Ah, children. Our sweet angel-faced offspring who bring us so much joy, right up until the moment they start karate kicking the seat in front of them on an airplane… Or fighting with their siblings in the back seat during a road trip. Traveling with kids can be an incredibly rewarding and memorable experience, but it often comes with its fair share of challenges.
From restless toddlers to moody teenagers, there’s a spectrum of emotions and needs to balance while on the road. However, with a bit of preparation and the right mindset, you can turn your family adventures into joyful and enriching journeys that everyone will cherish. In this blog post, we’re thrilled to share five valuable strategies that will not only make traveling with kids smoother but also help you truly enjoy every moment of your exploration together.
Here are five ways to survive (and even thrive) while traveling with kids, before you go diving for some Xanax or a boatload of tequila…
Have them, lower them, and then keep repeating them to yourself. Traveling with children is different than traveling kid-free, and is often more of a ‘trip’ than a relaxing vacation. Knowing beforehand that you’ll be making memories, having fun, but quite possibly not sleeping in or getting much rest will help shoulder any disappointment at a vacation that ‘could have been’.
Sure, we’d all love a culturally rich day of strolling museums or enjoying a ten-course tasting menu at a new restaurant – but will that keep your smallest travelers happy? Finding activities that can please everyone from tiny tots to adventurous teens may be tricky – but it’s certainly not impossible. The right destination, resort, and especially travel advisor can arrange activities that suit the entire family’s interests, abilities, and ages.
Say Yes to Help
While it’s a luxury not all can afford, many resorts offer licensed nannies or babysitters – and in return, you get a few hours to yourself. Have a doting grandparent that would spring at the chance to spend more time with their grandkids? Again, another luxury not everyone has in their lives – but if you do, this may be the perfect opportunity to invite them on a dream holiday, and get a bit of built-in babysitting to boot!
Bend, But Don’t Break
Bedtimes, healthy meals, and routines are all great. However, it may be worth bending the rules just a bit to not be bound to super-strict guidelines while on holiday. You’re on vacation, remember? Know your hard lines and choose when to bend your rules to allow for a memorable vacation where everyone’s having a good time. This could mean your kids don’t touch a vegetable for days or stay up a bit later than usual. Whatever works best for you, your family, and your sanity!
Entertainment Coordinator: At Your Service!
Consider building a special ‘vacation’ bag, for your kiddos to only open during their travels. Fill it with some new toys, books, stickers, whatever your kiddos happen to be into these days – pack it chock full. Got a tablet and are ok with your kiddos watching tv? Download a few programs in advance, so WiFi issues won’t hinder their entertainment (aka your sweet moment of silence), and for the sake of all that is holy: GET THEM HEADPHONES, this is your moment of silence, remember?
Remember, the essence of family travel lies in creating lasting memories and fostering connections. By following these five strategies – embracing flexibility, involving kids in the planning process, prioritizing downtime, finding age-appropriate activities, and savoring the small moments – you’ll transform your trips from being mere vacations to becoming cherished chapters in your family’s story. Every laugh, every curiosity-filled question, and every shared experience will contribute to a treasure trove of memories that your kids will carry with them throughout their lives. So, pack your bags, embark on those adventures, and relish the joy that comes with traveling with your beloved kids.
I’d love to help you plan the ultimate family vacation and ensure that even your tiniest travelers are taken care of. Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation with me.