Traveling with children can be daunting, but with proper preparation you can ensure your next family vacation becomes one for the record books.
Recognizing that things won’t always go according to plan is crucial in remaining calm and enjoying your trip. Preparing yourself mentally for unexpected roadblocks will allow you to remain relaxed while remaining stress-free on your trip. And you can always take advantage of Cathay Pacific’s flexible fares.
1. Pack light
Family trips provide a unique opportunity for bonding and exploration of our world, but they may not always go as smoothly as planned–particularly when travelling with children.
Pack light for a stress-free journey by only packing essential items and limiting in-transit entertainment. If possible, make a list of everything that will be necessary on your vacation to prevent forgetting anything vital – or bring unnecessary items like laundry soap if only traveling for one week!
To create your list, consider both your destination and activities you will be doing there. For example, when packing for a beach visit you will require bathing suit and flip flops; when visiting a museum you may wish to bring along books and small toys; if you already belong to one check if their reciprocal agreements extend across multiple museums – this can save time and money!
2. Plan your route
Before having children, traveling was often accomplished without planning specific destinations in mind. Arriving somewhere and discovering something spontaneous to do can be exciting; but with children you must consider their level of discomfort when making plans; planning hotel and transportation accommodations early is therefore vital to making sure a smooth travel experience.
Reserve sightseeing or attraction visits ahead of time if possible to save yourself the hassle and potentially take advantage of significant discounts! Doing this can often result in greater savings!
Consider keeping a travel journal or an excel document to track everything that happens during your journey, to make sure nothing slips your mind, as well as act as an alternative should the GPS fail! Plus, this is an engaging way for kids to participate in tracing their itinerary and tracing it on a physical map – and makes an amazing keepsake later! When possible, try to include stops along the way where children can run off some energy!
3. Make it fun
Vacationing as a family can be challenging, particularly with young children in tow. But with careful planning and consideration for all involved parties, family travels can still be enjoyable experiences!
Planning ahead can reduce stress and disappointment during family trips. Engaging children in the planning process makes them feel excited and engaged.
Choose attractions that appeal to all ages so everyone can appreciate your trip together. For instance, when visiting an adult-focused museum, add in some outdoor fun for children such as playgrounds or plazas where they can let off steam.
Those traveling on a budget should seek accommodations with additional amenities, such as kitchenettes or separate rooms for kids, so as to minimize expensive restaurant visits while saving money for other activities during their vacation. Also try planning activities that teach something new such as have them try one new food each day of their trip or research whales during research time.
4. Don’t cram in too much
Reducing family travel stress by trying to do too much on vacation can quickly become a nightmare. Both children and adults need time to relax and take a breather; don’t push them beyond their limits; burnout won’t bring happiness for anyone involved!
Try to select attractions that can appeal to visitors of all ages and interests. For instance, when visiting an aquarium or another attraction that might appeal more to older members of your group, pair it with something everyone can enjoy together–such as a playground or plaza with fountain.
As part of your backup plan, it’s wise to have an alternative in case an attraction doesn’t meet expectations or you find yourself waiting in long lines. Booking tickets online prior to traveling can save time and hassle in case of delays or cancellations; Instacart or Postmates offer convenient services that allow users to order groceries before arriving at their destinations – eliminating a trip to local grocery stores once there!
5. Plan some downtime
Family vacations are an incredible opportunity to strengthen bonds between you and your children while simultaneously teaching them about the world, but things may not go according to plan. From long flights and sightseeing days to planning some downtime into your itinerary, travel can take its toll. So make sure to include time for relaxation.
An easy way to achieve this is to avoid tourist-heavy attractions in favor of more local experiences, which will provide your children with an opportunity to relax while saving entrance fees.
One way of accomplishing this goal is by setting “vacation tasks” for your children to do during boring moments on the trip. This might involve giving them activities like choosing their next museum visit or selecting paintings they’d like to view first at galleries and museums.
Conduct some preliminary research prior to leaving home and find out which museums in your destination offer reciprocal admission rates with museums in your home area – this will save money on admission fees while making the most of your trip budget!
6. Get a kid-friendly place to stay
Traveling with children can be daunting, but with some preparation and participation from everyone involved it can become more enjoyable than expected. Make sure everyone has their say when setting an itinerary!
Your best bet for getting your children excited about a trip is by sharing photos and providing descriptions of what they will experience on it. Creating a list of must-see sights and attractions will keep them engaged while simultaneously teaching them compromise and negotiation skills.
Your children may benefit from having their name and contact number displayed clearly – in case they become lost when out and about. In addition, consider investing in a GPS tracker which you can attach to their bag or wrist in order to monitor where they are.
If you’re staying in a hotel or vacation rental with children, inquire as to whether they have child-friendly amenities like baby cribs, high chairs, travel entertainment mats and travel entertainment mats – this will save you from having to pack these bulky and cumbersome items separately.
7. Go over family rules ahead of time
Once everyone understands their expectations for an upcoming trip, it becomes much simpler to remain on track during your travels. Setting reminders may even help ensure everyone remains calm during vacation time.
If your children tend to become cranky during travel, it’s a good idea to consider their individual needs and consider what may help keep them calmer. Perrin suggests relaxing screen time rules during vacation so kids can use that time drawing or writing in a journal instead.
Your children should understand that bedtime will return to its regular time when vacation ends and that they’ll need to return to their regular beds by their regular time each night. By taking time and care in preparation, planning, and considering children as part of your journey experience, traveling with children can be an incredible adventure for the whole family! So get planning now – it will make this summer vacation one you won’t soon forget!
8. Have a good time
Keep in mind that family vacations should be enjoyable experiences for everyone involved. Try to include activities that are stimulating or unique for your location/theme while also giving kids time to experience traditional activities.
One way to ensure everyone enjoys their trip is to involve them in its planning. Involving them will allow them to look forward to it and feel excited for what lies ahead, while showing their opinions matter will teach them patience.
Plan ahead when it comes to meals – having groceries delivered right to your hotel beforehand can save time and stress in the long run, with services like Instacart, Postmates or Shipt being capable of doing this for you.
At the conclusion of your trip, set aside one day for unpacking and decompressing. This will help both you and your children feel less overwhelmed as they adjust back into daily life upon your return home. Utilize these helpful traveler’s tips so your next family vacation is truly memorable for all involved.