Traveling with kids? Here is what you need to know
Enjoying a vacation with your family is a great opportunity to create memories and enjoy new experiences. Plus, your children can learn about new cultures but have a lot of fun at the same time. However, there is this common misconception going around that you cannot enjoy a vacation if your kids tag along. That cannot be further from the truth. It is true that you need to plan more than you would if you only went with your partner, but the experience itself is worth it. Even so, there are some basic things you cannot forget about. We will cover some of those for you.
Cut the waiting time
If there is one thing for sure is that children are not the most patient creatures. They get easily bored, and that usually ends up in a temper tantrum. Of course, age matters, but small children are a disaster waiting to happen if they are put in one place for a long time. That is why we suggest that when you travel, you should cut the waiting time to a minimum, what does that mean? A lot of things. It depends from case to case. For example, you can cut the waiting period at the airport if you check in online. It takes you 5 minutes at home, but a lot more on an airport with screaming children at your feet.
For heaven’s sake, do not forget the snacks!
Just like we know that kids are not typically patient, we know that they can turn your trip into a nightmare if you do not feed them. Hungry children are terrible travel companions, so under no circumstance should the snacks go missing from your bag. You know their taste in food, so make sure to stock up on those wherever you go.
Take safety measures
Children have this super power that helps them disappear faster than Houdini. And it happens only when you take your eyes from them for a second to tie your shoe laces or grab a Kleenex from your bag. You cannot let that happen, especially when you travel abroad. Our recommendation is to invest in a medium-priced tracker that can easily be put in a backpack or somewhere on the child’s body. Like a watch, for instance. Or a bracelet. If not, you can go old school and stick a tag on your kid. It should have your name and phone number. This is just a ‘just in case’ measure, but we think that it is worth thinking about.
You can solve the documents issue online
Instead of dragging your kids to an embassy when your vacation is abroad, it is best if you apply online for your visa. It is available for many countries. The forms are easy to fill in, the processing can go as little as under 24 hours, and you do not have to go anywhere. Some countries accept the child on the parent’s visa. It goes the same for passports. Others do not, but an online visa service will clear that up for you. Basically, you get an e-visa with little effort. And all parents like that, don’t they?
Things can and will go wrong
For your own peace of mind as a parent, you need to acknowledge and accept the fact that things will go wrong at some point. You can do all the planning you want, children do not usually follow up on those. It can be something small like missing a train because your little one has to use the toilet. Or maybe one of your kids forgets their favorite toy in a hotel room, and you have to go back. Things like that will happen, and as long as you accept it, your sanity will have a few extra days to live. But do not worry. It is a well-known fact that children will mess something up during your vacation. Just try to have a positive attitude and maybe even laugh about it. It happens all the time.
What you need to know right from the start is that traveling is an adventure. And we all know how that goes. Some things may go your way, while others will not. But do not let yourself convinced that traveling with children is terrible. It is actually an irreplaceable experience that you have to enjoy while you can. Do not take away your child’s opportunity to say later in life ‘Mom, remember when we went to Costa Rica when I was 9, and I left my phone in the taxi? You were sooooo mad.’ You will all have a laugh and remember the whole trip like it happened yesterday. And that in itself is priceless.