You have a thirst for travel and nothing is going to stop you from quenching it. Bravo! While your neighbors are planning summers at the community pool, you’re plotting your next adventure, kids and all. But while having a family shouldn’t stop you from traveling, kids can make travel more complicated. Thankfully, most challenges are easy to overcome. Read on to learn how to navigate traveling with kids of all ages.
Traveling with Babies
When your children are little, it can be the best time to travel. They’re small, portable, and sleep most of the day, which means you can plan a vacation around what you want to do instead of seeking out kid-friendly activities. Of course, this completely depends on your baby’s temperament. If you have a colicky baby, you’re probably better off waiting until your little one is older.
If you’re traveling with a baby, resist the temptation to save money by flying your baby as a lap child. Unless your flight is only an hour or two, holding a baby on your lap won’t be comfortable — not to mention, it majorly complicates in-flight bathroom trips. However, you should still pack a baby carrier for navigating airports and exploring new locales — Pint Size Pilot recommends some of the best.
Your hotel is another place to spend extra money – and research time – for comfort. By booking a suite instead of a single room, you can put your baby down in one area while you stay up for adult time in the other. Ensure your baby has somewhere safe and clean to sleep by packing a travel crib on your trip. Even if you scrimp and book a single room, travel cribs are compact enough to fit in many hotel bathrooms and closets so your baby has a dark place to sleep. Travel cribs also double as playpens so you don’t have to worry about baby-proofing every hotel room.
Traveling with School-Age Children
School-age kids are eager travelers, making this a fun age to head out for family vacations. However, you’ll need to tailor activities to your kids’ interests to keep them engaged on vacation. Follow Y Travel Blog’s advice and involve your kids in planning and researching your trip. Incorporating their input not only builds anticipation for the vacation, it also exposes you to fun activities and destinations you wouldn’t have thought of yourself.
Remember that while school-age children can seem like little adults at times, they’re still kids and can’t keep up with adult-paced travel. Schedule downtime into each day so kids can recharge, pack healthy snacks to keep kids from getting cranky on the go, and have a backup plan for getting around if the kids get tired of walking.
Traveling with Teens
By the time your kids are teens, family vacation may elicit eye rolls more than excitement. Teens often have their own summer plans that don’t necessarily align with their parents’. Before planning a trip, ask for your teen’s input on dates and destinations. You don’t have to give your teen reins to the entire trip, but being considerate of your child’s schedule and interests will prevent angst during your travels.
Take advantage of your teen’s desire for independence and schedule solo activities. Letting your teen explore the resort or take a surfing lesson alone satisfies your child’s desire for freedom while allowing you precious kid-free time. However, don’t let your teen have all the exciting experiences without you. Conquering a challenge together is an excellent way to strengthen your bond during the tumultuous teen years.
Following these tips is key to making traveling with kids work. As you explore the globe together, remember that traveling with kids isn’t only about satisfying your own desire for adventure. By traveling as a family and ensuring it’s a positive experience for your kids, you share your passion for travel and sow the seed of wanderlust in your children.