Traveling with little kids can be an exciting and enriching experience for the whole family to create lifelong memories and foster a sense of adventure. These top 10 Family travel tips with young children can help you plan a successful holiday, navigating some of those challenging or tricky moments to make your journey smoother and more enjoyable for everyone involved.
- Plan ahead: this is crucial when traveling with little kids. Research your destination in advance to identify attractions, accommodations, and services that are family-friendly. Consider factors like weather, local customs, and the availability of medical facilities. Additionally, make sure to book flights, accommodations, and any necessary transportation well in advance to secure the best options and avoid last-minute stress. Prepare them in advance and keep your kids excited about the upcoming trip!
- Pack smart and light: When packing for a family trip, it's important to strike a balance between being prepared and avoiding overpacking. Create a checklist of essential items, including clothing, medication, snacks, toys, and comfort items for your children. Pack lightweight, versatile clothing that can be easily layered and consider using compression bags to maximize luggage space. Don't forget to pack extra changes of clothes for accidents and spills, and plenty of wipes! If the kids are old enough, you can let each child have a small backpack (but let them know that they have to carry it) and fill it with their fav toys/snacks. If your kids are a little older, keep them entertained, especially if it’s a long flight/drive with activities. For example, have some headphones or activities handy if your child is old enough, and encourage them to talk and play quietly.
|Checkout this video travel hack on ticktok by a mother packing for a trip travelling with her baby/young child. Having tried this out myself, I must say this is a very neat trick. This cool hack using the shoe organiser can be bought for a small cost.|
Bring portal travel equipment:
- travel stroller – bring one if you are travelling with a toddler, these are essential as your home stroller is likely too bulky and won’t fit in the overhead bin. A great travel stroller can be folded up into the overhead compartment. This made it incredibly easy to pack for a long flight. You can check a stroller and a car seat for free for each child who is flying.
- toddler or booster car seat - if you are traveling to a destination that requires car seats for infants in taxis or shuttles.
- Instant blackout blinds – perfect for new parents and babies where it 100% instantly blocks out sunlight for complete darkness to maintain that sleep routine while travelling on holiday.
- A portal changing pad - There is a chance that you have to change your toddler on the bathroom floor. Even that, airplanes are not always the most accommodating with changing tables, so a small foldable changing pad can go a long way when traveling with a toddler or infant.
- Portable travel cot - is perfect when you are out and bout, simple to set up and fold up as well as light and convenient to carry.
- Portal highchairs – if the place doesn’t provide highchairs, you can bring a portable one that is lightweight, compact and sturdy to place on dining chairs.
- Allow enough time at the airport: Make sure you leave plenty of time for any last min hiccups/misshapes (like cleaning up accidents) when getting to the airport. If you can go through the fast lane (check-in online), this would save the stress in queuing with a young child. If you’re able to book suitable children friendly hours for flights, it will save half the battle (e.g. if you know they won’t wake up in time, or they get really cranky at a certain time of the day). If you can head to the gate early for front-row seating, little kids love to see some spectacular action - like watching people working around the airplane.
- Keep Safety a Priority: Childproofing your accommodations is vital to ensure your little ones' safety. Bring outlet covers, corner guard a portable baby gate if necessary. It's also essential to have a first aid kit with basic medical supplies on hand, including band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any prescription medications your child may need. If traveling to a foreign country, research the local emergency numbers and healthcare facilities, checking on your health insurance cover.
- Child-Friendly Accommodations: Choosing family-friendly accommodations for your family trip can greatly enhance your travel experience. Look for hotels, resorts or vacation rentals that offer amenities such as cribs, high-chairs, and kids play areas or swimming pools. It might be that you need to bring a portable travel cot (if the place doesn’t have a cot). Some establishments even provide babysitting services, or kids entertainment rooms, allowing parents to have a much-needed break. Hotels with a kitchen are a must, which means you can grocery shop or heat up milk or food when you need to.
Maintain a Flexible Itinerary: Another great family travel tip with little kids is being flexible and adjusting your expectations. While it's important to have a rough itinerary, be prepared to adjust your plans as needed – it’s just not the same when you have kids! Allow for ample rest and playtime, as young children have limited stamina. Avoid overloading your schedule and consider focusing on one or two key activities or attractions each day – you can still maintain the essential bath/bed time routine and not get in the way of being able to embrace spontaneous moments along the way.
- Engage and Educate: Travel is a fantastic opportunity for children to learn about different cultures, traditions, and languages. Involve your kids in the planning process by discussing the destination and researching together. During the trip, encourage them to try new foods, interact with locals, and explore their surroundings. Consider visiting child-friendly museums, zoos, theme parks or amusement parks that offer interactive exhibits and educational activities.
- Be Mindful of Mealtime: Maintaining a routine during mealtime can help keep your little ones happy and well-fed. Pack a variety of healthy snacks for on-the-go, as well as familiar comfort foods. Research local dining options in advance, ensuring they offer kid-friendly menus or flexible meal choices. Don't forget to consider any dietary restrictions or allergies your child may have when planning meals. Don’t be shy about asking the airline attendants for extra snacks for the kids on the plane, most of the time, if you’re friendly, they can help you out.
- Embrace Technology: While excessive screen time should be avoided, technology can be a useful tool during travel. Load tablets or smartphones with educational games, movies, or books to keep children entertained during long journeys or when waiting in line. Additionally, consider using apps to find nearby attractions, child-friendly activities, and even translate important phrases in foreign languages.
By following these essential family travel tips with little kids, it will ensure you have rewarding experience for the whole family. Planning ahead, packing wisely and light, prioritizing safety, and maintaining a flexible mindset, you can create a memorable and enjoyable trip for everyone. A successful family trip is not about ticking off all the sights and things to do, but rather embracing the joy of exploring together and cherishing the moments shared with your loved ones – and also capturing them. Happy travels!