People should travel. It improves communication skills, inspires creativity, expands your understanding of yourself and of the world, makes you more tolerant, boosts your confidence, creates memories, educates you, and tons of other things. The benefits are seemingly endless. But, many people with young families don’t travel, even if they were avid travellers before the birth of their kids. It is simply seen as too much of a hassle.
If people do manage to take their families on a trip, they can default to the way they traveled as a single person or as a couple, and that can sure lead to some frustration. It’s a decent starting point, but it doesn’t do much to prevent tantrums and create the sort of routine children need.
It’s time to travel with your family and the following tips should help you make it a smoother process.
1. Consider Suites
Yes, this is an option that costs more. But, you don’t want to cram your family into a single room with two beds. First of all, the proximity can be overwhelming, but the bigger issue is that you have to keep the same hours as your kids. If you all went on a taxing hike around a village or toured a museum for the day, you might just want to fall into bed, But, chances are you will want to enjoy some alone time or dome time with your spouse. Giving the kids their own room allows you to do that.
Your best bet may be renting an apartment through Airbnb or a similar site, or search for hotels that offer one or two bedroom suites. Online search engines can narrow your options and help you find the best deals.
2. Make Reservations
In your past single travels, you could look for a hostel or sleep in the rough, depending on the location. You went where the mood took you. You can’t do that with children. They get uncomfortable quickly and they aren’t shy about letting you know that they need to rest. Immediately.
The best thing you can do for your own dainty is to arrange for transportation and lodging before you end up in your destination. You can’t afford to drag your kids across town looking for a place with a vacancy. Nor can you learn the train schedule when you get there without expecting to hang out with cranky kids in a foreign train station.
3. Pick a Destination That Makes Sense for Everyone
The success of your trip depends, in large part, on the place you go. This doesn’t mean that you have to go to some all-inclusive family resort if that doesn’t appeal to you. But, it does mean that you have to consider your children’s needs when you pick a locale. Find a place that gives you the culture and the activities you want, but that also has kid-friendly aspects.
If your child still needs a stroller or to be carried, you need to think about that. Can you maneuver a stroller over cobblestone streets or across dirt paths? Even if you can, do you want to? If you have a little one on your hip all day, do you want to spend the day on long walks or do you want to go places where your child can move around without your assistance?
When you pick a travel destination, also consider flights. If you need a lot of connecting flights to get there, you may want to choose again. Look for direct flights. Also, look for accommodations that are in the middle of the places you want to go, so you aren’t travelling every day of your trip just to get to things like restaurants or the beach.
About Kevin Shields:
Kevin is a lifelong traveller, travel writer, and proud father of two. He and his partner took many family trips when their daughters were young and he learned the hard way. Now, he and his family have a routine, and it may not always be perfect, but it’s definitely better. He writes for one of the largest addiction recovery centres in the USA, www.addictions.com educating patients, families and medical professionals about rehab for prescription drugs.