Preparing to go on a solo or group trip with friends could be daunting as an adult but more challenging when travelling with kids. Travelling with kids will always be overwhelming, whether it’s your first or hundredth time travelling with them. The more you do it, the easier it could get, but you’re going to be faced with some difficulties, regardless. To make sure that everyone gets the most out of the trip, careful planning, flexibility, and ample time to plan are required.

Here are some useful tips that will guide you when planning that trip with kids:

1. Choose a destination that aligns with your family’s needs

Your destination choice is important if you want a family trip with less hassle. Everyone’s interests should be taken into consideration when choosing a destination for a family trip; that way, no one gets sidelined or forced to do things they have little or no interest in. So, for those looking for a bit of adventure, places like Australia, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Thailand should be top of your list as you could go sea kayaking, horseback riding, caving, and zip lining in these places. If you want a place mainly for relaxation and some quiet, then an Island nation is ideal. Places like Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, and Bali offer you such tranquility. For children-themed activities and entertainment, a visit to countries with theme parks like Universal Studios, Legoland and Disneyland should be an option. For those who are animal lovers and have interest in wildlife, a visit to Galapagos Island, Kenya, Botswana, and Indonesia, should be considered.

Disneyland

It is important to match these interests and pick a destination that will suit everyone.

2. Take it slow

When travelling with kids, you may want to go at a slow but considerable pace. Knowing that the rush to the airport and all the last-minute activities you do alone when catching a flight can’t be the same when you’re travelling with kids. It will require more time than usual, compared to travelling alone or with adults, so allow plenty of time for all the extras.

Try to get to the airport early enough because you’ll need more time during check-in, going through security, and boarding the plane.

Make your schedule flexible and give room for changes or adjustments.

3. Don’t overpack

This may be difficult to do in a bid to bring items your kids are used to, but remember that the less you bring, the easier it is to pack, the less you have to carry with you and the more room for other extras. Most times when you overpack, you realize that some of the items end up unused, they just take up space. You should know that almost anything can be purchased abroad, you can buy the essentials you’ll need for your kids there; you may not get the very brand you’re familiar with but that shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience.

4. Accommodation

When choosing an accommodation for your family, apartments and Air Bnbs are better options compared to hotel rooms. It’s no doubt that hotels have their perks such as babysitting services, and room service but an apartment gives you that homely feel and enough room your children will need to move around. Also, try to avoid switching your lodging if your trip doesn’t require more than one location as your kids need to get comfortable and settled in. Hopping from one lodge to the other could give them a hard time getting comfortable.

5. Get adequate travel insurance

Travel insurance is never a waste of money as you may never know when it’d come handy. When it comes to the safety and general well-being of your kids, there should be little or no room for laxity and shortcuts. Buy travel insurance that suits the needs of your entire family.

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6. Travel with essential medication

You don’t want to be caught off-guard in the eventuality that a health crisis arises and you’re without the basic medication to administer first aid. It could be an allergy or a stomach upset, you need to be prepared if this happens. It is important to visit the doctor before your trip and get a list of essential medication.

7. Travel with items for entertainment

Kids are generally hyper active and so it’s important to indulge them especially while on a trip. Pack devices or items that will engage and entertain them. Bring toys, books, and video games. While touring, give them a camera and allow them to take pictures of things that seem captivating, give travel journals to older kids to document details of things or events that will be memorable for them both in the present and future.

8. Travel with baby essentials

It is only right to travel with daily essentials for kids such as diapers, anti-bacterial gel, baby food, water bottles, and spare clothing. For essentials like baby strollers, slings, and car seats, it may require a bit of research to know which would be suitable for your trip. A light stroller is a good option as they’re easy to travel and move around with, and great on almost all terrain.

9. Thoughtfully plan your flights

For an evening trip, schedule your flight time around your children’s bed time. Make the journey part of the vacation for them, the less stressed they get, the better for you. Sleeping during the journey will get them less fatigued when you reach your destination and also give you a quiet time to yourself on the flight. Another thing to consider when booking your flight is where to sit. Check with the airline or travel agent and decide on the best seats for you and your family. You may require more legroom and floor space but you may also need to be aware that some airplane seats don’t recline completely and the rear of the airplane can be noisy. You need to reach out to the airline or travel agent and tell them your preferences.

Plan your flights

10. Be security conscious

This may seem cliché but it is important to be security conscious especially on a trip with kids. Be at alert always. Keep track of your children as they tend to wander off. Have them hold your hands or sit close to you at all times. Be aware of your environment and try not to take your eyes off them. You should ensure to know the whereabouts of your kids at all times. This may seem like a difficult task but better safe than sorry.

11. Give your kids your contact information

Sometimes, unfortunate incidents happen without you being in control, it is necessary to cushion the impact. Ensure your older kids have your contact information. Make them memorize your name and theirs, phone number, local address and advice them on whom and when to divulge these information. For younger kids, find creative ways for them to have your contact information. Squeeze a note with your contact information and place in their pockets or inside their shoes. This will be useful.

12. Stay calm

Don’t let minor inconveniences bother you. Try not to fuss over trivial things that are not worth your time. Remember, you’re on the trip to enjoy a good time with family, so, don’t sweat the small things. Know that things don’t always go as planned, so why stress over things that are out of your control? Take each day as it comes and make the most of it.

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