I know travel is the furthest thing from a lot of peoples’ minds right now, given the current goings-on in the world. However, it’s never too early to start planning for the future, and once it’s safe to do so, I’m going to be ready and raring to go on a whirlwind world tour. Embarking on such an extravagant expedition is often harder than you might imagine, especially if you have a couple of young children underfoot. However, with the right preparations and a bit of careful planning, you can create a family vacation that will please even the tiniest tots. Below are several travel tips for parents with young children to keep you sane and your kids happy.
Make the journey part of the fun
When it comes to traveling, getting there is half the fun. For young children who have never experienced the world and are excited by everything they see, this is particularly true. However, it can sometimes be difficult to keep kids entertained on long drives or extended layovers. Luckily, there are some foolproof ways to make long car rides more entertaining for everyone involved. Plan out some simple car games that you can play with your kids, such as I Spy. If your kids are a bit younger, you can spend your time in the car singing together or practicing their ABCs. Don’t be afraid to pull over every once in a while to stretch your legs, either. Kids can get quite antsy and will appreciate the opportunity to run and play for a bit before climbing back in the car.
Pick the perfect hotel
Perhaps the most important travel tip for parents with young children is to choose your hotel wisely. This may seem a bit silly, given that you’ll mostly be using the space to shower and sleep. However, comfort is key when traveling with kids, so y’all will want to select a hotel with all the necessary amenities. Try to find a hotel that has complimentary breakfast or a kitchenette in the room. A kitchenette is particularly helpful if your kids are still bottle-feeding or if they have any dietary restrictions. A hotel with a pool doesn’t hurt, either—it’ll provide your kids with a fun diversion, should the weather turn sour and ruin your original plans.
Family vacations don’t happen every day, and you want to make the most of your experience. However, cramming too many activities in too short a time can cause everyone to feel burnt out and exhausted quite quickly. I suggest scheduling at least one off-day during your vacation. That doesn’t mean you need to spend the entire day in your hotel, however. Simply planning a relaxing day at the beach or a local park will be enough to reset your mental barometer, allowing you to tackle the rest of your schedule with renewed vigor.