Traveling with Kids
To some, traveling with kids can seem like the farthest thing from a “vacation”. More expensive, more to pack, fitting in nap schedules, bored teenagers, finding food that they will eat, the list can go on and on. Then you start to question, “Is it really worth it?”, “Will traveling with the kids ever be enjoyable?”
YES!! TRAVELING WITH YOUR KIDS IS SO WORTH IT!!
Traveling experiences shape a child like no other experience can. Traveling opens children’s eyes and mind to a whole world outside of what they see in their daily lives, in their little bubble. They begin to have an appreciation for new languages, cultures, foods and flavors, history, and so much more. With a little planning, traveling can be amazing for both you and the kids!
8 Tip on Traveling with Kids
- Be realistic – Choose places and activities that are age appropriate. Find places that fit your child’s age. Don’t plan to spend hours with a 2 year old walking museums. Walk the museum for an hour and then find the closest park. Try to combine activities that you enjoy with activities that they will enjoy.
- Have them help you plan the trip – If your kids are teenagers or old enough to help you plan the trip, include them in the planning. Have them research activities, top things to see and do while you are there, the best restaurants, etc. They will feel like they have some ownership of the trip and they will likely be more excited to participate in the activities.
- Parks and playgrounds – When planning your schedule be sure to find time for running around parks and playgrounds. Not only will you kids get to expel some energy, but they may have the chance to make some new friends!
- Kid friendly tours – Find tours that are geared towards kids and families. Most big tourist cities offer these. We found fantastic tours in Italy geared to children. They created scavenger hunts, explained historical facts in story form, and showed them books or informational cards to go along with what they were looking at. They were always open to answering lots of questions!
- Get them engaged – Find activities that will get kids engaged. Hands on activities. Making a venetian mask in Venice Italy. Kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland. The more hands on the activity, the more they will learn about the culture and history of the place.
- Camera – Give your child a camera. We have realized, through our travels, that when our children have a camera in hand, they are paying attention to the sites more closely. They pay attention to the details and take more of an interest. They take pride in the pictures that they capture and the memories will last a lifetime.
- A schedule – If you can, keep your kids on a similar schedule that they have at home. If they usually nap at noon, try to take a rest at the hotel for a little while around noon. If they usually go to bed around 8pm don’t try to keep them going until 10pm every night. A rested child is a happy child. And a happy child is much easier to travel with.
- Food – If you have an adventurous eater, take advantage of the local cuisine and have them try it all! If you have an eater that is a little more shy or apprehensive about trying new things, order a few items that you think they may like and then order something that you know they definitely will like. Make eating on trips special. Gelato every night after dinner, why not?
- HAVE FUN!! - It's vacation! Be laid back, enjoy the moment. The more you are excited about what you are doing and seeing, the more they will be excited!