For a lot of young couples, there’s nothing better than traveling the world together and exploring new places. But as soon as you have kids, your exciting travel life has to take a back seat… or does it? Most people think that having kids means an end to traveling all together, but with the right preparation, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Tips on Traveling with Kids
The most stressful part of traveling with kids is probably the whole idea of the travel itself. Going through airport security with small children is no walk in the park, so know what you’re getting into before you go. They may be kids, but they have to go through security just like the rest of us, so make sure your child is dressed accordingly (i.e.: shoes that are easy to take on and off!). Many aircrafts will have plenty of room for your stroller, so there’s no need to check it in with your luggage. Keep it with you and check it in when you get to the gate. This way you’ll have it as soon as you exit the plane. And don’t forget, if your child is old enough for you to pay for their own seat, they’re old enough for a frequent flier card.
Family Travel Network’s Managing Editor Nancy Schretter suggests traveling at an off peak time, like in the middle of the week at an earlier flight time. Schretter also suggests trying “to drive (or undertake travel of any kind) when your child is scheduled to sleep.” This way their internal clock knows it’s time to nap, and you (hopefully) won’t be the center of attention as the parent with the screaming child on the plane!
Where to Go?
A vacation with your kids doesn’t have to mean Disneyworld or a trip to your local amusement park. A lot of vacations most would associate with couples are now turning into family travel. Many all-inclusive resorts and cruises have become family specific, offering activities for the whole family, just your kids and of course just the parents. In fact, certain resorts in Jamaica even include a vacation nanny!
Of course family time is always important while on vacation. Don’t shy away from big cities because of the crowds. Many museums in cities like Washington DC and New York offer free admission for kids as well as interactive elements to keep them entertained. A lot of monuments also offer free or low admission costs for kids. Make sure to get there early though to beat the crowds, leaving you plenty of time to give your little one a history lesson!
Travel Friendly Families
Traveling with small children can take some getting used to and extra preparation, but it can be a fun getaway for the whole family when done right. And besides, the more you travel with your kids, the more they’ll become expert travelers!