Traveling with kids will get easier once they get bigger, right? In some cases, no. Bigger just means they are able to express themselves more. Tantrums won’t fully go away. And if you have more than one kid, prepare for those endless sibling spats that can make you want to pull your hair out and regret ever hauling your entire family for a vacation.
Try these tips to make traveling with big kids a lot easier:
Make a List of Everything the Entire Family Needs
A list helps you stay sane while packing for your vacation. A list also ensures that you won’t forget your child’s favorite cuddle toy or your emergency medical kit. Squelch the urge to bring everything but the kitchen sink. The last thing you would want to do is lug around your heavy luggage while herding the kids. Keep everything minimal and simple. You will stay sane that way.
Expert tip: Bring only your essentials and allot money to buy the rest of the stuff you need at your destination. Just make sure you do your research in advance to make sure your destination has stores where you can buy the things you need.
Arm Yourself with an Entertainment Kit
Vacations mean lots of time going from one place to another and spending a lot of time waiting for food to arrive when you eat at restaurants. Kids get easily bored and antsy when they get cooped up in contained places for a long time. Give something to distract them.
Make a travel entertainment kit and a restaurant kit. You don’t want the kids to get bored with their activities fast so make sure you have these two separate kits and give them only when they have to wait for a long time. You can visit the dollar store and buy art supplies and cheap toys to bring with you.
Expert tip: When buying coloring supplies, choose those that won’t roll off easily. The last thing you would want to do is keep crouching under the chair to find crayons that your children keep on dropping. You can actually find uniquely-shaped coloring materials. If you are feeling extra creative, you can chop up old crayons into small pieces and then put them in Alphabet or star-shaped molds. Melt them in the oven and let them harden. You not only have new shape of crayons, you also saved money in buying new coloring materials.
Plan Your Travel Itinerary with Kids in Mind
Choose accommodations that are kid-friendly. Stay away from unsafe, noisy and overcrowded areas. You can actually save more money by avoiding the usual touristy accommodations. Find out if they have amenities ideal for kids so you can keep them occupied while you go and have a massage. Pick accommodations with the essentials like a bathtub, laundry, TV and Wi-Fi. Also make sure you pick destinations with plenty of activities that kids will love.
Expert tip: Stay longer and you have better chances of scoring bigger discounts. You can also opt to go during off-peak seasons to avoid hordes of vacationers and to take advantage of the amenities of the hotel better. Trust me, swimming in a jam-packed pool is not a good way to spend your vacation.
Bring Lots of Snacks
Bringing snacks can save you a lot of money. They will also keep your kids occupied and prevent your kids from getting hungry while traveling. You can buy small reusable containers and stash snacks in there. Choose snacks that won’t get mushy or won’t perish easily.
Expert Tip: Buy snacks in bulk and separate them in small packages so they are easier to bring. Choose snacks that are not messy and are satiating so your kids won’t feel hungry easily.
Don’t Forget Important Equipment
We’re talking about strollers. If you have kids who still take naps during the day, they will need a place to do so.
Expert Tip: You can also use the stroller to stash your luggage and shopping bags. Tandem strollers are also great, so you won’t have to bring more than one stroller. You can check out more options here.
With careful planning, you should be able to go on a stress-free vacation with your kids. Prepare in advance and choose destinations that your kids will love. Focus on creating wonderful memories with your kids.