Travel with kids doesn’t have to be a hassle. In fact, it can be one of the best experiences you have as a family.
As with anything, the key ingredients to a smooth family vacation when traveling with kids are to plan ahead and pay attention to their needs.
So if your travel style has evolved throughout the years from solo to family travel, here are some core travel habits that just may serve you well!
1. Fly as early in the day as possible: Morning flights are statistically proven to be your best chance to avoid delays at takeoff and landing. Airports are less chaotic, planes are less crowded, and everyone basically feels tired and just wants to sleep – including your kids!
2. Ask for a meet and assist: Your airline or local airport just may provide a meet and assist service that can help you a great deal, from boarding to arrival. No matter how many children you’re traveling with, these services can be a lifesaver!
3. Pre-Book Everything
From the airport to your destination and back, it is crucial to have everything pre-booked and ready to go. All food and seating accommodations should be made before boarding the plane and you should know where you’re staying before you arrive. Pre-booking doesn’t end with flights and lodging, either. Anything you can book ahead of time is 1 less thing you have to worry about while trying to keep your whole family fed, amused, and happy on your trip.
4. Always have snacks available for your kids!
You never know when the time between meals will get extended. It could be a delayed flight, unexpected traffic getting to your hotel, or a tour that takes a bit longer than you thought it would. More importantly, the food at your destination may be different from what the kids are used to (and that could lead to a lot of hunger-fueled tantrums!)
5. Cuddly toys can make all the difference
Skyscanner Co-founder Bonamy Grimes has a clever solution for that desperate moment when nothing seems to make it all better: “stock up on toys, but make sure you hold back a favorite teddy that you bring out on the plane and keep one in reserve for the way back.” There is always the risk of losing a cherished companion in transit, so whenever you buy your kids a soft toy, buy two instead just in case.
6. Keep them comfy
An impractically-dressed child is an unhappy child, so get them dressed up in soft, roomy layers that you can take on and off as the plane’s air conditioning demands – pajamas are probably your best option. It’s worth taking a pillow too, so they can snuggle up in the window seat against the wall, drift off and dream of holidays.
Photo Source: REI Co-op, CNN