10 Tips For Traveling With Young Children
We really love traveling with our two young boys. Remy is three and Sage is ten months. For some, the thought of traveling with kids seems overwhelming and stressful. For us, it has been all about perspective. Whenever I’m traveling with my children, I try to not set any high expectations. We approach trips knowing very well that it will have its fair share of hard moments, but we know that the happy moments will shine brighter. Having traveled to 10+ countries with our little crew, we have definitely learned a thing or two.
1. Take it slow. Prepare your trip and accommodations at least 3 months or more in advance and don’t procrastinate. When working out a days schedule, always give yourself 15-30 minutes more then you think you’ll need. Better to have some down time then to be rushing to the next thing on your bucket list. Kiddos pick up on travel stress and it can make the day harder for everyone. You need to give everyone time to go with the flow. Kids will be happier if they don’t feel a sense of urgency. Realize before the trip that you’re not going to see it all with kids in tow. So early on, choose what you want to see most and don’t over schedule.
2. Minimalistic packing. As parents, we tend to think that we need every little comfort of home with us when traveling. In my experience, kids adjust well. Overpacking is more stressful than under packing. If you really need something, it can almost always be bought in the location you are traveling to. It might be a different brand but remember it’s only temporary. It’s a fine line between being a minimalist and being prepared for emergencies. I bring enough clothes for half the amount of time we are there and we try to find Airbnb’s that have laundry machines. It saves on space and we don’t get overwhelmed with dirty clothes. I bring enough diapers for two full days and then just buy diapers in the location we travel to.
3. Babywear. It helps babies feel at home no matter where you are. It makes it easy to walk up stairs, hills, or any terrain that might not be stroller friendly. It’s hard to always be in a place where baby can get a nap in a bed, so a carrier is a great alternative. Napping on the go is a great way for us to enjoy time out exploring while baby is sleeping.
4. Rest and food. If kids have their basic needs met they are usually happy travelers. Remember to stay ahead of the game. Make sure your kids are getting sleep before they are too tired and getting fed before they are too hungry. Always have snacks on hand just in case. We always have a stash of yummy snacks for emergencies.
5. Sleep on the flight. If you have a long flight or overnight flight, make sure the sleeping situation is comfortable for the kids. When flying with a baby you can request the bulkhead seat and get a bassinet. If your unable to get one, we usually make a little bed on the tray tables. With toddlers you can bring a jet kids bed so they have an area to lay down.
6. Be open to new possibilities. Traveling with kids gives you a chance to talk to people you normally wouldn’t talked to. You will see things that you normally would have passed by. Having children can open up so many new opportunities. Embrace it and go with the unknown, these are often the most rewarding moments in any journey.
7. Bring a few small toys. Bring something new that they have never seen before. It will hold their attention far longer than something that has been played with dozens of times. We like to go to a dollar store and buy a bunch of little toys, wrap them up and let the kids open them when we most need.
8. Communication. Talk to your kids and let them know exactly what to expect. They understand more than you think! Get them really excited about the trip. Let them know it’s a big adventure. Show them with a fun kids book or show about the place you are going.
9. Smart Spending. We always choose to spend more money for convenience then anything else. We tend to not shop or spend a lot on activities when we travel with the kids. We would rather take the easy route when we can, even if it means spending a little bit more on a room, taxi or better flight. The convince really adds up and makes our trips much more enjoyable.
10. Be Grateful. Traveling with children isn’t easy or for the faint of heart. There are plenty of opportunities for stress on any trip. Each day we really focus on the wins. The things to be grateful for. In your encounters with waiters, flight attendants, and other travelers, choose to stick out with a grateful attitude, not an entitled one. Things won’t always go your way, the weather won’t always be perfect and your accommodations won’t always be ideal but choose gratefulness instead of bitterness. People truly notice and I promise you’ll have a better trip because of it!
Thanks for reading my tips! I really hope a few of them are helpful on your travels with your little ones. My husband and I have always loved traveling and we knew we were going to keep it up once we had kids. We used to love to travel to California and so we recently decided to just move here. We are living in north county San Diego and loving it so much. We live a mile from the beach and we try to get there every day for even just 10 minutes. We both work from home on our own companies and share our parenting evenly. We love to share our simple moments and adventures with our children. You can find me on Instagram: @taylergolden