Planning a trip is easy but making sure the whole family’s prepared can be a nightmare. Check out these travel tips for parents to ensure smooth sailing.
If you love traveling with your kids, you’re in good company: over 100 million Americans plan on taking a family trip in 2019.
But while bringing kids on trips opens them up to new experiences and cultures, it can become nightmarish when you have to deal with long airport security lines and delays.
How can you keep kids patient and comfortable when embarking on a new family adventure together? Here are some key travel tips for parents.
Start Preparing as Early as Possible
Busy parents who work may put off organizing the trip until a few weeks before departure. Our advice is don’t—you’ll only end up feeling overwhelmed as you cram several to-dos in during the last minute. You also will end up not looking forward to your vacation.
Book what you can as early in advance as possible so that you don’t have to worry about unavailability. This includes planned activities during the trip that you want to enjoy together. Use a calendar template to keep track of tasks related to your trip that can be done ahead of time (such as having your vehicle serviced by a certain date if you’re going on a road trip.)
Try to Pack Light
This is easier said than done, but try not to let luggage get out of hand. The last thing any family wants when traveling in addition to strollers and other bulky items is carrying a ton of luggage, so try to pack light.
Young kids may want to bring along familiar toys or stuffed animals. Limit them to one “security” item and only pack clothing that each family member needs, depending upon the weather and the activities planned.
Prepare Kids On What to Expect
Children thrive on routine, and a trip can throw a lot of unfamiliar situations at them. Keep them informed on what they can expect when traveling and how long it may take to arrive at your destination. Preparing them ahead of time can ease some of their travel stress.
Snacks Will Save Your Sanity
Unexpected delays can throw off meal schedules and make kids and parents alike feel tired and cranky. Always have a supply of energy fueling healthy snacks and bottled water with you at all times to help prevent meltdowns on the road. Your snack arsenal should be low in sugar and high in protein to help tie over hunger until you can enjoy a full meal together.
It also isn’t a bad idea to pack a couple of favorite books and travel-friendly games to keep children amused when waiting.
Allow Plenty of Time
Arrive to the airport ahead of time or hit the road extra early to evade long lines and traffic. While some things that happen during your trip will be beyond your control, leaving your home early will help you avoid any additional stress from feeling rushed.
Follow These Travel Tips For Stress-Free Family Trips
Following these travel tips for families will ensure that you enjoy your vacation as much as your kids do. And above all, remember that traveling with kids does get easier the more often you do it.
For more tips on how parents can get the most of out vacationing with children, check out our latest travel posts.