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This article was written by Sarah Bull. Thank you for your contribution!
Let’s Go Road Trippin! understands that whether you’re flying across the country or heading out on a family road trip, traveling with kids can be a little intimidating. Toddler tantrums and bored teenagers can cause all kinds of hiccups in your travel plans. But family-friendly travel doesn’t have to be stressful! It really is possible to return from your family vacation feeling relaxed and rejuvenated — you just need to be prepared. Here are some tips to keep your next trip fun and fulfilling for the whole family.
Get on the Road
A family road trip with kids involved is no small feat, and since this can be a costly, chaotic affair, you want to get it right!
Determine what the entire family wants to do, as well as what each member can do. Are you looking for lazy beachside days or adventure hikes in national parks? This takes us to the next point . . .
Get Your Kids Involved
One of the best ways to ensure your whole family has a wonderful vacation is to get your little ones involved. According to The Points Guy, this is also a great way to help your children remember the trip when they get older. If your children are school-aged, give them some activity options to choose from. On a beach trip, for example, you could have them choose between surfing or snorkeling.
Try to give your older children and teenagers a more active role in planning your trip by asking them to do some research into your destination and making a list of attractions they’re interested in. You can also give your children a chance to document their trip, too — a durable digital camera can make them feel more mature and they’ll love having the choice of capturing important family moments.
Combat Jet Lag
If your family is flying to a different time zone, consider leaving your schedule empty for a whole day or two after arriving at your destination. This will help you and your children overcome jet lag and adjust to a new schedule. You can also take a proactive approach to jet lag by moving your children’s bedtime a little bit each day during the week leading up to your trip. Once you land in your destination, try to spend some time outside in the natural light to help your family adjust to the new time zone more quickly.
Downtime is incredibly important in any travel itinerary, especially for toddlers and school-aged children. When planning your activities and adventures, focus on quality over quantity. You don’t have to make it to every single tourist attraction at your destination. Instead, pick a few that you and your children will enjoy and leave the remainder of your schedule open. It may also be a good idea to bring along a laptop or tablet so your kids can relax by playing educational games and watching a movie or two.
You can also schedule downtime into your transportation plans. If you’re taking a long flight, consider breaking it up into two shorter flights so your kids can run around and stretch their legs during the layover. On a road trip, factor in longer stops where you can for the same reasons. Instead of a hotel, consider booking a vacation rental that offers the creature comforts of home where the entire family can take a breather in between legs of your trip. As a tip, choose one in a hip and interesting neighborhood so you can better take in the local sights, sounds, and cuisine at your leisure.
Prepare Your Home Before Leaving
Spending your vacation worrying about your home is no way to relax. Before leaving on your trip, take some time to prepare your home for your absence. Unplug electronics, take out the trash, turn down the thermostat, and check that all of your windows and doors are locked.
You may also want to install a home security system to protect your home and offer yourself some additional peace of mind. It’s worth it to look for a security solution that includes monitoring so the police will be notified if there’s a break-in while you’re out of town. You can find great deals on home security services by searching online for providers in your local area. Additionally, find a local handyman to install this system for you, especially as there is often some electrical work involved. It’s smart to compare quotes from different professionals in your area, as well as get word-of-mouth referrals or, failing that, online recommendations.
Many parents find that traveling with kids is much more fun and rewarding than traveling alone. You get to watch your children explore new places, learn new things, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Plan ahead and take it slow, and you’ll discover that family-friendly travel can be fun and stress-free for parents, too. And for more family travel tips, make sure to visit and subscribe to the Let’s Go Road Trippin! blog and YouTube channel!
Thanks to Sarah Bull at Economy Mom for writing this article