As we head into July, my family has already been on 2 trips thus far. One to Maine for a week and another for 4 day weekend to visit family in Vermont for the holiday. We have one more planned in August to PA. We of course are traveling with toddlers ages 3 and 5 as well as two older ones (that will be another post). Amongst many trial and errors and past experience, I have come up with 8 (hopefully) helpful tips to make your travels go smooth this summer.
Traveling with young children requires much preparation. Thus, pack snacks, water bottles, a few favorite toys, and books. You may also need to download fun apps to entertain your children on long car rides or plane trips. Also, be prepared for the unexpected by packing extras of necessities such as diapers, wipes, formulas, and others. You never know if where you going has what your used to using. For the road, our kids love these travel trays as it allows them a nice working service to do their fun activities on.
This is the one we have but Amazon carries so many varieties.
If you’re traveling internationally, you may also want to pack their passports in a separate pocket so that they won’t lose these. Their passports should include information, such as their address and telephone number.
Check For Discounts
Book your trip in advance to avoid the headaches of unnecessarily worrying and wasting vacation time. Before you buy any tickets for anywhere, check for any discounts for children under 12. If there’s none, look for other cost-efficient tips. This may include taking advantage of travel insurance, car rental coupons, or public transportation vouchers.
Also, if you’re traveling for vacation purposes, don’t forget about all the free tours and activities that are offered in tourist destinations. They’re a great way to keep children entertained while saving some money too. It’s always best to check as much of these prior to your trip.
Keep It Short
Long trips can be exhausting for both parents and kids alike, especially if you have really young ones. To avoid this, keep your destinations close together. Also, make sure that the length of your stay is reasonable. This will vary per family as each knows their own child’s limit.
Take Photos, lots of photos!
Taking photos of landmarks and attractions is another practical and great tip when traveling. When you return home from your trip, your kids will remember what they saw while they were there. They’ll also get to remember how much they enjoyed it. They can look at these pictures over and over, as well as show them to their friends. Obviously photos that include you and your family is a must.
Don’t Forget To Bring Some Hand Sanitizer And Medicines
Everyone knows how important it is not to get sick while traveling. This is especially crucial when traveling with children. Thus, bringing some hand sanitizer and medicines for your kids is a great idea. It’ll ease the stress of anyone coming down with something while on vacation, especially since we are coming off of Covid.
Keep Things Light and Organized
As a rule of thumb, avoid overpacking or bringing too many clothes. This will only make it harder for everyone to travel. However, some kids are always in need of something new and will constantly need their clothes changed. Although this should be considered, find the best way to pack light. One packing tip we have used was to pack them in travel vacuum bags. Get them here.
Make Sure Everyone Gets Enough Sleep
No one wants to be with cranky travelers who might start fights with one another on the road trip. Thus, to avoid this, make sure everyone has had a good night’s sleep before you go (parents that means you too).
If they’re having trouble sleeping before the big day, have them try reading a book or drinking warm milk to help calm their nerves and get some rest. If this doesn’t work, make sure your child isn’t going too long without napping at home before the trip so that he’ll be well-rested before it.
Sometimes even the best-laid plans don’t always work out perfectly. Therefore, try your hardest to be patient with yourself and your kids. Be aware of your own limits too. If you’re getting frustrated or not enjoying yourself, don’t feel obligated to keep going on the trip. Take a break if you need some fresh air or maybe even go explore for a while.