Is the open road calling your name?
The thought of planning a vacation with kids can be daunting – there’s so much to consider! But with careful planning, you can give your little ones a memorable and exciting vacation.
Want to know how? Keep reading!
Choose Your Destination
You may have a specific destination in mind for your family vacation or you may just have the itch to travel and have no idea where to go!
Before you choose your destination, take into consideration the time of year you want to travel, the weather, costs, kid-friendliness, and what attractions would best suit your little ones.
You can take to social media and ask your friends and family for recommendations or you can browse visual search engines such as Pinterest for inspiration.
Mode of Transportation
Another huge factor in choosing where to vacation with your kids is how you are going to get there. Can you drive or do you have to fly? Are there boats and ferries involved?
How you travel to your destination depends entirely on the age of your children as well as how many you have in tow. You may find it stressful to fly with small children but it could be just as harrowing to pack five kids into a minivan for hours on end.
Before you commit to your destination, look at the modes of transportation and determine which would be more suitable for your family – and your sanity.
Accommodations and Food
Now that you know where you’re going, it’s time to decide where you’ll stay. Ideally, you’ll want to find accommodations close to restaurants and attractions to reduce the distance you have to travel around with your kids.
If you’re bringing your own vehicle, you have a bit more freedom to choose accommodations outside of central areas. If not, and you don’t want to stay in the fray, look into public transportation.
When it comes to eating, you don’t want to waste your time trying to find a restaurant everyone can agree on. Pro tip: Choose restaurants and meals in advance – especially breakfast! This will ensure that everyone is well-fed and ready for the day’s adventure!
Fun Activities and Attractions
Having fun with your kids on vacation doesn’t have to break the bank – fun is where you find it!
That being said, you want to make sure you scope out fun activities and attractions in order to keep your little ones engaged and entertained.
Look for main attractions such as amusement parks, museums, and aquariums. However, also check out local playgrounds, hiking trails, and swimming pools.
Let Your Kids Know!
This is the best part! Once you have your plans in place, it’s time to explain the vacation to your kids.
While you can certainly pile them into the car and surprise them on the way, some kids thrive on routine and expectation so taking them to an unknown destination may cause more stress than excitement.
Instead, come up with a fun and unique way to let them know that they are about to go on a trip. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Create a scavenger hunt where the last item to be found is a picture of your vacation destination.
- Get them a cake decorated with the theme of your vacation.
- Buy them new travel luggage, bathing suits, etc. – whatever hints at your destination!
- Watch a movie that is related to where you are going.
If you know your kids would be cool with a last-minute surprise, you can always pick them up early from school or have their bags packed and ready by the door the morning you leave.
Tips for Traveling with Kids
To ensure that your vacation goes smoothly and that everyone has fun, here are some tips for traveling with your children:
- Give Yourself Plenty of Time: Plan for extra time whether you are hitting the road or heading to the airport. Also, keep your schedule loose during your trip to avoid rushing from activity to activity.
- Don’t Overpack: The less you pack, the less you have to carry. You don’t need to bring your child’s home routine with them, so only pack essentials.
- Snacks: Bring along a few small and easy-to-carry snacks to keep everyone happy between meals.
- Ask for Discounts: Traveling with kids isn’t cheap and many businesses may be willing to give you discounts for your little ones.
Most importantly, always make sure you know where your child is. It helps to take a picture of them in their current outfit before heading out. This way, you can show authorities exactly what your child looks like if they do get lost.
Also, make sure that your child has a copy of your cell phone number with them in case you become separated.