96 Useful Family Travel Tips For An Enjoyable Vacation
Have basic medicine when traveling.
To bring medicine for a headache, alergy, upset stomach and motion sickness prevention medicine is always a good idea.
Do not overpack.
Less you bring, easier it will be to pack, carry and there will be more space for souvenirs.
Give your children your contact information.
If a kid gets lost, you'd want them to have your full name, phone number, email address and a local address.
If a child can't remember, have them carry a note.
Include nature in your travels.
Cities and culture can be a great experience, but do not forget about the nature, especially when traveling with kids, it's important for them to experience it.
Explain the trip to your children in great detail.
After reviewing trip plans with your kids, they will know what to expect and be more comfortable with whatever is happening around them.
Hangry children or even some adults can bring a fun trip to a miserable one in a matter of minutes. Have snacks ready!
Keep your schedule loose and leave room for adjustments. It will create a lot less stress for you and your family, resulting in a lot happier trip.
Prebook everything that you can.
There will be less things to worry about when you eventually get to your destination.
Roll clothes and stuff socks and underwear inside shoes. Wear the heaviest clothes on the flight. Pack essentials and buy what you really need at the destination.
Bring plenty of wipes.
It doesn't hurt to have extra wipes for when there is some mess occuring.
Build an "activity bag" for your kids.
Depending on age, it can be anything, from portable consoles and new games to colouring books and other art supplies.
If you are fresh parents, readjust your expectations.
A lot of things will be different with kids, and some of them not for the better.
Plan flight times.
Some flights might have a better price, some fit better into your or your children's sleeping schedule.
Schedule a "downtime".
Usually when travelling, we plan a lot of activities and feel pressured to experience them all. Having a dedicated downtime might increase your trip satisfaction.
Pick your trip destinations based on personalities.
Look for places with animals.
Kids love animals and the experience with them might leave a memorable feeling for children.
Accept that things might go wrong.
Travel is an adventure, and adventures rarely go to plan. Be ready for a few bumps and try not to get irritated by them.
Keep track of your kids.
It might seem obvious, but with the rush of adventure, things might slip your mind. Hold your children's hands, have them sit in your line of sight, and consider GPS trackers.
Always check what documentation do you need when crossing borders alone or with children.
When traveling, bring new books or toys for kids.
Something they haven't seen before can occopy them for a long time.
Once they're old enough, have your kids carry their own luggage.
It will be easier on you, and they'll get to experience the traveling spirit.
Invest in good gear.
When you invest in quality products, you'll spend more, but also will receive more benefits from your products. Like less weight, more comfortable, more durable and so on.
If you're planning to rent a car, bring a car seat for your child.
Most rental companies have car seats available, but you should confirm that there is one available before leaving for the trip.
Bring electronic enternainment devices.
When traveling for long, it might be hard to keep your children or even yourself occupied and not bored. Technology might solve that problem.
Don't forget about the free activities.
Seeing a street fair, a concert or a cultural event can often be free and leave some nice memories. As well as seeing a sunset, just walking or taking a bike ride, playing in the park, swimming in the sea, lake or a river, climbing a mountain.
When traveling with kids, pick a children friendly location.
A safe and central location, near the local attractions, food outlets, the beach, the park, would save you time, money and keep your kids from getting bored.
When looking for a place to eat, stay away from "tourist" streets.
By walking a few blocks away, you will not only find better prices, but also have a more authentic dining experience.
Ask for discounts, especially for children.
There are a lot of places that offer a children discount, which will save you a lot of money during the trip.
Bring a spare outfit.
Especially if you're traveling with babies.
Have a plan for when the kids are tired, hungry, bored or suffering from heat.
It can be the cause of the worst tantrums ever and it might be difficult to tackle unprepared.
Stay over Sunday.
Many hotels receive Friday-Saturday bookings from leisure travelers and Monday-Friday from business travelers. Sunday could be a void.
It may be more expensive, but it also will have more activities for children, giving more free time for parents to relax.
When booking for hotels, look for one with breakfast included.
It'll save time and money.
Invest in refillable water bottles.
Not only you'll save environment this way, but also save money in the long run.
Bring trash bags and sealable bags along your other luggage.
It can be great for storing dirty clothes and snacks.
Pack a night light.
A little light source can always make the sleeping in a different place experience a lot more enjoyable both for you and your kids.
When planning a trip, leave one day free in the schedule.
It's great if you discover something interesting that you'd like to explore but wouldn't be able to fit into the schedule.
Schedule the first few days after the flight with light-exploring and relaxed activities to avoid suffering from jetlag.
Plan a general and daily budget and update your kids on it to avoid overspending.
Travelling with babies will make them much more comfortable with adventures when they're older.
Include private and apart time for your family.
While the goal of traveling is to create memories, kids need some time to burn off energy and enjoy the company of other kids. Parents need some quiet time and adult company too.
Check for family deals when booking.
Always ask about special deals for families with children. Worst case scenario, they can only say "no".
Research the hotels room configuration.
If your family has a larger count of members, number of beds, bed type and the overall layout of the room is important to know.
Research if hotels have a bathtub in the room.
Families with younger kids will benefit from rooms with a bathtub.
Avoid having dinner in restaurants.
There are places where the meal costs are increased for dinner.
Feeding a baby with either a bottle or a breast when taking off or landing in a flight can help their ears to adjust to the cabin's air pressure.
When it comes to bedtime for your kids, try to keep the rituals same as home.
Before disembarking, make sure you and your kids have eaten and been to the toilet.
Avoid "red eye" flights.
Arriving or leaving at crazy hours can often put the first days of your vacation in a tiresome loop.
Research how to explain your special needs in a local language.
Allergies, special diets, special physical and mental needs might be easy to explain at home, but could prove difficult in another country.
Bring a travel journal.
The whole family could write down what they did today, what they liked and not, along with any other general thoughts.
You'll remember the trip better this way and the memories will stay longer.
Bring a stroller if you're traveling with children.
Take public transit.
It's fun for kids, every type of public transportation can provide a different experience, while also saving you a bit of money and in some cases time.
Before your first big trip with children, do a trial run.
Go for a weekend getaway or just a day trip, to help you figure out the packing choices, routines, how fast are you moving around, and how will you all get along.
On longer trips, plan one or two activities per day and do the high energy ones early.
Kids have the highest energy in the morning, so leaving the more relaxing activities for the evening can be a great way to distribute the energy levels throughout the day.
Bribing the kids works.
Promise them something like ice cream at the end of the day, and they'll have a lot more motivation for a hike.
Consider getting separate, but interconnecting rooms.
Both parents and kids could use a little bit of privacy and independency.
If possible, self-cater.
Purchasing your own supplies in grocery stores can be a lot cheaper than eating out.
If possible, fly direct on long haul flights.
Changing flights mid-way to your destination, often at late hours can throw off adults and even more so children.
If your child sleeps well in a car seat, consider bringing it to the plane too.
If you're carrying an infant, consider investing into a nursing pillow.
It can make the flight experience a lot more comfortable.
If you have your seats assigned, board last.
In doing so, you'll minimize the time in tight space for your baby.
Have diapers and other essentials either shipped to the destination or bought locally.
You'll save space this way.
Hide toys to reveal during a long trip.
Consider using packing cubes.
You'll save space and each family member will have more of a say in what to pack.
Consider inviting your child's friend.
It will be a nice change of company for them and a great bonding experience.
If you had a great time in a specific place during a vacation from before, consider going back.
There's often a lot more to discover.
Create a list of things that you need to pack.
Plan out the travel plans to and from the airport, to avoid the last-minute calls.
If you're traveling by car, plan out the route with points-of-interest to stop and explore.
While kids need the most attention, do not forget it's your holidays too.
Treat yourself to a meal you always wanted to try, an activity you read about long ago and so on.
Foresee enough variations in your trip.
Try to think of multiple different types of activities, to keep everyone excited and from getting bored.
Give children a camera.
Having a camera can help to see the beauty in landscapes, nature, architecture and details of the crowds, the buzz of the city.
Schedule longer layovers.
It may be a bit more waiting, but it would also bring less stress, because you will have more time to think about and take care of everything before your flight.
If possible, fly in a premium class.
You'll avoid long airport lines at check-in, security, boarding and border control.
Pack headphones that are comfortable for a longer period of time.
It will greatly enhance your flying experience.
Let kids pick out activities.
The trip isn't just for you, you mustn't forget about your children's interests. That way, everyone in the family will have their say and a great time.
No matter how much time you invested in planning, always be flexible.
Kids will feel more comfortable and safe, however, pack up a lot more patience, because you will be traveling in the same car for a long time.
Try to visit unique to the location museums and places.
Stay more than one night.
Many hotels provide the best deals when you're staying for a number of days.
If you have a lot of luggage, make sure that the hotel has a lift.
Research the hotel dining options.
If the hotel doesn't have a kids menu, parents are in for a difficult time.
Research available TV channels in hotels.
While it should not be the main focus to watch TV, it can be a nice activity to have a family-oriented channel to watch together with kids in the evening.
Research if hotels have laundry machines available for guests.
In longer vacations, laundry can become tricky, so having a laundry machine nearby is always handy.
Consider getting tourist attraction cards.
If at least a few offered attractions would be something you'd be interested in visiting, these cards could be a valuable investment.
Visit your doctor before traveling.
Find out your blood groups, vaccination records. If anyone in the family has pre-existing medical condition, ask for doctor's help in tracking down a specialist in your trip's destination.
If you're flying a long distance, take a change of clothes on board for you and your baby.
If you have the means, invest in a travel-oriented stroller for a baby.
Lightweight and compact stroller can greatly improve the traveling comfort.
Consider investing in baby carriers.
Having your hands free to navigate when traveling will bring a great sense of freedom and be more comfortable overall.
If possible, plan a trip with another family.
It can be great to have some extra company, both for your kids and you.
Double check downloaded movies and music.
While many flights have internet connection, there's never a guarantee that it will work for the entirety of the flight.
Research and download the local taxi apps for an easier commuting experience.
Don't postpone your trip until your kids grow up.
While the children might not remember the trip, it can have the same effect as going to the park or a playground.
Prepare and hype up your kids about the trip.
The more the kids will know about the trip and the destination, the more excited they're going to be to see it with their own eyes.
Consider hotels with a kids club.
Staying in a room can quickly get boring for kids and having entertainment options is great.