No matter how well-seasoned a traveler you are, when it comes to taking a trip with your kids for the first time, things are just going to be different. While a family holiday can be incredibly fun and rewarding, it’s important to do your planning before setting off. Here are eight tips for making sure your trip runs as smoothly as possible.
- Book accommodation in advance
If you’re planning on taking your kids on a tour of lots of different places, don’t rely on turning up and finding somewhere to stay fresh off the plane. You might have managed it when you were 21, but it’s a different story when you’re traveling with two kids who need to nap!
- Consider going all-inclusive
There’s a reason why you see families at all-inclusive resorts: it’s just so much easier on the parents. Not only dothese types of vacation offer pretty much everything you’ll need in one package price (which is great if you’re into cheap holidays), they’re also filled with lots of kid-friendly activities – not to mention other children that your own kids can befriend.
- Let the older kids pack their own bags (but make sure you check the contents)
One way to engage your child and make them feel like they’re involved in the decision-making part of your holiday is to let them pack their own bag. It’s best to sit with them as they pack, so you can offer advice about what’s sensible to take (and prevent them from including every single one of their teddies).
- Pack antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer
It’s a mystery how they manage it, but kids just pick up dirt and germs wherever they go. Having some wipes and sanitizer to hand is really helpful for freshening up during long journeys and getting cleaned up before meals. It’ll also help prevent your little ones from getting sick.
- Prepare for illness
In case your children do get sick, ease the stress by packing kid-friendly painkillers, medical supplies and plenty of Disney-themed Band-Aids
- Come prepared for long car or bus journeys
Kids are usually pretty good at entertaining themselves, but when they’re trapped in a moving vehicle for hours they can go stir crazy. Plan for this eventuality by packing portable games and toys, singalong CDs and audiobooks.
- Be wary of the sugar rush!
When you’re tired and drained from a long day of traveling, it can be tempting to give into your kids’ demands and load them up with candy. Instead, prepare fresh fruit, cheese, granola bars and low-sugar juice boxes before you set out, and save the candy as a treat for when they have been well-behaved.
- Make sure you’re enjoying yourself
There’s no point taking a holiday if the only people having fun are the kids. Don’t forget that you work hard as a parent, and you need to give yourself some time off to relax. If you don’t, you’ll end up getting stressed and taking it out on your partner and kids. Arrange for the kids to do half a day’s activity without you, and visit a spa or the beach for a few hours.
Do you have any other family travel tips to add? Share them below!