(Written by Jess Collins) It’s that time of year again, to pack up and head to the sunshine for a few weeks of glorious relaxation. But with kids in tow, it doesn’t always go as smoothly. Being a parent, you soon realise that traveling with children needs to be planned ahead so that Mom and Dad can enjoy some winding down while the kids are off having fun.
Top Travel Tips
- If you’re on your first family holiday, the best thing you can do is to plan a slower paced holiday. Make enough time to get to your destinations and sights, with time to spare. With kids, things go wrong and people go missing, don’t tie yourself to tight schedules or tours. Take it easy and you’ll enjoy it a whole lot more.
- The last thing you want your kids to be doing on holiday is looking at a tv screen, they get enough of that over the year. But, for long car journeys, the portable DVD players or in-seat screens are absolute life savers. I know when I was a kid, having 4 brothers made for incredibly noisy car journeys which nearly made my poor parents go insane. Putting on the latest kids movie is a great way to keep the peace and ensure everyone arrives with nerves intact.
- Kids clubs are a great idea to give Mom and Dad a break. Leave the kids off in the morning and they’ll be doing fun activities with other kids all day. Do a bit of research beforehand though to ensure it is a proper activity based kids club and not just kids sitting in a room for a few hours watching TV.
- Many kids have some kind of special requirements, whether it’s for allergies or illness. Double check you have all medication and a visit to the doctor for a checkup before departing is prudent advice. Don’t forget your health insurance to bring with you!
- Don’t keep the kids on a tight leash, it’s a sure way to get everyones nerves up! Give them a little leeway when it comes to exploring. Hand them a cheap or disposable camera to document their trip. Journals or scrapbooks to record their memories, kids love to draw and collect items from their trips so encourage them to look out for things to write about, draw or collect.
First things first, passports! Don’t forget them. Before, children were able to travel on their parents passports but that has all changed and now kids are required to have their own, individual passports.
Many airlines offer reduced prices for young children and in some cases, for free if they’re young enough. Make sure you take advantage of the savings, and let the airline know you’re a family with kids and they’ll often let you board first. Every little helps!
Choose destinations with family friendly ratings, and websites like Trip Advisor have some great information with families in mind.
Holidays at Home
In recent years, the humble caravan is making a great comeback. Due to the global financial situation, many families are realising the savings to be had by holidaying at home. That doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing a good holiday by the way, the majority of people never really explore their home country and are surprised by the treasures dotted around their homeland.
One of the best ways to experience a holiday at home is a caravan holiday. Perfect for families, caravans come in all shapes and sizes for large or small families. The modern caravan is completely self-sufficient and most come with modern facilities that make a road trip a real comfortable experience.
Do a bit of research before going or talk to your local caravan club to find out the best campsites to stay at. Most have modern facilities such as swimming pools, kids clubs and restaurants to keep everyone happy. Best of all, they are cheap. I love the idea of choosing several campsites in different locations to have different experiences over the trip.
Photo Courtesy of Pinterest
About the author: Jess Collins is an avid traveler and family person, who writes on a number of travel and touring related sites.