Is it really that complicated to travel with children? No, it’s not! It’s the adults who complicate it! Of course, traveling with children is not exactly the same as traveling with adults; a little more organization, planning and calm are needed. Children adapt to change better than adults and do not need much to be happy. Here’s 10 tips for traveling with children that you can use on your next trip.
Organize and plan
It is essential to follow the scheduled trip. It is not necessary to schedule everything by the minute, but you need to make a plan. It is important to know how to get from the airport to the hotel, for example, how they will move around the city, what they want to see and do, and on what days.
We always take planning for our days on the go. So we don’t waste time, we know what we’re going to do and that makes us safe. But this is not a strict planning, it is something with room for change, according to the trip. We don’t fill days in an attempt to see everything at the destination, we plan so that the trip is relaxed.
It is a temptation to want to see everything and anything, we know it is. But hurries and children do not match and this is another risk factor in the joy of a walk. Thus, we know in advance that it will not be possible to see everything.
Traveling with children is different from traveling with adults; the rhythms are different, you have to go slowly, let the children rest and play. So, if in the morning we go to a museum, in the afternoon we pass by a playground. Kids are happy and stay motivated. If we see a garden or playground and they want to play, we stop and sit down and watch them play. If they want to sleep, we let them sleep. We take it easy, we live the places we pass by calmly and, if we can’t see all the museums, all the places we would like, we always know that we can come back.
When we travel we are excited, we think about the trip, the holidays, what we are going to do on the spot, the experiences, everything! How about sharing this with the kids? Think of a destination and see what they think. Make the trip plan and let us participate in choosing what you are going to do. Show them the hotel, talk about the plane, the duration of the flight, the stopovers and the country they are going to visit.
Explain everything. In addition to motivating them, this will leave them feeling relaxed.
Usually we always look for curious facts about the countries or places where we go to tell them. They like it, they are curious and they even learn more.
On the first trip we took with our son, we took the “home on our back” because the inexperience of traveling with a child left us unsure. But we soon realized that it was not necessary, because there are children everywhere and therefore it is not necessary to take diapers for 15 days, for example. Just bring them for the day of the trip and the next and then buy at the destination.
Traveling with a lot of luggage can be a stressor. We have the children, who we cannot lose sight of, the bags to carry, and always something else to watch. So, the ideal is to take only what we will need. We have a rule: two hands always free, one for each child.
Bring your child’s favorite toys
To keep children safe and happy it is very important to bring their favorite toys. It is not necessary to take all the toys, just one or two to which the child feels a special attachment. For example, if the child has a sleeping doll it is essential that he goes so as not to change his routine and he feels safe.
Always carry water and food
We never travel without water or food. A child who is hungry or thirsty is an irritated child and what we least want on the road is irritated children.
Whether near or far, we always carry some things that kids like. If we are going to travel by plane, we always take some snacks, because kids often don’t like the food on the plane.
When we arrive at the place where we are going to stay we always look for a supermarket to buy some things to always have with us, like water, fruit and cookies. So we never have to run around looking for something to eat when hunger hits one of the kids.
Don’t forget the stroller
Our children used strollers until very late, in fact, our daughter still uses them. It is a wonder, because it facilitates travel without stress. Children get tired, sometimes sleepy and the stroller is great for resting, while we can continue to explore the city.
Buy travel insurance
Accidents happen, don’t they? It is always good to be prepared to take a kid to the doctor. Fortunately we have been very lucky and we have only had to “land” in two hospitals with the youngest.
If you are European and traveling in Europe, the European Health Card provides treatment in public hospitals for the same price charged in your local home hospital. If you are traveling outside Europe, travel insurance is required, we always do World Nomads travel insurance. To date, it has been the most comprehensive insurance I have found for family travelers. Of course, insurance has a lot more advantages than just health care, but for me the most important thing is to guarantee health care for everyone.
Always take note of the children’s pediatrician’s phone number, or a doctor who can guide you if any of the kids gets sick (it is not always necessary to go to the hospital, but it is always necessary to talk to a doctor before giving any medication to the children).
Children don’t need to eat soup every day when they are on vacation! Do not worry if you are going to travel to a country very different from yours in terms of food, habits or climate. Children adapt to everything with impressive ease. If you are anxious and stressed, you will pass that concern on to them. Don’t forget: children need very little to be happy!
You’re on vacation, aren’t you? So relax! We already know that sometimes things do not go exactly as we had imagined. The kids now throw a tantrum, get sick, do not cooperate, or else there is a delay, an unexpected change and it is necessary to remain calm. As for the kids, sometimes they just need a day of rest. As for travel unforeseen events, these happen to everyone. You need to travel with an open mind and flexible planning where there is room for change, without drama!
And now that you have the best 10 tips for traveling with children, go out and discover the world with your kids!