Although travelling with children may sound like a bad idea, trust us when we say it doesn’t have to be that way. With some planning, preparation, and patience, your family vacation can be a fun and hassle-free experience.
Here’s our top tips for travelling with kids:
1. If you’re travelling by plane, know what the airline has to offer
More often or not, most passengers aren’t aware about the service airlines provide. Most airlines provide kid-friendly services such as child meals (which should be pre-ordered beforehand) and toys (usually activity books). Furthermore, some airlines allow family with kids or elderly relatives to board the plane before the actual boarding time. In addition, most companies offer baby bassinets to passengers travelling with babies.
2. Always bring snacks!
Travelling to a foreign place may sound exciting, but the food there may not suit your child’s palate. The worst thing that could happen to you is a sick (and fussy) kid. That’s why it’s ideal to pack some of your little one’s favorite snacks whenever the family goes on a vacation. Do remember to bring snacks that don’t break any custom laws though – that would be another problem altogether!
3. Bring wet wipes
Wet wipes (and packet tissues) are really, really handy. Kids are prone to make a mess, especially at places that serve food. That being said, pack a spare set of clothing for your child and yourself in your backpack. It would definitely smell better that wiped food.
4. Don’t forget the infant/toddler carrier
Bringing your stroller can be fussy and heavy. So skip the wheel and pack your infant/toddler carrier instead. This is particularly handy during outdoor trips that require long walks. In addition, most airports will let you wear your baby through security if they’re asleep.
5. Pack a medical kit
A medical kit is crucial to a family trip with children. It can help resolve a minor health issue or even an emergency. This is particularly important if you’re traveling overseas (especially countries that don’t speak your language) or have a child who is allergic to certain medications. If some of your child’s medication don’t abide with the custom laws in the destination you’re going to, have your doctor issue a letter.
6. Bring something to keep your child busy
Don’t ever underestimate the power of a coloring book or your child’s favorite toy. These items are essential to keep them quiet, occupied, and calm during long flights or layover. If you want your kids to learn while travelling, opt for an educational audio book or download some problem-solving kids games on a tablet instead.
7. Consider renting an apartment
Most hotels aren’t exactly family-friendly, so consider renting an apartment instead. With websites such as Airbnb and Wimdu, you can easily find the perfect apartment that fit your whole family (and budget). And that’s not all, staying in an apartment means having a kitchen to prepare food for fussy little eaters.
8. Plan fun activities for everyone
Travelling with kids doesn’t mean parents will only get to do kids stuff. Besides visiting theme parks and playgrounds, you can also plan trips to museums, historical sights, and famous landmarks. Best of all, most of these places offer free entrance for small kids!
9. Don’t bring anything fancy to the trip
We’re being very serious about this – leave your valuables (such as jewelry, expensive watches, high-end bags and clothing) at home. You wouldn’t want your kids to stain or ruin them, do you?
10. Always book ahead
Whether you want to dine in a restaurant or visit a theme park, it’s best to book everything ahead. That way, you don’t have to queue or wait in long lines. Trust us, tired and hungry children can be very, very hard to handle.