We all know that traveling with kids can either go both ways - perfectly smooth or totally chaotic. We've rounded up the best tips on how to travel with kids for your next trip!
1. If this is your first trip with your children, plan for a slower pace than you might usually attempt. If you want to see more than one place, be realistic about what you can cover with little ones in tow. The less you feel you have to pack in, the more enjoyable and stress-free the holiday - and you'll be better able to take the odd day indoors in your stride if the weather is bad or the kids need to rest. (The Guardian)
2. Instead of writing lists and notes to myself to help me remember information when I travel, I use my cell phone as a reminder service. For example, I will leave myself a message with my hotel's name, address and reservation booking number. I will leave another message reminding myself exactly where I parked my car in the airport parking garage. It is useful for so many things. When I don't need the information any more, I just delete the message. -Jean from Portland, OR (minitime)
3. Be ready when you get to security. Your stroller or car seat will have to go through the x-ray machine, so take kids (and all their stuff) out in advance. Any child old enough to walk may be asked to remove his shoes -- you'll want to make sure they're all in something easy to slip off, so leave the lace-up high-tops at home. If you're traveling with a nonambulatory babe, you will be asked to walk through the metal detector carrying him. (Parents.com)
4. Without doubt the one thing all parents seem to agree on is investing in some sort of video tech to keep your kid occupied – either a portable DVD player or, increasingly, a tablet computer. DVD players are a bit bulkier and obviously require a set of DVDs to go with them, whereas tablets are much smaller but often have limited storage space for videos. You'll also have to make sure to download all the videos you need before getting on board. Cartoons and movies can help to while away a sizeable chunk of the flight and allow parents some downtime too. (Skyscanner)
5. Present your child with presents
Wrap up small toys that you can present to your child as a reward for being good every half hour or so. These don’t have to be expensive and can even be your child's old forgotten about toys (yup, I'm Miss Thrifty too). Small soft animals are ideal, as are little wind-up toys that can travel across the fold down table – although there is always the possibility that they may end up 'driving' into nearby passengers or a passing steward. A good idea is to wrap up your various activities as presents, like snacks or stickers (Skyscanner)
6. ENCOURAGE THEM TO KEEP A TRAVEL JOURNAL
Get your kids drawing and listing things they’ve seen and interesting foods they’ve tried. Who knows, this might also encourage them to try different foods. Collecting postcards from places you visit and asking them to write themselves a message on the back means they can reach adulthood with a library of memories all their own. (Rough Guides)
7. Beat jet lag: stay up late the first night. Get outside and do something active. Long walks are good. Parks and playgrounds are great. Kids are usually so excited by their new environment you can get away with doing a lot that at home might not work. One caveat: most people forget — or don’t realize — that meal times can be way off as well in a new time zone. If your child usually eats a big breakfast and lunch but a small dinner at home. This can translate into no appetite at breakfast or lunch and then ravenous hunger at 7pm and midnight. Have a good array of healthful snacks in your hotel room on the first night. (My Little Nomads)
8. Mix in Stuff They Like
They are on vacation too after all. We usually do two adult activities and then do one kid specific activity like a park or a toy store. Some activities fit into both categories like stopping for ice cream or going on a Gondola ride. The important thing is to make everything sound exciting. (Ohhappyday.com)
9. If you plan on walking or cycling, remember that young children won't want to focus on getting from A to B, but on following their interests, so allow time for exploring. Plan your route around the capacity of your youngest child and your ability to carry them. Try to choose a route where the scenery will change frequently. Good choices for walks or rides include following a river or canal towpath; there are no hills to negotiate, and there's the possible bonus of water to play in and birds to feed. It's also a good idea to combine walks or rides with an activity such as swimming or taking a short train ride. (The Guardian)
10. Just a few phrases spoken by your kids will open many doors. Make a point of teaching them "thank you," "hello," and "good-bye" in the country's language. You'll find nearly everyone speaks English, but small phrases out of the mouths of babes will melt the cool of surly museum guards or harried shop clerks. (Rick Steves)
11. & finally our last tip from Acanela - just relax and enjoy the ride. Take in every moment you can with your family because traveling is something they will never forget.