Traveling with children can be overwhelming. The key is being prepared from start to finish and knowing what you’re getting into. If you can, make it an extended family trip! That way you can have the help of grandparents and other family members.
Taking others with you on a trip isn’t always possible. So rather than avoiding travel, the following tips will help you create fun and low-stress travel experiences with your children.
Everything takes longer than you expect
Make sure you're allocating plenty of time and taking things slow. For example, avoid leaving your home with only minutes to spare before it's time to board your plane. It's always going to take longer than you expect to check-in, get through security, buy last-minute snacks or drinks, and board the plane.
Allowing for extra time applies to every aspect of your trip, and not just the plane ride. For example, even though you want to see and do a lot, it might not be a good idea to try squeezing everything into one day.
It might be tempting to pack everything your child uses at home. While it might seem like you're planning for consistency and routines, what you're forgetting is that, by the end of the day, you'll be carrying at least one child. So, the notion of carrying 100 pounds of luggage is unreasonable.
Instead, only pack the absolute essentials. If you find that you forgot something, it's easy to find what you need at your destination because other children live in and travel to that location. There are also rental services that will deliver baby equipment direct to your resort.
Pre-book everything you can
Beyond booking your flights, pre-booking should extend to as many other facets of your trip as possible. For example, when traveling alone or with your significant other, you might land, get a feel for the area, and then find the best place to stay. That doesn't work when you're traveling with children.
Arriving at a new destination should involve leaving the airport and heading straight to your lodging to drop off your luggage and give your children a chance to rest. Look at your trip's itinerary to see if there are other activities you can book in advance to help streamline everything.
Explain to your children what they can expect
First-time travelers need to know ahead of time what's going to happen and what they can expect. If your child isn't comfortable with what's happening during the trip, that means they're unhappy. For example, if there's too much happening, that often leads to a child feeling uncomfortable.
When you go over the trip's itinerary with your child, it helps them understand what's happening at different points. Because they understand what's happening next, this helps your child feel comfortable with what's happening around them.
My top travel tip is to stop putting off traveling with your children and get out there with them!