Vacations can be awesome… once you get there. Traveling is probably the most trying component of any trip and traveling with kids might seem like throwing oil on the fire. It does not have to be difficult – incorporating these five simple tips into your planning can eliminate a large part of the headache almost effortlessly.
- Plan together – The very first step to a stress-free vacation with kids is to consider their ideas when planning it. Everyone’s idea of the perfect vacation varies and showing your kids that their input matters is a great way to bond. However, the real magic is that they will be less likely to complain and grumble about the activities and limitations, be it a cruise, air trip or road trip, if they themselves opted to travel that way.
- Food matters – Airplane food has been on the receiving end of travel jokes for decades. Traveling with a cranky kid who is hungry but hates the food being served, on the other hand, is no joke. Don’t leave yourself and your kids at the mercy of airline menus – prepare some of their favorite snacks to keep them both fed and happy (and more likely to fall asleep with a full tummy!) Bringing your own food also allows you to maintain control over hygiene standards and allergen content.
- Lessen the load – One of the most trying things about holidays is trying to keep track of your belongings, especially on the move. Big bags, little bags, handbags, slings and miscellaneous other hand-carry items can quickly become nigh-impossible to track as they change hands, get tucked into nooks and crannies or disappear into each other. Limit them to the bare minimum and pack the rest into luggage that will remain out of sight and out of mind for as long as possible.
- Self-entertainment – It is not going to be any use insisting that your kids revel in the marvelous sights in the window that you have waited your whole life to see, not if they are more interested in their game. Confiscating their gadgets is a sure-fire stress multiplier. Try to understand that they will not appreciate some things you did when you were their age, and give them the option to not participate as you would have liked them to. They will understand when they have kids.
- Simple meds – The best plans can come undone when illness strikes. Getting the right jabs is not enough – make sure you carry some basic medication and first aid accessories for the trip. Children’s aspirin, diarrhea pills, bandages, Band-Aids and a thermometer are the absolute basics that will give you the ability to quickly address some of the most common and disruptive problems that kids are likely to encounter on a trip.