Before kids, travelling was easy. You just threw stuff inside your suitcase, grabbed your passport and you were on your way. Well, travelling with kids doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need to do is make a good plan and try to stick to it. Here is some advice to help you prepare for your trip quickly and stress-free.
Taking kids on a vacation will be much easier if you plan every step before you leave. You should sit down as a family and find a place that offers sights and activities that will be fun for the whole family. And don’t expect the same things to be fun for all of you. You should plan exactly when you’ll do what, so that none of you gets bored, especially the little ones.
Also, plan for a slower paced vacation than when you were without kids, since your children will probably become nervous if you keep running from one museum or art gallery to another. And if your kids aren’t entertained, they’ll make sure you aren’t either.
You need to find the right balance between packing too much and being prepared for any situation. You might want to put daily outfits into zip lock bags and tag them for each day, but pack one or two extra days of clothes, just in case. Also, it would be good to have a separate bag for each of your kids. They can be small bags, but if your kids are old enough to get dressed on their own, they shouldn’t have to go through everybody’s clothes to find theirs. On the other hand, the toiletries can be packed into one cosmetics bag, since that bag will probably be in the bathroom for all of you to use. Don’t forget to pack cards, puzzles or coloring books with coloring pencils, so that your children are entertained during the drive or flight. Plus, a change of clothes in your handbag could be useful, too.
Do research and make reservations
Find the perfect hotel for your family’s needs and make reservations at least several weeks ahead. You don’t want to arrive to your destination with nervous and tired kids and then realize there aren’t any vacancies in your preferred hotel. Whether the hotel has a swimming pool and a game room or not is a very big deal when you have kids. If possible, find a hotel with an indoor pool, too, so that your kids can still have fun, even if the weather is bad.
Of course, you should get your girls swimwear they’ll love and your boys some swimming trunks or shorts, even if you don’t think you’ll have time for swimming. That’s an excellent plan B for when your kids get tired of sightseeing. And be sure to ask if your hotel has a lift and laundry, as well as if your room has a bathtub and kids’ TV channels.
Talk to your kids
Let them know where you’re going and what you’ll be doing there even before you start your trip. Tell them how you’ll get there and how long the trip is. If you’re going abroad, explain the basic customs of the country to your children, so that they aren’t surprised when they get there. Maybe teach them how to say “please” and “thank you” in the local language. Tell them that the food could be different than what they’re used to and sound cheerful when you talk about it. If they see you looking forward to trying new cuisine, they’ll be more likely to try it. And when you get to your destination, tell your kids what you have planned for the next day before they go to bed, but be ready to make plan adjustments based on the previous day’s experiences. You don’t want to return home more tired and stressed than before you left.
Finally, the most important thing is not to be nervous. You’ll love spending this time with your kids, and they’ll always cherish the memories you make on your trip together. So, take photos, have fun and enjoy your trip.