Traveling with your children can be a wonderful and enriching experience for all of you. Or, it can turn into an expensive nightmare. To make sure it’s a stress-free family vacation, use these top tips to survive, thrive, and even save a few bucks when traveling with young kids.
Really think about your locations
Firstly, try to pick destination cities that have lots of activities within walking distance of your hotel of accommodation. The last thing you want to do after flying is to spend more time in taxis, trains or buses.
Plus, you won’t worry about spending additional money on tickets. The walk and fresh air can also help tire out the youngsters, which helps them adapt to the local time.
For a stress-free family vacation, pack strategically
For luggage that isn’t a heavy pain to carry around, focus on packing lightweight tees, shorts, dresses and pants. Light is also ideal because then you can wash them and have them dry overnight in the hotel rather than paying for laundry service.
Thus, you’ll have to pick up some detergent when you arrive at the hotel. It’s easy to wash clothes in the suite’s bathroom sink and it’s much better than lugging around 20kgs of clothes for each person!
Don’t forget to research the climate you’re going to, as well, to know exactly what to pack. It might be super hot days, sure, but chilly at night.
You won’t want to head out in the evenings if everyone is cold. So see what packable jackets will fit well in your luggage (don’t go for anything to bulky!)
While on the topic of packing for a stress-free family vacation, leave the fancy shoes, clothing and jewellery at home. The last thing you want is to lose it, have it break while on the way somewhere, or ruined while in the wash.
Invest in a travel stroller
If your little ones are strong walkers, then you can skip this particular tip. If not, this advice can be a lifesaver.
Even if you think your toddler is done with strollers, keep in mind that you might be walking several miles each day. Not only that, the children may be battling jet lag as well as feeling overwhelm in the new environment.
If you don’t want to deal with the crankiness and tired legs, just do yourself a favour and pick up a stroller when you arrive at the vacation spot. Just choose a cheap one for the days you’re away as it’s simply to get you from Point A to Point B while on vacay.
BYO snacks, meals, and entertainment on flights
You need to be ready for thirst, hunger and boredom on flights, no matter how long it is! Thus, always take 2-3 empty drink bottles and fill them up once you pass thought security.
Make sure you also pack dry snacks or liquids that are under the required 100ml. Things like yogurt sticks are great.
Some great dry items to pack for the plane include:
- Savoury biscuits
- Dried fruit
- Premade rolls
Security usually allows smaller ice packs to keep the dairy cool. Also, pack spare underwear, clothing, and a big pack of wipes to easily clean hands and faces!
Try to only hand out the toy, one at a time. In your travel kit, you want to have:
- An iPad – Charged up and stocked with games, appropriate TV shows, and movies
- Headphones for when using the iPad
- Reading book
- Coloring books and crayons
Fly during the day for a stress-free family vacation
This tip works well if your children are active on the plane. Try to keep them entertained or stimulated the entire time so they they will are likely to be tired when you arrive at your location.
Once you reach our destination in the evening, therefore, you’ll be able to go straight to bed. This plan can help everyone in the family get over the jet lag quicker than they might otherwise.
Weigh up staying in apartments vs. hotels vs. homes
Hotels and apartments both have their pros and cons. Hotels are usually are closer to the sights of the city than rental apartments, for example, so there’s less moving around. However, you usually have less space than homes, rarely having a kitchen to prepare food or a big living space to relax.
As for apartment rentals, like home rentals they let you have a bit of normalcy. You can cook dinner and do the washing with ease.
To save a bit more money, your clan might try try house-sitting. These options might be available right in the city, depending where you decide to take the holiday.
These locations gave us a sense of community and a convenient central location. Reducing this cost also allows you to stay longer in some places, whether that’s an extra day or two or even a week, while staying within your budget.
Then you’re not rushing around from sight to sight and really get to enjoy the city.
Eat like royalty in the mornings
Some say, eat like a king in the morning, queen for lunch, and pauper for dinner. That method is great when traveling.
Try to opt for a hotel that includes breakfast or pop down to the local bakery and find some hearty and filling eats. Starting the day with good food will ensure that everyone’s energy levels are up.
Plus, breakfast is part of what makes a great morning, for many reasons! Taking this approach to meals will also help reduce food costs while in touristic locations, which we can add up really quick!
See when the free days are
Many tourist sites and museums offer free or discounted days. Awesome, right?!
This one is great if you have small children; the last thing you want is to spend on tickets to only last in the place 45 minutes, if that, because of a temper tantrum. Freebies relieve the pressure from you as parents, as well as the kids.
Final tip for a stress-free family vacation:
Speak with the locals
Lastly, try getting insider tips from locals. Good advice can go a long way.
A few great questions to ask the residents are:
- What is your favorite bakery?
- Is there a good park around here?
- What are the best sights, in your opinion?
With just a bit of planning, you can reduce the stress of travelling with your children, whether it’s a UK beach holiday or somewhere else where you go. Not only that having a game plan will also help reduce your expenses!
Then you all can travel for longer than you might otherwise and experience a new location together. You’re creating amazing memories as a family, and what’s better than that?!