The Hows and Whys of Travelling With Kids (of All Ages)
Daniel Sherwin, creator of DadSolo.com, shares his helpful hints for tackling travelling with kids!
This week, Daniel Sherwin of DadSolo.com shares his tips and tricks for travelling with kids!
You know that getting away is good for your own stress levels, but travel has lots of benefits for the youngest members of your family, too. However, when it’s no longer just the adults, travel can get complicated. Here are a few tips on how to ease to burden (and boredom) of hitting the road with the littles in tow.
When it comes to travelling with kids, your main priorities are safety and convenience. Ensure you have the best of both worlds by planning ahead… well ahead. If possible, begin your vacation destination search six to nine months before you want to leave. This will give you the opportunity to explore multiple options and let you take advantage of the best rates. Travel+Leisure lists 50 (mostly free) apps that can help you along the way.
Stop and Stretch Your Legs
Kids get bored easily, especially if you’re on a multi-hour road trip. Make plans to stop every few hours so the kids can stretch their legs, take a bathroom break, and burn off some excess energy. Better yet, leave a day early and take the scenic route. As GM Financial explains, the road less taken often has sights you won’t see anywhere else. Plus, you’ll avoid traffic and have more options to pull over if the need arises.
Help Nervous Children Prepare
No matter how excited your child seems, there’s always the chance that he or she will succumb to nerves on their first flight through the friendly skies. You can help circumvent much of the anxiety your child might feel when facing this new experience by keeping an open line of communication and listening to their concerns. Plan to pack plenty of distractions in your carry-on, which can take your child’s mind off their fear of flying.
Make Your Own Accommodations
If you’re travelling with an infant or toddler, a portable travel crib will expand your overnight options, especially when your accommodations are lacking in size. Most travel cribs can be broken down to fit in a small bag and will ensure your littlest love has a clean place to rest when you’re not at home. Let your child nap in his travel crib a few times prior to the trip so that he or she will be more comfortable and won’t wake up in unfamiliar surroundings.
Choose a Resort
Family resorts are popular choices and can be a wonderful introduction to the world of travel. Most large resorts have rooms and suites that will fit your entire brood, and many offer on-site childcare and activities aimed to capture the interest of kids from toddler to teen. If you’re on a budget, consider an all-inclusive option (then let the kids go wild at the dessert buffet at least once). Parenting magazine lists the best resorts for families and offers options from the Dominican Republic to New York.
Bring a Friend
Teens and tweens might be more open to the idea of time away if they can bring a friend. This is especially true if you only have one child. As much as time spent together as a family is important, so too is having the opportunity to experience new things with peers.
Travelling with kids takes work. There’s lots of planning, plenty of expenses, and infinite variables that will influence everyone’s enjoyment of the trip. However, despite the inconveniences, travel is never a waste, even if your kids are too young to remember. The Huffington Post reports that children who travel frequently develop positive habits such as taking responsibility for their own belongings. Travelling even just a few states from home can expose children to a different way of life and expand their view of the world.
The TSA offers more information on air travel with kids, including screening procedures and disability accommodations.
Head on over to DadSolo.com for more great dad tips from Daniel!