There’s nothing particularly frightening about travelling with kids. Sure, certain restrictions and a curfew will be involved, but once you alter and adjust your perspective, it can be an incredible holiday nonetheless. Yes, you will have to adjust your sightseeing hours in order to accommodate your kids’ nap times, but aside from that and a few technicalities your trip can and will be a blast, especially if you do most of the heavy lifting ahead of time in order to spare yourself some on-the-road misery. Therefore, read on, take note and have yourself a successful family holiday.
Location, location, location
Technically, you could just go wherever your heart wants to go, but, when you’re travelling with kids, there are certain places that won’t be as enjoyable simply because they offer no children designated areas and facilities, or in the worst case scenario, aren’t kid friendly in any way. This includes everything from entertainment options to general safety such as potentially hazardous hotel rooms with glass ceilings from top to bottom, furniture near the windows or no tubs where you can give the little ones a bath. You know everything your kids need to stay safe and happy, so before you book your preferred type of accommodation, do your homework and make sure the terrain is ready for a family.
Pack up before you go-go
Packing is a nightmare for most people, but if you forget something, you’ll just make do. However, kids don’t function that way, so in order to avoid frantic shopping in a foreign country and spending way more than you wanted to – pack wisely. When it comes to both infants and toddlers, the drill with clothing is the same – count the number of days and then double the number of outfits, this is a general rule of thumb. When travelling with kids who are still in strollers, clunky ones can be a drag both to pack and navigate around the city, so a lightweight stroller that’s easy to fold is your best option. Bring at least two pram blankets – these come in really handy, whether you’re going by plane, car, not to mention that they keep the little one snug during those afternoon sightseeing strolls. Don’t be afraid of overstuffing your diaper bag – everything from one diaper for every hour on the road, baby wipes, changing pads, diaper rash cream and hand sanitizer, as well as milk dispensaries, bottles and favorite toys should all be there. Bring your own eating utensils if you have a toddler – kids respond well to routine. For toddlers, an iPad will save your life. Yes, handing a child an iPad isn’t parenting at its finest, but on the road, it will save you from crankiness, fussiness and complaining. A drawing pad and some crayons will go a long way too. Spend some time with them on the back seat so they feel less fussy and entertain them for a while. Plenty of snacks is also a must, so pack everything you can think of.
Steer on the side of safety
In your travel kit include a first aid kit that, aside from regular items as well as medication for you and the kids, will also include emergency phone numbers – you can never be too safe. Before even considering going away, pay a visit to the pediatrician just to make sure your kids are good and healthy. You definitely don’t want to be caught sick on your vacation. Worrying about their health at home is stressful enough and on the road the feeling is worse.
Divide and conquer
When you travel by plane there’s always a chance that your baggage will get lost. For that reason, the smart thing to do is to pack kids’ stuff in two separate suitcases, so even if one of them gets lost, you still have a fall-back set of items.
There will definitely be restaurants you want to visit but can’t because your kids are picky and aren’t inclined towards trying new foods as you are, so experimenting with different cuisines might be out of the picture. If you’re travelling somewhere sunny, you will want to spend the entire day at the beach, but your kids need their routine to remain relatively uninterrupted so you will have to adjust your preferences to cater to their needs. Also, going historic sightseeing or spending countless hours shopping may be your idea of a good time, but you need to factor in your kids and take them to places they will genuinely enjoy themselves and spend some quality time with you. Finally, bring your camera as these are, beyond everything, precious moments that you want to keep and cherish forever.
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