I am pretty sure that most of us have heard at least one horror story about taking kids, especially young ones, on vacation. Any parent would know that traveling with kids can be fairly difficult. It is incredibly difficult, and there are times when the kids can annoy us while we are on the road. There is a never-ending barrage of inquiries like “Mommy, are we there yet?” and “Mommy, I am so bored.” Additionally, they have a constant need to urinate, eat, play, cry, and act out. Oh, how horrible. Fortunately, there are things you may do to calm yourself down while traveling with children. Are you one of them? If so, you may be wondering how to make the trip go smoothly with your kids in tow. Do not worry now. Because Here are the best guides to make your trip enjoyable for everyone and stress-free for you.
Planning for Traveling with Kids
Table of Contents
- Planning for Traveling with Kids
- Packing Tips for Traveling with Kids
- Tips for Keeping Kids Entertained while Traveling
- Tips for Dealing with Jet Lag
- Tips to Manage Mealtime
- Tips for Feeding Kids while Traveling
- Tips to Manage Bedtimes and Sleep Routines
- Tips for Dealing with Tantrums
- Tips for Dealing with Homesickness
- Tips for Dealing with Motion Sickness
- Keeping Them Safe when Out and About
- Tips for Traveling with Kids with Special Needs
Traveling with kids starts even before you step one foot outside of your house. Most of it starts with planning out the details of your vacation. And if you prepare correctly, you have already solved half of your travel problems. Nowadays, preparing for a trip means spending time in front of a computer, searching the internet for the greatest travel and holiday offers, family-friendly destinations, and activities to fill out your itinerary.
But, if you are not using the Internet properly, the convenience it offers can rapidly become a time-sucking nightmare. Simply put, clicking one link might lead to another, to an infinite number of other links, until you are completely lost. The Internet is an information hole. And if you don’t know where you are going (or doing), this could lead to hours of frustrating online searches without producing any travel or vacation deals.
Therefore, here is some advice on how to maximize online planning tools and services when planning a trip with your kids to your advantage:
Download Your Trip-Related Materials:
To plan your journey, download free printable travel itinerary templates. Some of these templates include everything from a budget breakdown to maps, depending on how comprehensive you want your itinerary to be. Be liberal with the amount of time you give for activities while planning your agenda. If something needs an hour to complete, allow an additional 15 to 20 minutes while the children are present.
Use Online Booking Tools
To find the finest vacation and travel offers, use online booking tools. Making decisions about your transportation budget can be done much more quickly because you can compare prices from all the available airlines at once. Don’t forget to inquire about “meet and help” services offered by your preferred airline at the airport. This will allow you to concentrate on your children while someone else takes care of your bags.
Instead of depending on “official websites,” browse blogs to choose family vacation spots. Blogs provide you the opportunity to engage in the conversation and ask the author questions about issues that affect your next trip. Try reading blogs about travel-related topics. To save time and get the best family travel and vacation deals, skip the backpacker blogs and go right to the parenting blogs.
While Choosing Your Stay
Make sure to ask if a hotel has child-friendly rooms and facilities before booking. Both you and your child benefit from doing this. Because if the hotel doesn’t have a daycare facility, you would start wanting some alone time or me-time at the end of the day, which you can not do. Ask about family discounts and specials as well. You can save a lot of money by taking advantage of the discounts that most hotels offer for families. Another piece of advice is to rent a villa rather than stay in a hotel. If you have a large family or want to remain for an extended period of time, this is a surefire money-saving strategy.
Contact Information of Hospital
When preparing your schedule, don’t forget to add the contact details of hospitals. Children are very easily impacted by changes in the weather, food, and surroundings. In case of an emergency, you should be aware of the location of the closest hospital.
Few Quick pieces of Advice
- Hotel rooms should be booked within a maximum of 3 floors.
- Do not choose a destination that has more climbs or more steps.
- Choose destinations associated with children’s activities in your journey.
- Don’t plan to visit too many places in a day.
- If you are planning to spend the whole day, then choose 1-2 places in the middle where you and your kids can relax like a garden or river.
- If your kids are a little older, then plan your vacation by sitting with them.
Packing Tips for Traveling with Kids
Packing for any trip is the most troublesome and stressful task. Because there is a lot to remember while packing and if you forget something, sometimes you will not even get another option for such things on your trip. And packing becomes more stressful when planning a trip with kids. Because you have to take care of many things while packing. But, do not worry, below I have given some important tips on how to pack and what to leave behind.
A Few Packing Tips to Make Traveling with Kids Easier:
- Make a list first: Make a list of all the items you will require for the trip, then reuse half of it. Sometimes we add such things to the packing list which are not really needed on the trip.
- Pack early: Last-minute packing is a recipe for disaster. Therefore, start packing a few days in advance to avoid being rushed, and getting stressed during packing.
- Avoid overpacking by only bringing what you absolutely need. Keep in mind that you can always purchase items if you need them.
- Pack smart: To keep your items organized and to make the most of the space in your baggage, use packing cubes or bags.
- Label everything: To prevent loss or confusion with other people’s belongings, label all of your child’s items with their names.
- Allow space in your suitcase for mementos. We can assure you that your children will want to bring home a lot of items.
- Pack clothes that can be mixed and matched. You can reduce the amount of washing you need to do while you are away.
A Few Things You Might Want to Leave Behind:
- noise-making toys. You don’t want to be the family that the other passengers on the plane despise for their loud toy.
- Anything that could crack easily or leak into your luggage.
- Too many outfit changes. Once more, less is more.
Tips for Keeping Kids Entertained while Traveling
One of the challenges of traveling with young children is finding ways to keep them entertained and occupied during long car journeys or when you are stuck in airport terminals. Here are a few tips to help make your travels a little less stressful:
- Bring your kid’s favorite toys, books, and games. If possible, pack these all things in a compact bag that your toddler can easily access.
- Install some kids-friendly apps on your smartphone or tablet. There are many educational and entertaining apps available that will keep kids engaged for hours.
- If you are traveling by car, consider renting a portable DVD player so your child can watch movies or cartoons during the journey.
- Take advantage of the in-flight entertainment system if you are traveling by air and let your kid pick a movie or TV show to watch.
- Pack some healthy snacks and drinks for your kid to enjoy during the trip. This will help them maintain their energy levels and avoid tantrums caused by hunger or tiredness.
Tips for Dealing with Jet Lag
Jet lag can be tough on everyone, but it can be especially tough for children. If you are traveling with kids, there are a few things you can do to help them adjust to the time difference and prevent jet lag.
Here are some tips for dealing with Jetlag:
- Before you leave, start by adjusting your own body clock. Start going to bed and rising at the times you will need to be on vacation a few days prior to your trip. Your body will gradually acclimate to the new time zone thanks to this.
- When you are on the plane, make an effort to keep your kids as awake as you can. To keep them occupied and prevent naps, have them play games or take walks around the cabin.
- Once you arrive at your destination, help your kids adjust to the new time zone by keeping them busy during the day. Make sure kids get lots of fresh air and sunlight by going on walks and exploring the neighborhood or city. Allow them to relax at night with a bath or a peaceful pastime before bed.
- While your children adjust to the new time zone, have patience. Try not to schedule them (or yourself!) too much at that time because it may take a few days for their bodies to catch up.
Tips to Manage Mealtime
One of the most challenging parts of traveling with young children might be mealtime. If you are unprepared, it might rapidly become a disaster. You can manage mealtimes when you are on the go by using these methods to maintain your calmness.
- Plan ahead: One of the best ways to prevent chaos at meals is to plan ahead. Pack some easy-to-eat snacks and meals if you know you will be traveling during mealtimes so your kids can eat while you are on the go.
- Make a schedule: If your children are old enough, sit down with them and schedule their meal and snack times before your vacation. This will help them understand what to expect and give them something to look forward to.
- Be flexible: Regardless of how well you plan, there will inevitably be times when things don’t go as you had hoped. Try to be adaptable and go with the flow when this occurs. The goal is to keep everyone happy and healthy, so do whatever you need to do at the moment to make that happen.
Tips for Feeding Kids while Traveling
For kids (and parents), eating on the go can be challenging, but with advance planning, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Here are our top tips for feeding your kids while traveling:
- Bring snacks: This is an obvious one, but it is important nonetheless. Your child’s favorite snacks will help prevent between-meal hunger if you pack a few of them.
- Find some kid-friendly restaurants: When you are planning your trip, do some research to find restaurants that cater to families with young children. These places typically have tasty cuisine and helpful staff, which can greatly simplify your life.
- Book your accommodation with a kitchen: If you are staying in a hotel, look for one with a kitchenette so you can make some of your own meals. Trust me, this will save you money and hassle on your trip.
- Pack easy-to-eat food: When packing food for your trip, keep in mind to pack things that are easy for your kids to eat during traveling. Granola bars, fruit, granola sandwiches, and wraps are all healthy choices.
- Avoid processed food: If at all possible, try to keep your kids away from processed foods while you are traveling. These meals usually include high levels of salt and sugar, which can be problematic for your kids. Pack healthier alternatives instead, such as fruits and vegetables
Tips to Manage Bedtimes and Sleep Routines
Getting a night of good sleep is the most important thing in traveling. And you should know how to sleep well while traveling. But it is more important to manage the bedtimes and sleep routines of your kids. So, below are some top tips to manage it very well.
- When traveling, make every effort to keep your child’s usual sleeping schedule. Even though it may be challenging, doing this will help your child maintain some sense of normalcy and handle bedtimes. If your kids are used to baths, storytime, and then lights out at home, try to stick to that same routine while you are on your trip.
- Do not forget to carry a small bag with your child’s favorite bedtime items, like a special stuffed animal or blanket. these items can help comfort your child and make them feel more at home in a new place.
- Restrict screen time before bed. Kids who spend too much time playing on their tablets or watching TV may have trouble falling asleep.
- The sleeping area should be dark. Use eye masks or blackout curtains to signal to your child’s body that it is time to go to bed.
- Try to gradually change your child’s sleep routine in the days before the vacation if you are traveling across time zones. This will help minimize jet lag.
- Take breaks every couple of hours on lengthy journeys to allow your kids to release some energy and prevent them from becoming irritable. Consider stopping at playgrounds or parks along the way.
- Try using white noise or soothing music to help your child sleep if they are having problems sleeping in a new place.
Tips for Dealing with Tantrums
It is inevitable. No matter how well-behaved your child is generally, there will surely be a tantrum or meltdown at some point during your trip. It might be due to boredom, hunger, weariness, or simply general travel stress, but it will happen. There are a few things you can do to try and defuse the situation when that happens.
First, keep your own calm. Although it could be challenging, if you appear stressed, it will just get worse. Second, attempt to figure out what might be causing the tantrum and see what you can do to help. Is your kid thirsty or hungry? Tired? Bored? If so, try to solve the problem if you can. If not, try to think of something else you can do to divert their attention or provide comfort.
But, If all else fails and the tantrum continues, look for a location where you can safely remove yourself and your child from the situation until they calm down. This might mean leaving a restaurant, any museum, or leaving an attraction early, but sometimes it’s necessary in order to avoid a complete meltdown.
In short, tantrums and meltdowns are part of travel with kids. Just try to stay calm and deal with them as best you can.
Tips for Dealing with Homesickness
When they travel, it is common for children to miss home, but there are strategies to help them adjust. Here are some tips on how to deal with homesickness:
- Inspire them to stay in touch with their families. Help them send emails, postcards, and notes to friends and family.
- Ensure that they have some familiar items from home, such as a plush animal or a beloved toy.
- Talk about all the enjoyable activities they plan to do while traveling. Help them make a list of all the places they want to see and things they want to do.
- Encourage them to meet new people and make social connections. Remind them that others are in the same boat and may be feeling homesick, too.
Tips for Dealing with Motion Sickness
Many children get motion sickness while traveling. Motion sickness can be caused by eating unnatural food, moving around a lot, or sitting still for an extended period of time. Here I have given some tips you can do to try and prevent motion sickness in your kids:
- Keep away from fatty, spicy, or junk meals. Give them light, nutritious meals, such as fruits or dry fruits.
- Give them plenty of breaks to stretch their legs and walk around.
- Encourage them to stare out the window or at the horizon line to help them stay balanced.
- If they begin to feel dizzy, have them lie down and close their eyes.
- Make sure they are well hydrated.
Keeping Them Safe when Out and About
Many times it happens in travel that if your child does not see you for a long time, then he feels unhappy. In such a situation, it is the duty of a parent to teach their child to be safe while traveling. There are a few simple things you can do to help keep your kids safe when you are out and about.
- Instruct children to cross the street by always looking both ways.
- Make sure they know their complete address and how to reach you in an emergency.
- Tell children not to engage in conversation with or accept gifts from strangers.
- When you are in a crowded area, Keep a close eye on them.
It’s also a good idea to have a plan in place in case you become separated when traveling with young children. You can either put your contact information on a bracelet or necklace that they wear all the time, or you can use a permanent marker to write it on their arm. Take a recent photo of them with you as well so you have it on hand in case you need it.
Tips for Traveling with Kids with Special Needs
There are so many things to consider when preparing for a trip with your kids. But, if you have a little one with special needs, there are a few extra considerations that you should always keep in mind. Here are some tips to make travel easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved:
- Before making your travel plan, research the accessibility and facilities of your destination. Find out if there are any activities or attractions that are specifically designed for kids with special needs.
- Make a list of your child’s essential and favorite items and pack them in an easily accessible place in your travel bag. This might include medications, medical supplies, favorite toys or blankets, etc.
- Get your kid ready for the trip in advance. Show them images of the locations you will be seeing and let them know what to expect. If possible, take a practice run to the airport or train station so they can get used to the experience.
- Allocate additional time for everything. Everything will take longer than it would without kids, from packing to arriving at the airport to passing through security to boarding your flight. Give yourself enough time to prevent hurrying and becoming stressed.
- A birth certificate of your child, a passport (if traveling abroad), any relevant medical records, insurance information, etc., should all be carried with you at all times.
- If your child has dietary concerns, make sure to bring food and liquids for the trip. When you are traveling, it might be challenging to find meals that satisfy all of their demands.
- Always be ready for anything. Bring along entertainment for your child as well as any other items you might require in case of an emergency (diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, etc.).
Traveling with kids is as much fun as it is difficult. Because in traveling with kids, it becomes the duty of the parents to take care of the children more than taking care of themselves. But if you follow these tips then I am 100% sure that you will be able to enjoy your trip to the fullest without any stress. Have a nice trip with your toddlers!
Hey there! I’m Kartik. I am a finance professional and a travel and lifestyle blogger. I am vegetarian, but I love adventuring food. Jeric and I work together to deliver high-quality content for you. Adventure the fun!