Planning a family trip with your kids can be daunting. Most parents can relate to this and often take their time to make sure that such trips are well planned. Whether it is a flight or that long road trip upcountry, the thought of bringing kids onboard may be overwhelming.
Most parents usually find it wise to adjust their travel time whenever they involve kids. Justifiably so, traveling with kids during the off-season can yield savings, especially with the flights and accommodation. During these seasons, you are bound to land a cheap flight and reasonable accommodation for less.
It is essential to slow down the planning process as a parent. You don’t want to miss anything in the processing of planning for that long-awaited family trip. The success of such a trip will depend on how well you listen to your kids.
Make sure you pay attention to their needs, including the sites they most desire to view (in the case of a road trip). The last thing you want is your kids getting tired and bored in the midst of a trip.
A slow and a comprehensive plan for your travel is key to a successful trip. Below are ten tips that will guarantee a hassle-free trip with your kids:
1. Come up with a packing list for everyone on the trip.
Let everyone on the trip make a separate packing list. As the parent, help your kids come up with a list containing all their necessities for a trip. However, don’t do it for them. Involve them and make them feel in control of the process.
After coming up with their packing list, begin packing. The easiest way to ensure that nothing is forgotten when traveling with your kids is crossing off whatever is already packed. Make sure you specially mark the items you intend on packing at the very end. Do the same for the items you plan on buying after reaching your destination.
2. Research sufficiently on the destination.
Researching will help you avoid small mistakes that could ruin your trip. If you are taking a flight to your destination, get to know beforehand whether your kids need visas. Just be curious about anything concerning your destination.
For breastfeeding mums, Google can give a heads-up on areas where breastfeeding in public is not allowed. Some countries will, however, be okay with breastfeeding in public. Another positive side to research is knowing beforehand whether you and your kids need any medication.
You don’t want to get caught out in the last minute. Some destinations will require that you get certain vaccinations before traveling. Others will need you to carry malaria tablets. In case any member of the family is asthmatic, it is vital to prioritize an inhaler whenever you are traveling to a cold place.
If you are in doubt about anything after arriving, it is always advisable that you ask. It is not wrong not to know. Asking might save you costly blunders when on traveling with kids.
3. Book in time.
Whether it is your flight or hotel, make sure you book days earlier. For flights, you are assured of getting the cheapest flight rates by booking 56 days earlier. Choose an airline that best fits into your travel plans and get your tickets ready. AirAsia is one of the budget-friendly airlines and here is a guide to get the most from AirAsia in 9 steps.
The same goes for the hotel. You don’t want to get into searching escapades soon after reaching your destination. You’ll probably be carrying your sleepy kids around. This can prove to be hectic.
When booking your hotel, consider booking for two or more days since you will benefit from discounts and incentives. Most hotels will lower their rates for individuals who wish to spend two or more nights in their rooms.
Consider making reservations in hotels that are not far from towns. It is not advisable to have your kids in a hotel that is in the middle of nowhere. If you are in a tight budget, consider booking a hostel.
4. Pack food and snacks for the kids.
Traveling with kids becomes a lot easier when you take your snacks on flights or road trips. Long trips can leave kids feeling hungry and cranky, that goes without saying. Adults also enjoy a bite when on that long trip.
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Don’t assume that you will stop and buy food or snacks. This might be possible for road trips but the opposite for airports. Airports can be expensive to buy food from, not mentioning their limited selection of healthy meals and snacks for you and your kids.
5. Set a travel budget.
Work out a comfortable budget that works well for you and your family. Include money to buy souvenirs, entertainment and some for the unseen activities. However, don’t limit yourself to a small budget. Such trips come once around the year and going hard is acceptable once in a while.
When coming up with this budget, involve the kids too. This will help you have a glimpse of what they would like to buy and engage in during the trip and while at the destination.
6. Take your time
With kids, you can never manage your time properly. So, whenever you are planning a trip with your kids, be prepared to take some extra time. Kids love to explore and will not mind your time pressures.
To retain your cool and enjoy your trip, make sure you create room and time for toilet stops, stalling and faffing from the kids.
7. Ensure you carry hygiene essentials.
Hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes are essential whenever you are traveling with kids. Before they can get their hands on those snacks, it is important that they zap out germs using a hand sanitizer to avoid some illnesses.
8. Plan for games and activities.
Activity packs are essentials during flights road trips. It is therefore essential that you come up when traveling with kids with one that contains books, coloring pencils, board games, card games, puzzles and so on. This will help them stay occupied and keep things calm during the trip.
9. Encourage your kids to carry a travel journal.
With a travel journal, it is easy for your kids to list down what they have seen, foods they have tried and probably draw a couple of figures or landmarks. These are valuable if your kids can keep them safely into adulthood for the memories.
Read more: How to Plan a Trip
10. Use a child locator for safety
The last thing you want is a wild dash in an unfamiliar airport looking for your kid. You can use a child locator to set off an alarm using your transmitter to locate your kid easily in case they get lost.
Next time you are planning on traveling, don’t leave your kids behind. Using the tips above for traveling with kids will make traveling with them so easy, you’ll enjoy it!