7 Essential Tips for Travel With Kids Because Life Shouldn’t Stop!

two girls sitting on brown bench near body of water
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Looking for Tips for Travel With Kids? Read on.

There’s a common misconception that having kids means putting travel plans on hold. While travelling with kids requires some adaptation and extra planning, it’s entirely plausible. Many families start travelling with their children at a young age and take advantage of affordable travel options for toddlers to see the world.

Here are seven essential tips for travelling with kids, because life shouldn’t stop!

Pack Boredom Busters

Access to technology and streaming services has made travel with children easier than it used to be. However, relying solely on tech is a mistake. Even the charms of Paw Patrol get tiring after a while, and your kids will likely be on the hunt for a new activity. 

Put together a travel packet with several boredom buster options to keep your kids entertained throughout your trip. Include things like mini magnetic board games to share, art supplies and painting ideas for 10-year-olds, simple puzzles for toddlers, etc. These kits should be special and new for travel times, so there’s anticipation and engagement for when your adventure begins.

Bring Your Own Snacks

Don’t make the mistake of assuming airlines or attractions will have something your child will eat. Plan to bring your own snacks to prevent a “hangry” meltdown while you’re on the go. While many airlines still offer crackers or cookies as a snack, it could be some time between proper meals.

Bring snacks you know your child will eat that are easy to move from one bag to another. Don’t hesitate to put your usual health priorities on the back burner to make your experience easier.

Incorporate Downtime

It’s tempting to pack your schedule to see as much as possible on a trip. While you may be able to manage back-to-back activity days, your child may not. Be sure to incorporate a few relaxing days on your trip so your child can recharge. This part of planning is especially important for crossing time zones.

Try to schedule at least one down day for every two active days on your trip. Adjust based on your child’s threshold.

Plan Around Their Schedule

If possible, try to plan your flight times and attractions around your child’s schedule. For example, you might find it easiest to schedule an early morning flight, when your child is naturally refreshed and content. Consider things like nap times when booking attractions and planning your day.

The more you can stick with their natural schedule, the easier the experience will be. While adhering to their schedule isn’t always possible, they’ll appreciate the consistency when it’s there.

Don’t Overpack

One of the most common mistakes parents makes when travelling is overpacking. While children generally need a lot more stuff than adults, it’s a natural tendency to over-prepare. Instead, pack a few core outfits and plan to do some laundry along the way.

Simplify your life by booking Airbnbs and hotels with laundry services or kid-friendly equipment. Most hotels can provide a portable crib for younger children or a spare cot for toddlers. If you’re going somewhere warm, pack some laundry soap and twine so you can wash and hang some things using your sink.

Buy a Travel-Friendly Stroller

Many modern strollers are designed for comfort. They also tend to be bulky and a nightmare for travel. Instead, pick up a small umbrella stroller that can hold your child while navigating through packed travel areas. These strollers fold up and fit in a suitcase with minimal effort.

If you have an infant and require a car seat to travel, it’s worth having a convertible stroller and car seat combo. Wearing small children with a carrier can also help simplify busy travel days.

Get Them Involved in Planning

Empower your children to get involved in the planning process. Let them know where you’re going and show them some of the interesting and neat things you’ll see. Take some time to share some fascinating facts and get them excited about the trip. You can also ask if there are things they’d like to see and do while there.

Giving your child a “job” or responsibility for the journey can also help them feel like a part of the process. Older kids can help with navigation while younger kids can be responsible for the daily headcount to make sure everyone is together.

The secret to travelling with kids is to be flexible, adaptable, and patient. Things won’t be perfect and you’ll experience some stress, but that happens with any trip. Plan what you can, keep an open mind, and embrace the experience together.

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