Fear of traveling with a child is normal, but don’t give in to it. Do not try to foresee all possible difficulties – anxiety will consume you even before you start packing your suitcase. In the process, everything won’t be so scary, and you will cope with everything. The main thing is to solve problems as they come and not to panic. Anxiety won’t allow you to make informed decisions and will be passed on to the children – they will become nervous and moody. Stay calm and confident and everything will work out during your travel with kids.
Modern parents aren’t afraid of family trips. Many people even fly with kids on vacation. The generation of our grandmothers often associates such trips with negativity, arguing that for the child the road is stressful, not to mention climate change and familiar conditions. And in general, small children don’t remember anything on trips. But is it so? It turns out that travel plays a big role in the upbringing and development of children. And today we have collected the most useful family travel tips.
Children love to feel involved, and involved in “adult tasks”. Entrust your child with a camera or an old smartphone and ask them to capture shared moments of relaxation every day. The child will show creative nature, and try to show responsibility by performing such an important task. After returning from a trip, offer to select the best shots together, process them with a photo editor like BeFunky, and print them out for a family album. This way the child can see and touch the result of their work.
And if the kids are good at using the camera functions, then you can even create a film about a family journey together. Editing together a family travel video would be not only a chance to spend time together but also a unique opportunity to learn something new for your kids. Show your children how to use software like Movavi Video Editor or iMovie, let them play with video background music, and make their own very first movie. Who knows, maybe that can become their hobby or even profession in the future.
Invite the children to plan a trip route together: show hotels, and photos of potential attractions to visit, and study the map together. Children are happy to be involved in such processes when they feel the importance of making such decisions. Think together about the best family travel destinations and choose the one that best suits your family: be it Walt Disney World Resort or Las Vegas family activities. The main thing is to do it together so that the child feels involved.
Make a list of what you need for your luggage in advance, and try to take only the essentials not carry several huge suitcases. Remember that you can buy some things and items on the spot. If you have to fly with a child, then make sure that all the necessary documents are in your hand luggage. Select a convenient travel document organizer, so you don’t have to search your pockets for documents at the most inopportune moment.
If your kids are already quite independent, involve them in packing their bags. This is the first step to gaining the basic skills of a traveler. Check if the young tourists have forgotten their player, game console, tablet, book, or favorite toy. An interesting activity will brighten up the flight and travel time to the hotel.
Many modern children begin to learn a new language in kindergarten. For teaching, teachers mainly use songs, games, and cartoons. But best of all, a person remembers foreign words, expressions, and pronunciation when hearing native speakers of the language being studied, immersed in the atmosphere of their native country.
Children should be encouraged to be attentive to unfamiliar speech, and to try to understand its meaning. If they already know how to read a little in English, you can invite them to read the signs at the airport, the menu in the café, and street advertisements. On the playgrounds, children will be able to form language skills with toddlers who are native speakers of a foreign language. According to experts, play is the most natural way for children to learn.
When traveling with a child, it’s more comfortable to rent an apartment with a kitchen – you won’t worry that the child refused to eat in a restaurant, and cook the usual homemade pasta they’re used to. Breakfast at 6 am or a late dinner – the apartments allow you to fulfill any whim.
If the trip is planned intensively, in the style of “Eurotrip”, you can settle not in the center, but near the station. This is convenient as you get off the train and in 10 minutes you’re there. Leaving is also convenient – in the morning, quickly check in your suitcase in the storage room and walk lightly around the city until the next train.
Children want to eat violently and suddenly, and then refuse pasta at a nearby café because “it doesn’t taste good.” Hungry tantrums from scratch, parental nerves to shreds – this is also part of the process called “baby travel”. Therefore, a life hack is to take a lunch box on a trip, and every morning before a walk fills it with food familiar to the child. Sandwich, schnitzel, scrambled eggs, sausage, hard-boiled egg – anything to quickly feed a child and not depend on unusual restaurant food. If you’re planning to visit the USA, there are lots of breakfast places in Traverse City that your kids can enjoy.
On vacation or on the road, sometimes you might need time to be alone, or you might want to go on a difficult excursion, where children simply aren’t allowed. Then the parents can agree to let each other go for such pastimes, because both need to enjoy their vacation. If you’re a solo parent on a trip with a kid and feel that you will need a short break on your own during the trip, take care of this in advance. You can prudently find a hotel where there is a playroom for children with animators, and find a nanny in the city or cities that you plan to visit.
Sometimes kids can be just as jittery from the trip as adults. This is especially true if the family vacation lasts several days. At some point, the kids may feel like they’ve seen and tasted enough and want to go home the day before their scheduled departure. To smooth out this situation, come up with an activity that the children won’t know about in advance. For example, plan to visit unusual places that have great activities for kids. Or come up with some not-that exotic, but exciting gastronomic entertainment – a trip to the Chocolate Museum in Barcelona, a theme park, or a culinary master class for children and adults. You will still be doing things together, you will still be on your journey, and you will be able to avoid unpleasant whims due to the element of surprise.
As you can see, the value and importance of family travel aren’t overstated. When you take your children on vacations, you’re assisting them in discovering a vast and diverse universe, satiating their need for new information, bringing peace to your family ties, and educating an intriguing, meaningful, and fully developed personality. It’s difficult to travel with youngsters. Nonetheless, if at all feasible, try to take your children on even short journeys, as each trip is a holiday for them, full of happy minutes and new pleasurable impressions.