Everything seems to be burning up when we are traveling with kids, especially toddlers. Travel can be stressful itself and taking a trip with little ones makes it harder. But we cannot ignore the thrills of experiencing new places, activities, and people. Folks that travel together understand how rewarding family vacations are. But we still make a few mistakes here and there as parents especially at the point of planning family excursions. Sadly, we only realize we made a blunder when we get to the destination. Fortunately, we can easily avoid awkward situations through simple tips.
Many times we plan for the shortest layover time when traveling for business. But we need to understand that things take longer when children are involved in a flight. The security checks, bathroom trips, and eating take more time with small children. A pre-holiday date night helps to handle the chaos of the next big day. We would be lying to ourselves to think that we can fly with kids across the globe overnight. This means we must be strategic when booking flights. An allowance of two to three hours between flights is most ideal for family travels. Flying from smaller regional airports would be a better idea during peak times. The drive to the airport may take longer than we expect. Also, flexing the holiday dates would pay. We can plan to arrive earlier and perhaps leave a few days later. Let us avoid the most crowded days in the airports.
While direct flights are not always the way to go, we understand the agony associated with connecting flights. We must not hesitate to pay more for a direct flight if we get a chance. We have had experiences in our solo travel where we were forced to spend an extra night at the airport hotels after the connecting flight failed to arrive on time. This can be more frustrating with children by your side. The last thing you want is an extremely long trip that makes the entire vacation so painful. We need to be very picky when choosing family holiday destinations. Those that offer direct flights, though expensive, are worth it.
Hitting the road without the potty is one of the biggest mistakes we can make when taking kids for a holiday. While limiting the intake can help along the way, we still need a strategic plan for a time of need. Hiding the juices and waters from toddlers an hour before leaving can help them minimize the frequency of dashing to the public toilets during a trip. If we are doing a road trip, a kid-sized bathroom is a great plan that can fit at the back of a minivan. The travel potty is made up of lined bags which we can throw away when full. Like a potty seat, we can carry it to the airplane bathroom or rest stop. A waterproof potty insert seat comes to the rescue when our kids are in diapers but cannot hold it. It saves the hurdle of cleaning the car seats upon arrival.
With little ones, we need pouches, more bags, and compartments to keep stuff in order. Clothes with an abundance of pockets can save the day. Our choice of backpacks should depend on space and the number of side pockets. In the end, we need a system that doesn’t run out of storage for anything. Lightweight jackets, pants, and vests with pockets come in handy to hold gloves, snacks bags, hats, and so on.
When traveling with kids, we are likely to target waterparks, museums, and zoos. It pays to get accommodation located close to the main spots of attraction. We need to consider transportation and restaurant availability. In the absence of children, we would be comfortable staying in hotels away from busy towns but this can be a big mistake during whole-family getaways. There is the cost of parking or taxi involved so we’d rather stay in a centralized resort. Again, being close to amenities allows us to have more fun time and flexibility when things don’t go as planned. Children need a nap so we should be close to the hotel rooms. However, we need to avoid tourist traps such as popular motels that tend to charge exorbitant accommodation fees.
We want to eliminate stress, make merry, and preserve memories during family trips. We have identified where we have been going wrong. Now it’s time to apply the best travel-tested hacks for better family holidays now in the future.