Traveling with your family is one of the best adventures you can embark on. However, it can sometimes get overwhelming. While it’ll get easier the more you do it, traveling with kids always presents unique challenges. The best thing you can do to ensure a successful family trip is to prepare adequately. There’s more to a trip than following wayfinding signs. Here are valuable travel tips for young families who love adventure.
1. Plan Your Days With a Purpose
When choosing places to visit, purposefully planning to engage in a specific activity(s) is one of the best travel tips for young families. A purpose can mean an experience. Instead of just planning to visit a place like a beach, a mountain, or an old ruin, have a list of activities to engage in while you’re there. This may include boogie boarding, paddling a kayak, going back in time, and learning about old civilizations or family events in the city. Having a clear purpose will give you a sense of direction and keep the entire family focused and motivated to try something new.
2. Don’t Overpack
Minimal packing is one of the best travel tips for young families. You may be tempted to bring everything your kids use at home along for the adventure to keep your routines consistent. However, consider the fact that you’ll probably be carrying at least one kid at the end of the day. You don’t want to be carrying an extra 50 pounds of luggage. Instead, bring as little luggage as you can. Trying to keep up with your home routines as you travel only leads to frustration, not to mention a sore neck. You can always purchase what you think you need when you get to your destination. While it may be a bit more challenging if you’re traveling to less developed nations, most destinations you would take your little ones to will likely have the supplies they might need.
3. Bring Along a Portable Toilet
Bringing along a portable toilet is one of the most valuable travel tips for young families. If you enjoy camping or going on road trips, you’ll need a portable toilet. Portable toilets today are so advanced, easy to use, and reasonably priced. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t bring one with you on your adventures. On road trips, you’ll often find yourself in places without access to restrooms. Having a portable toilet eliminates the hassle of trying to find a toilet, which can be stressful, especially when you need one fast.
This is particularly important if you’re traveling with small children. There’s a wide variety of portable toilets to choose from on the market, so you can choose one that suits your situation. Whether you’re traveling with your family or as a couple, portable toilets come in different capacity tanks. This means you can find one for an RV, a small car, or even a boat. You can also find battery-operated camping toilets and manual flushing units.
4. Book Everything You Can in Advance
Pre-booking is one of the most valuable travel tips for young families. It may feel adventurous to show up to a destination, explore the area, and then pick a place to stay. With kids, this is a recipe for disaster. When you get to your new destination, you’ll want to head straight to your accommodation, drop off your baggage, and give your kids a chance to rest after a long day of travel. This is the reason why pre-booking is important. If you’d like to have a bit of flexibility, book the first two nights in advance. Once you’re settled, you can start looking for another place to stay for the rest of your trip.
When you pre-book, that’s one less thing to worry about. You can also pre-book private and public transportation, private guides, tickets for theme parks, museums, boat rentals, and sightseeing tours. If you’ll be staying at your destination for a long time, it may be a good idea to look into private elementary schools in the area and pre-book interviews. Making reservations in advance will leave you with more time to unwind and take it all in when you arrive at your destination. Thanks to the internet, pre-booking has never been easier.
5. Outline the Plan of the Trip for Your Kids
Sharing the itinerary of the trip with your kids ahead of time is also among our travel tips for young families. Kids take time to adjust to new things, and the process can be unsettling for them. By going over the itinerary, your youngsters will know what to expect, making them more comfortable about all the new things going on around them. Make sure they know what to anticipate at the airport, during the flight, and when you get to the destination. Even more important, go through your expectations for their conduct during the trip.
6. Pack Some Snacks
Nothing can turn a fun family trip into a nightmare like hungry kids. Always have snacks on hand for your kids for the time in between meals; you never know how long that will be. You may experience a flight delay, unforeseen traffic on the way to the hotel, or a tour that runs a little longer than expected. Additionally, the cuisine at your destination might not be what your children are used to. They may gladly pick out something from the menu only to eat two bites after realizing it’s not what they expected and then be cranky an hour later. Remember to bring along some adult snacks as well. Adults can be just as hungry as kids. Bringing along some snacks is also among the best travel tips for young families.
7. Keep Track of Your Children
It may seem apparent, but keeping tabs on your kids is one of the most important travel tips for young families. Whether things are going well or you’re experiencing a logistical nightmare, kids will always be kids. It’s easy to become engrossed in trying to coordinate the different aspects of the trip only to discover that your youngster wandered off to the train station store to look at the candy bars. If you’re lucky enough to be traveling with your partner or another parent, share duties. As one person is purchasing the tickets, the other should be watching the kids. If it’s just you and the kids, always hold their hands or have them stay as close as possible and in your line of sight as you take care of business.
In some cases, your child may get lost despite your best efforts. In such a situation, you’ll want to make sure they know your contact information off the top of their head, or even better, have it on them as a note in their pockets. If pockets aren’t an option, place it in their shoe or tie a card to their belt loop. Get creative, but make sure your youngster is aware of where it is. The contact information should include your name, phone number, email address, and local address. For older kids, just have them note down your contact information on their phones. We all know they won’t be going anywhere without their phone.
8. Have Emergency Animal Clinic Contacts
Having emergency animal clinic contacts is one of the best travel tips for young families with pets. Traveling with pets can be stressful for both of you, especially if they get sick. Even when you’re at home, dealing with illnesses or accidents that necessitate a trip to the vet can be challenging.
Before bringing your pet along for your family adventures, consider how safe it will be for them to travel. If your pet is sick, elderly, or doesn’t travel well, it may not be up for the adventure. If you’re traveling by automobile, make a list of all emergency animal clinics along the way and in the vicinity of your accommodation. Remember to bring along your veterinarian’s fax number and contact details. This will help in cases where the attending veterinarian needs follow-up reports or has some questions for your regular vet. By providing the contact details, the attending vet can focus on giving your pet the attention they need.
9. Dental Care
While you’re on a long trip, the last thing you want to be worried about is a dental emergency. Thanks to regular dentist visits and the preservation of dental records, your family dentist is more acquainted with your family’s oral health concerns. Therefore, any emergency dental issues can be quickly and easily diagnosed and addressed when you schedule a routine dentist appointment before traveling. When packing, make sure everyone packs their toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. Each toothbrush should be enclosed in a ventilated cover. This will prevent the toothbrush from retaining moisture, which might turn it into a haven for dangerous germs. That said, it’s a good idea to have several contacts of emergency dentists along the way. Luckily, you can easily find them online. Planning for dental care is also among our travel tips for young families.
10. Have a Pre-Travel Doctors Appointment
Whether you’re going on a short road trip or an international flight, it’s important to make sure everyone is already healthy before embarking on a family adventure. It’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor before engaging in any significant travel if you or your children haven’t had a checkup in a while. This is particularly valid if your intended travels involve stops in rural areas or nations with developing healthcare systems.
Additionally, if you’re traveling to a foreign country, you may be exposed to foreign diseases, putting you at a higher risk of contracting them. Luckily, modern medicine has seen the development of numerous vaccines that’ll protect you during your travels. Before embarking on international trips, make sure everyone is up to date with their vaccinations.
To help safeguard your health, your doctor can suggest further immunizations or prescription drugs. While you can get a prescription from a doctor online, plan and see your doctor as soon as you can because most prescriptions take several days to work. Your doctor can also offer valuable tips for maintaining gut health during your family adventures. If traveling with young children, there’s a possibility they may not have had all of their routine vaccines. Consult with their pediatrician before embarking on your trip. The doctor may advise avoiding traveling altogether in some circumstances or suggest a slightly expedited vaccination plan for your child. Having a pre-travel doctor’s appointment is one of the most important travel tips for young families.
11. Pack a Car Seat
If you’re bringing along a young child on a road trip, it’s not safe for them to ride without a car seat. If you’ll be renting a car but don’t know if it will come with a car seat, invest in a lightweight, portable travel car seat you can always take with you. Most car rental agencies offer car seats, but confirm if they do before your trip. In any case, you can use it on an airplane, too.
12. Bring a Special Toy for Your Youngsters
While getting your kid a new toy for the trip may seem like a good idea, some kids may find going through these changes all at once overwhelming. If your child tends to become anxious when traveling, allow them to bring along their favorite toy or possession to help them relax. This can be a stuffed animal, blanket, or favorite book.
13. Have Travel journals
Getting older kids a travel journal is a great way of encouraging them to reflect more deeply on their adventures. Give them time each night and a journal to reflect on the day they’ve had. Ask them to write down the activities they got to engage in that day, their favorite and least favorite activities, as well as any general thoughts they may have about the vacation. It’ll help them remember their experience in more detail and get them to discover what they like to do when traveling.
While it’s true traveling with family can be overwhelming, don’t put it off. Get on the road and explore. Even if things might not go exactly as you’d hoped, your family will enjoy seeing the world outside their locality, and before you know it, you’ll be organizing your next trip.