and toddlers. But remember, you don’t need to take everything, and you can purchase much-needed items once you arrive where you are headed.
Brand and Track
This sounds quite extreme, but children can have a tendency to wander off, and if you get separated from them, and they are in an unfamiliar place, panic can take hold quite quickly. Find a way to add your details to your child for the duration of your trip. This can be a temporary tattoo with your name and phone number on it, a bracelet with all their details and how to contact you, or even a lanyard with their image on one side and all the essential info on the other. This will increase the ability to get them back to you as soon as possible, as strangers or officials will know exactly who they are and how to contact you. If they’re old enough to have a mobile phone, use a tracking app so you have their location and can find them and vice versa. The app will allow you to reunite quickly or alert authorities of where the app is showing them to be.
Choose Child-Friendly Resorts
If you’re taking a resort holiday or an all-inclusive trip at a hotel, ensure child-friendly options are available. Regardless of your feelings about putting kids into holiday clubs, having activities and facilities for them can increase everyone’s enjoyment and avoid them becoming bored when staying around the resort.
Look for kids’ pools, evening entertainment, daytime activities and kids’ clubs if you wish to use them. Read reviews online from other parents to get a feel for what is available on-site or in the local area to help you decide if this is the right place for you.
Travelling with kids can be a fantastic experience for everyone. But it can also be stressful. These tips can help you to get the most from your trip and increase the chances of everyone having a great time. Remember, allow yourself more time, involve the kids as much as possible, choose children-friendly destinations and accommodations, and pay attention to your family’s needs to have the best trip possible.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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