Travel Tips: Surviving Your First Trip with Kids

 

family travel tips

 

If you are an experienced traveler, there’s no reason you shouldn’t continue just because you now have kids. However, many couples just stop traveling. They settle down and eliminate family vacations abroad until the kids are older and a little more self-sufficient.  Check out our family travel tips and start planning your next vacation:

Traveling with young children can be amazing. They look at the world with total wonder and explore without fear or prejudice. They’ve no ideas about what they might find.  Furthermore, everything is exciting and new. It can completely change the experience and the way you see the world.

So, having children should not stop you from getting out there and exploring the world. With careful planning and preparation, traveling can be even better once you’ve had kids.  The key is planning.  Start planning with our family travel tips below:

 

family travel tips

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Think About Passports Early

If you traveled with your own parents as a kid, you probably remember not needing a passport.  Or, being included on your mom or dad’s passport until you were 16.  Unfortunately, this option is no longer allowed.  All children now, even babies, most have their own passport.

Family travel tips should include Applying for your children’s passport. The process is like applying for a first adult passport. The exception is that you complete and sign the application for them.  Most importantly, it can take up to 3 months for an application to be processed.  So, start your child’s passport application as soon as you can.

Go Lightweight

At home, it’s relatively easy to use a large stroller. They fit in modern cars easily, and most people have no issue navigating their way around with them.  However, when you travel abroad they are really not convenient.  Think about the difficulty getting one on and off a plane or transporting it to the hotel or resort once you arrive.  A lightweight stroller or a baby carrier make an excellent alternative. Both would be ideal, as some tourist attractions and local sites may have no accessibility for a stroller.

You may also want to consider a lightweight travel high chair as you never know what will be available in local restaurants, hotels or resorts while you are away.

Pack Home Comforts

Many parents assume they need to pack lots of their kid’s toys to keep them entertained. This isn’t usually the case. Young children will play with whatever is available.  They don’t need their favorite toys to keep them amused; they’ll make the most of what they find.

However, a few comforts such as one of their favorite toys, blanket or a plush will help them settle and feel safe. This could make your life a lot easier.

Sun Protection

Babies and young children have sensitive skin. They can burn much faster than adults and find themselves in a lot more pain when they do. Fortunately, there are some great ways to protect them. Sunglasses on an elastic strap, can help to protect their eyes.  Protective body covering with UV protection can help protect them in the ocean.  A wide-brimmed hat can help prevent both sunburn.  Of course, a high SPF sunscreen is always advisable.  This is good advice when it doesn’t feel that hot.

Packing Essentials

Most things you could need are available all over the world.  So, don’t worry if you forget something.  But, it is a good idea to take your children’s prescriptions or pain reliever, sunscreen, bath products, and any medications you and your children take regularly.

Keep in Touch

Your entire family will like to share in your child’s firsts. Take lots of photos, video chat with home and Send Postcards Online to show everyone what you are up to.

Eat Everything

The last concern for family travel tips is to consider food allergies.  If there are none, it’s a good idea to introduce them to as many different foods as you can. This can help to boost their immunity, help their digestion and give them a new experience. Many parents worry a lot about what their children will be able to eat. But, exposing them to different food early in life could ensure they’re not fussy eaters later on.

 

 

13 Tips for Parents Traveling With Children

 

travel tips for parents

 

Any parent knows that traveling with young children isn’t the easiest of the things. At times, it can be outright challenging, especially if you’re a single parent. But most parents are known to be resourceful which is why we know they would love any tip or suggestion that would make traveling with children easier and much more fun!

Here, is a set of tips and tricks for all parents who wish to make the most of globe-trotting with their children!

 

 Don’t Forget the Medicine at Home

This is very important and something a lot of parents overlook. Do not forget the medicine whatever you do! Bring medicine for pain, upset tummies, fevers, allergies, and any prescription medicines.

 

Book Transportation in Advance

When leaving on vacation with your child, it is important to think ahead. Transportation is so important.  Arrange a limo service from your home to the door of the airport terminal and back home.  This eliminates parking the car and getting the children from the parking lot to the terminal. Also, don’t just rely on the fact that you will find a taxi when you get off the airplane!  Call the hotel to inquire about shuttles.  If you need to rent a car, make a reservation in advance.  Make sure the rental company has car seats and/or boosters if you’re not bringing yours.  Most importantly, most airlines will ship your car seats for free.  However, for a small weekly fee it may be more convenient to just rent.

 

Board Early

We know it can be hard to leave the house early when going on vacation with a small child.  However, you must give yourself sufficient time to arrive at the airport early.  This will allow time to allow the children to relax.  Additionally, most airlines will allow parents with children to board early. Boarding early will also release tension and stress. 

 

Bring Toys and Electronics 

You will need to bring toys and electronics to occupy the children.  These are great while you’re waiting to board the plane, on the plane and occupying them at the hotel or resort.  You will need to bring chargers for the electronics.  As far as the toys, travel light. 

 

Don’t Be Afraid of Your Stroller

Some parents avoid bringing the stroller because it’s too heavy or too hard to carry around on vacations. However, we advise against that. A stroller can be a huge help, especially on vacations and in airports, when you have to do a lot of walking. You also need to know that strollers don’t count as luggage.  So, they will ship for free. 

 

Do a Little Training Before You Leave

If your child is old enough to remember tasks, then it is wise to do a little training before you leave on your vacation. Explain to them what to expect and what is expected from them. Make it short, because we all know kids aren’t too good at paying attention for long periods of time.

 

Invest in a Child Tracker

The thought that you might lose your child is enough to make any parent break out in a cold sweat.  Get a child tracker. Research what other parents have used and recommended.  Most can be worn as a bracelet or attached to clothes. Pick the one you think is best for your kid!

 

Do Your Check In Online

Online check in has improved airports so much!  You can avoid lines by simply checking in online.  Procedures vary from airline to airline, so be sure to check your Carrier’s procedures.  Download any apps and make sure they are working properly before you head to the airport.  On-line check in allows you to breeze through the airport in no time.

 

Flight Attendants are Your Friends

Flight attendants are there to help you and you! As a parent traveling with a small child, you should take advantage of  as much as you can. We’re not saying that you should pester them with non-stop requests, but you shouldn’t feel guilty when you need something.  They’d be more than happy to help!

 

Research, Research, Research

Researching a hotel is one of the best things a traveler can do before booking a vacation. You need to know if a hotel offers babysitting and activities.  Also, ask if they have a crib, playpen or laundry service. Everything you need to have a great vacation!  Websites such as Hotels or TripAdvisor are awesome for finding out this type of information.

 

Noise Cancelling Headphones

A pair of good noise cancelling headphones can really make a difference when traveling with a young child. You can use them when your child is napping on the plane or train.  Make sure that you choose a pair that fits. 

 

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

When on vacation with a small child, it is very important that they go to bed early.  Making sure they are rested for the next day’s activities is important. Besides, if they go to bed early you get a little time to yourself. Unwinding, relaxing, and planning out the schedule for the next day.

 

Stay As Close the Attractions as Possible

When booking a hotel, do your best to choose a hotel that is as close as possible to the attractions. These hotels do tend to be pricier.  Also, you save a lot of time and you can be in and out of things such as museums, parks, and other sites that you can walk to. 

 

 


About the Author

Cristina Costea

Cristina is the Community Manager of BookSinglesHolidays.com, a themed travel website offering a vast collection of singles vacations & solo holidays. She is also a passionate traveler, cat aficionado and novice writer.