Guide to traveling with kids
Traveling with kids can seem overwhelming when planning a family vacation. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are five tips for making traveling with kids easier.
1. Invite your kids to plan with you! Collaborating on the planning process is a great way to spend quality time with your kids. It sparks their curiosity of travel and gets them excited about the family vacation. You can read books about your travel destination or wildlife that inhabit the destination to get your child excited about their upcoming trip. Together, you can research the best ice cream stops, map out the neighborhoods they’d like to explore, or find excursions that fit within their interests and hobbies.
2. Pack extras of everything and more! Clothes, diapers, socks – you name it, you’ll need it! Have a first aid kit on hand when you travel and don’t forget: never pack important medications in your checked bags! Always keep these on you in your carry on, just in case a bag gets lost along the way. If your kids are old enough to carry or roll their own bag, pack some of these items in their luggage. My kids both love to ride their JetKids BedBox through the airport. We pack a couple of toys, books, and their headphones that will all keep them entertained on the plane.
3. Avoid hangriness! Pack snacks, snacks, and more snacks! Applesauce and other pouches, nutbutter snacks, breakfast bars — these can all go through TSA security as long as creamy items are in travel-sized containers less than 3.4 ounces. TSA even has their own post about kid snacks and security. While it’s super important to keep kids well-fed when traveling, it’s also important to keep them well-hydrated. Reusable water bottles are easy to carry and refill at the airport, hotels, and restaurants so you always have water with you.
4. Don’t be afraid to keep kids up late and break bedtime rules, or iPad rules. It’s their vacation too. If your kids need a little iPad time in order for you to enjoy a meal on vacation, make sure you download videos or games for them to watch in restaurants (bring the headphones if they need sound). If your kids are still napping and they get grumpy, early naps can save the day. My husband and I could fill an album with photos of all the places our kids have fallen asleep while on vacation — on a boat, at a restaurant where we pushed two chairs together, on a golf cart…the list goes on.
5. Prioritize restaurants that have an outdoor space where the kids can move freely while waiting for dinner. Always carry a stash of small toys that are only for restaurants — stickers, travel puzzles, games, books, drawing tablet, (did we mention the iPad?), etc. If your kids are old enough, a game of “I Spy” can really pass the time. We also like to ask our kids what their favorite part of that day or the whole trip. Being able to see travel through the eyes of your kids adds a whole new perspective.
Our best tip?
Work with a travel advisor to plan your trip! We are experts when it comes to planning travel with kids and can help make your family vacation a breeze. We can find the perfect vacation spot for you and your family where everyone (yes, EVERYONE — including the parents) will enjoy themselves. We know the best kids clubs, the resorts with the most amenities for families traveling with their kids (e.g., babyproofing capabilities, cribs, high chairs), and all the other insider knowledge for traveling with kids.