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5 Travel Hacks for Vacationing with Kids

Whether you’re jetting off abroad or staying in your home country, traveling with kids can certainly come with its challenges. Here are 5 top tips to help you maximize your time together and have the most fun for the whole family.

1. Plan ahead!

Make sure you know exactly where you’re going, how you’ll get there, and what facilities (like restrooms) are available. It’s also an excellent idea to make a firm plan for when you need to leave and stick to it! It’s moments when you’re running late, you’re not sure of directions, or you’re caught not knowing where to go for what you need when children pick up on the adults’ stress and can be more likely to be grouchy or misbehave. Writing down in a notebook things like the nearest restrooms, cafes, stores, and places of interest in each area you’ll be visiting will help you in case of poor phone signal or lack of cellular data.

2. Prepare for delays and downtime

If you know you will have a long journey, a long day out, or a busy day, prepare for it beforehand. Pack a bag with plenty of snacks, sunscreen, rain gear, spare clothes, and coloring books or puzzles to entertain the kids during downtime. Preparation can ensure your adventure will be calm and enjoyable.

3. Don’t pack too much in

Remember to stop and breathe, take in your surroundings, and enjoy the moment! Kids and adults need time to rest and recharge, and vacation time is perfect for that, provided you’re not constantly rushing from one thing to the next. Take time to chat, take photos, tell silly jokes, and enjoy a sweet treat together while you’re adventuring. Sticking to a regular bedtime (and nap time, if your children are young enough to need them) routine even on vacation can help things run smoother, help them stay peaceful, and provide everybody with the downtime they need.

4. Make sure it’s fun!

This might sound obvious, but make sure the activities you plan on doing are what the family wants to do. You might think you should explore a particular museum in the area, but if none of you would enjoy it, it’s not worth doing. It’s OK if only some family members want to do a certain activity, but it’s important to make sure every family member has something they want to do that you can all do together. This can be a fun part of your planning – talk together about what you most want to do on your vacation, and plan to make sure everybody gets to do at least one thing they’re excited about.

5. Go with the flow

Be prepared to make your schedule flexible. Things like the weather, everybody’s mood, and energy and interest levels affect what you plan to do, so try to relax about changing your schedule when it serves the family well. Suppose everybody is having a wonderful time making sandcastles and relaxing on the beach, but you intend to leave to go and explore a new area that afternoon. In that case, it’s OK to cancel that and stay with what everybody is enjoying. You may be surprised that some of the best vacation moments differ from what you’d planned!

If you’re planning on spending your vacation time being relaxed and focusing on fun, making sure you’re well prepared in advance is the best hack to ensure everybody has the best time!




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