8 Essential Tips for Traveling with Kids
Traveling is so much fun, but it can also be stressful. That stress can be heightened even further if you’re traveling with little kids.
However, if you’re prepared with the right gear and plans to take on traveling with children, it can be a wonderful experience! They can even add to the fun of the trip!
Here are a few tips to help you stay sane and happy while traveling with your little bundles of joy.
1. If you’re flying, print your boarding passes beforehand
One of the most stressful things about going on vacation with your little ones is getting through the airport madness.
Your kids might grow impatient when you are trying to check-in and get your boarding passes. To avoid that, print your boarding passes at home the night before. You can skip the line of angry people trying to get on their flight and save time and energy.
2. Pack a magical carry-on bag of entertainment
This is important whether you’re flying somewhere or taking a long road trip.
Pack a small backpack with your child’s favorite toys, books, arts and crafts, or anything else they like to play and that keep them entertained at home. And don’t forget to BRING SNACKS! Food is always a wonderful way to keep your kids feeling happy.
You might even want to let your kids pack their bag. This way they have their favorite toys, and they feel accomplished for doing a “big kid” thing. This will keep them preoccupied and happy during the long flight or car ride.
Your kids will think you’re the coolest person ever and everyone on the plane will be SO impressed at how well behaved your children are. It’s a win-win situation.
3. Traveling with more than one child
If you’re traveling with more than one child, make sure you pack multiples of everything. Bring more than one bag of snacks, more than one box of crayons, more than one set of headphones, and everything else you can think of that your kids might fight over.
Sharing is awesome and should be encouraged, but in this situation, it’s better to avoid the fighting at all costs.
It is also a good idea to make sure your children each have their own bag with their favorite things in them. This will eliminate fighting because everyone will have something to be responsible for. You would be surprised at the number of times that kids fight over who gets to carry the backpack or suitcase!
4. Be early and take your sweet time
Plan to leave at least 30 minutes earlier than you need to.
Even though you won’t think you need that much time, it’s important to plan for tantrums and meltdowns. It’s bound to happen at some point, so it’s just better to be prepared!
Leave yourself enough time when you get to the airport to wander around. Maybe get a bite to eat or watch the planes so your kids can get used to the environment and explore their surroundings.
Kids don’t like to feel rushed or panicked. It’s important to make sure they feel safe and understanding of what’s going on. This will also lower stress of other things, like unexpected traffic.
5. Download apps and movies
I know that the last thing you want to do is to plant your kid in front of a screen for longer than you have to.
But, there are tons of awesome apps that are kid-friendly and educational. These are great ways to entertain your kids during long plane and car rides. Download some of their favorite movies as well and you’ll be set!
Just remember to download everything you need the night before you leave! It’s good to avoid trying to finish downloading everything on the spotty airport Wi-Fi.
One last thing – remember to bring headphones! You and the people around you don’t want to listen to their games and movies play over and over during the trip.
6. Establish a “meeting place” wherever you go
If you’re going somewhere, you or your kids have never been it’s important to set a meeting place in case anyone gets separated from the group. This will prevent you from going into panic mode every time you go into a crowded area.
Plus, you won’t have to put your kids on a leash! This will also prevent your kids from freaking out in they get lost. Point out the landmarks to your kids so they can navigate their way to the meeting spot. Make sure that your kids know that this is just a precaution and that they definitely shouldn’t wander off on purpose in public places.
7. Let your kid wander and explore (with supervision, of course)
Vacations can be tiring for little kids. When you’re traveling somewhere far away in a car or an airplane, let your child wander as much as possible BEFORE they have to sit in a seat for a long time.
This will do many wonderful things.
First, your child will be aware and used to their surroundings so they aren’t nervous or lost.
Second, if they’re running around a lot beforehand they will be more likely to fall asleep, which is the ultimate goal.
Last, it’s hard to get your child to hold still in a new environment. If they can walk around a bit and check out what’s going on, they will be much happier.
It’s also fun to print off an “airport scavenger hunt” for your kids to play while you’re waiting for the flight. You can have them find things like a big airplane, a pink suitcase, someone wearing a hat, or other fun things you can think of. This will keep them entertained before the flight, and it will allow them to run around a little bit. And it’s always fun to play for prizes if you want to add a little competition!
8. Understand who you’re working with
You can prepare like crazy to travel with your child, but chances are not everything will go as planned and that is TOTALLY normal and okay!
Your child can only handle sightseeing for so long until they throw a temper tantrum. They will complain that they are bored or you are the meanest parent in the world.
Just stay calm and get a massage in the hotel spa. It’ll be okay, and your trip will be awesome!
Traveling with your children really can be such a fun thing, and you will make memories for them and yourself that last a lifetime.
There is no doubt that it will be hard at times to get them to cooperate or make sure they are happy, but there are so many ways to make sure that your trip runs smoothly.
The most important thing to remember is to be patient and roll with whatever comes your way.
Also, safety is always a top concern when traveling with kids. Do consider taking a travel insurance for you and your family. It is cheaper for you to take a family travel insurance plan. A family travel insurance plan covers a family nucleus (husband and wife and their kids). Do check out our travel insurance platform to find out more.
Remember these tips and your trip will be awesome!