Traveling with kids in tow can be all sorts of stressful, but it can also be the most fun you will ever have as a family. In fact, there are few activities that are better at creating precious memories and strengthening familial bonds, which makes traveling together a real must-do. Of course, such an undertaking is never as simple as it sounds. Here are a few tips from Cris Johnson to keep in mind as you get ready to travel with your kids.
Safety and preparation first
Some days kids can seem custom-made for finding trouble. You turn your back for one moment, and then they’ve found something else to get into. It’s a struggle that every generation of parents has faced, so much so that you may not actively think about safety as much as you take it for granted that you’ll need to be on guard.
When traveling with kids you’ll certainly want to keep your eyes on them at all times, but there are other things to keep in mind to keep both you and your kids safe. Backpacker Travel points out that it’s important to be inconspicuous when traveling in unfamiliar places. They mention the importance of blending in with local dress and customs, keeping your plans to yourself, and trusting your gut if you sense something wrong.
You’ll also want to plan for keeping your valuables safe while you’re outdoors and focused on exercising and savoring nature. This is especially true if you’re traveling abroad, such as for a walkabout or cycling tour. If you’re exploring exciting places like Kathmandu, Puerto Vallarta, or Pico Duarte, things can be tricky if you hit a snag. To ensure you can hit the trails and roadways with peace of mind, you might want to set up an account with an inexpensive money transfer service before you leave home. Access to funds can make all the difference in difficult situations.
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Keep kids occupied
On long trips, there will likely be times you will find yourself contending with a formidable enemy: boredom. While adults and older children tend to take boredom in stride and manage it quite well, the same cannot be said for younger children who often view the hours strapped to a car or airplane seat as something akin to torture.
As hours spent in boredom are inevitable when you’re traveling, it’s wise to come prepared with ways to deal with it, especially for your kids. Verywell Family notes it’s a good idea to pack games, books, toys, and other such items and activities to stave off ennui and maybe even encourage fun for hours when traveling in the air.
When traveling by car, you have more options for entertaining your kids because you don’t have to be concerned about disturbing other travelers. This makes family games a particularly useful tactic. You can even hit two birds with one stone when you choose activities that are as enjoyable as they are educational, so your kids can learn a thing or two while on the road.
Keep in mind that keeping the kids happy also extends to the motel, hotel, or vacation home where you’ll be staying. When all else fails, there’s always the ubiquitous electronic gadgets that kids can’t get enough of these days. To ensure the kids—and you—have something to watch at the end of the day, consider bringing along a streaming stick, one that offers the features and programming that your entire family will enjoy. Most of these devices will work with the televisions inside your hotel room.
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Keep them satisfied
Hunger is also another thing that you will want to fend off during a long trip. However, refreshment stops are often few and far between on the road, which is why it’s a real necessity to always have your kids’ favorite snacks on hand. This way, they get sufficient sustenance in between breaks, which, in turn, will keep tantrums at bay.
But of course, being on a trip is not an opportunity to develop unhealthy habits, so make it a point to steer clear of junk food and drinks, despite their convenience. Especially when traveling abroad, take the opportunity to check out local grocers and markets. Keep an eye out for local fruits and nuts. Those always make great snacks.
As a general rule of thumb, opt for snacks that are as healthy as they are delicious for your kids to enjoy, and ones that you can easily pack to boot. Focusing on small, pre-packaged bars, granolas, and the like can be difference makers when you find yourselves in a car, plane, or bus.
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Keep them comfortable
As they say, the devil is in the details, and you’ll find that this is especially true when traveling with your kids. The best way to keep them happy on a trip is to make sure that their comfort needs are met. Indeed, World Travel Family explains it’s really up to you to make sure that weather-appropriate clothing is packed and that their favorite stuffed animals aren’t left behind. Always remember that both you and your kids should have comfortable walking shoes on. Hours on your feet in poor footwear can leave anyone cranky.
Finally, don’t forget to book tickets, accommodation, tours, attraction tickets, etc. in advance. As romantic a notion as spontaneity may be, it simply won’t do when you have children in tow. In fact, it’ll make your life so much easier to simply ensure that you all have a comfortable place to stay or are seated together or that your time spent waiting in line is considerably cut down.
In short, there’s no denying that traveling with your entire family will not be easy. So like a general going into battle, be well-prepared for action and able to handle drama like a pro to guarantee that your big family adventure is an enjoyable one—not just for your family, but for you, too. Establish a solid plan of action, and then make memories together!
For the last (nearly) 20 years, Cris Johnson has had the privilege of helping school officials make their elementary assembly programs unforgettable, educational, and fun with motivational programs consisting of magic, music, CLEAN comedy, and audience participation that reinforce the curriculum and encourage good character! Cal 716-940-8963.