Traveling with children is an extraordinary experience…
Needless to say.. It is the assurance of discovering the world from a new perspective.
A wonderful adventure which, however, requires good preparation and some adaptations so that everyone can get the most out of the trip.
You can’t improvise as much when you go with your family as you can only with adults.
But that does not mean that there is no room for spontaneity, on the contrary!
That’s being said,
Here are our 10 most useful tips to prepare for and get the most out of your family vacation.
We included the main things to tie up so that everything goes well and everyone keeps in mind lasting memories of their trip…
- Choose the destination that best meets your needs and those of your children
Traveling with children from an early age is possible anywhere in the world!
There are, however, destinations that are more suited to our ideal trip and the type of vacation we are looking for.
The ideal is to find a destination where children can have everyday interesting experiences for them, which involve them and allow them to have fun.
For example, if you are traveling with small children and want to relax while going on discovery and adventure: Indonesia and Southeast Asia are for you.
Are you traveling with children aged 6 and over, in the middle of an exploration phase, or with teenagers? Africa could be the ideal destination!
Our advice: stay tuned to your children. You can for example play with them by asking them to write on a piece of paper everything they would like to learn from their trip.
Match what you are looking for as parents, and you will easily find the solution!
- Find out about the availability of anything that might be useful to you locally
In particular, learn about food as well as your real “allies” such as travel cots, high chairs, and strollers.
There are children all over the world, you will surely find anything useful for traveling with them.
But sometimes it helps to find out what can be more practical first.
Stroller or baby carrier for example?
If you are planning a trip to a big metropolis (for example) from Singapore to New York, the stroller will make the trip for you and your little ones more serene.
If you are planning for a great trekking, hiking, and discovery trip, or if simply your next destination in South East Asia, the baby carrier is without a doubt your future best friend.
Remember that you can rent on site!
In the main tourist areas, more agencies are being set up to facilitate the travel of families with children.
They do this by offering the rental of strollers, camping beds, car seats, and even bottle warmers.
A quick internet search before departure can be very fruitful.
Also, do not hesitate to contact the local agents who will be able to advise you the best..
- What to put in your suitcase? Go light!
We think that traveling with children cannot be synonymous with “traveling light”.
Find out in advance about the weather conditions at your next destination and act accordingly, packing the bare essentials in the suitcase.
You will be the first to be delighted, especially when picking up the suitcases at the airport or loading them in the car.
Everyone knows, and especially on vacation, that children need a change every day!
Do not worry and take advantage of the laundromat on site: it will be much easier and we can find it everywhere.
Also, even if your destination is warm and near the sea, remember to always have a sweater in your bag for temperature changes.
…and for the plane, where the air conditioning is often very strong!
So you need a sweater and a blanket to avoid catching a cold before the party even starts! 🙂
- Health: medications to take when traveling with children
Your doctor is the most competent person to tell you which medicines to pack for you and your children depending on the destination you choose.
Do not hesitate to make an appointment with him to have a health check-up and obtain a list of essential drugs.
They might take up a bit of space in your luggage, but it will be worth it if needed.
- Always have two essentials in your bag: wipes and an antibacterial gel
When traveling, it is not always possible to wash children’s hands and thus prevent all possible illnesses.
Having an antibacterial hand washing gel in your bag will help you in all those situations where the toilet will not always be available.
Also, bring wipes that can always be useful, anywhere in the world!
- What toys to take before leaving?
As with suitcases, it is better to bet on lightness…
While traveling, your kids will love the novelty and find it much more fun to play with everything new to them than to use their toy box just like at home.
Don’t worry, two or three toys will be enough!
A book, a small car, a doll, according to their preferences. Before you go, let them choose!
The question is different if you have to take a long, often tiring flight.
When traveling with children, always prefer night trips so that it is less boring for them and you.
Airlines with an onboard entertainment option is perfect for long flights..
And then, arm yourself with a lot of patience, their favorite toys, and it’s even better if you have books or colored pencils to draw with them.
- Excellent medical insurance: Don’t ignore it!
She can quickly become your best friend.
Think about it!
Find out which one best suits your needs and covers the whole family. It will allow you to have access to the best medical services wherever you are.
- Ask your kids to help with the trip’s preparation
Kids think of traveling as a new adventure and discovery experience..
Involve them in planning your itinerary, show photos and videos of your destination, get them interested in the trip as soon as you prepare at home.
They will be better prepared once there, especially in parts of the world where the culture is very different from yours.
Also, let them experience this great adventure as a game.
For older children, give them a camera to discover and immortalize the places with you, encourage them to keep a travel journal.
These will be the best memories for them…
- Get advice from specialists
If you want to leave in peace and make the most of your vacation, hire a local agent to organize it for you.
Depending on your needs, the age of your children, the accommodation, but above all the experiences you can live together.
It will save you time and you will be sure of the result.
- Advice for parents: Relax and take your time!
Traveling with children requires good preparation, but it is still possible and is wonderful.
The first golden rule?
Consider the needs and desires of your children….
Make activities accessible to children by involving them, while understanding and adapting to their pace.
Travel for and with them too… It will be wonderful!
And then … have a good trip!
Dema JS is the founder of newbabysmell.com and a mother of two little kids.
Dema had her MBA from St. John’s University- NYC in dual concentrations: Executive Management and Marketing Management.