Gearing up for your first trip with your kids is very exciting: you finally get to explore the world together with your little ones, making unforgettable memories while your children learn invaluable life lessons. But before you can jump right in and enjoy all the good things that come with travel, there is a lot to prepare, and not just in the sense of packing. Young parents taking on the road with their kids for the first time should also arm themselves with all the tips and advice they can find. So, here are a few things you should know.
Book everything in advance
This might be a no brainer, but in order to be able to actually relax, you should book everything you can in advance. The transportation and the accommodation go without saying, but the list does not end there. You can also book tickets to attractions online to avoid waiting in lines with your kids and you can even book tours and public transport so that you don’t have to deal with it on the spot.
Look for discounts
When doing the aforementioned booking, keep your eyes peeled for child discounts. On many buses and trains, children under a certain age can travel for free. They might also be exempt from entry fees at certain museums and other attractions. In fact, even some restaurants might give child discounts or free meals, so you can save a fortune if only you ask.
Be prepared for things going wrong
Even when we travel alone, unforeseen circumstances can arise and things sometimes don’t go according to plan. This becomes ten times more likely when you have your little ones with you and your attention is constantly divided. For some things, you can be prepared: for instance, mobile phone insurance will have your back in case of theft. However, in other cases, all you can do is stay calm and accept that not everything will go perfectly. Always leave some extra time in your plan since everything will take longer with kids. And always make sure your kids have your contact information and keep track of them – that’s the most important.
Pack smart… and start on time
You might get away with starting to pack the day before for your solo holiday, but with kids, the sooner you start, the better. This way, there is a smaller chance that you will forget something important. However, this does not mean you should bring absolutely everything. A lot of young parents are guilty of overpacking when they first head out on a family trip, but you don’t want to haul your kid’s entire closet with you. Rather, you should find practical nappy bags that will hold all the essentials in an organized manner and won’t be too big to carry around.
Keep the kids engaged
While you might enjoy just hanging out in the city for hours, chances are your children would get bored out of their minds after the first ten minutes. So, whatever your itinerary is, make sure you plan for keeping your children engaged throughout the trip. Pack some electronics that will keep them busy throughout long rides, and bring some new toys and books that will pique their interest. However, if your child has a favorite toy, taking that one along is also a good idea.
Always have snacks on hand
Kids can quickly get cranky if they are hungry, and on long trips, it can happen that you cannot get to a restaurant or a convenience store right away. This is why it’s essential that you always have some snacks on hand, no matter where you go. Keeping your kids fed will ensure that everyone is happy and can enjoy the trip.
When you have children, you will sooner or later realize that some (or most) of your routines will change, including your travel habits. From choosing the right destination through organizing everything so that it caters to the kids’ needs all the way to the things you pack, you’ll have plenty to learn. It will all be worth it for the incredible memories, though.
- Maggie Holmes is a passionate blogger who writes on renovation, fashion, travel and business. Her hobby is to surf the net to find amazing articles that can inspire her with some fresh ideas for article writing. She loathes being a common person who wastes her time. Follow her on twitter at https://twitter.com/MaggieH04666334