Not only are our travel advisors experts at booking trips, but they’re also rockstar parents who have the best tips & tricks when it comes to traveling with kids. The most ideal way to spend quality time with family is on a vacation, somewhere with incredible views, activities for the kids, and a spa for the parent(s). Traveling with children throughout their early developmental stages has unparalleled benefits, introducing them to new cultures, foods, and experiences. It’s enlightening and stimulating.
Megan Jones, Epperly Travel
Incorporate some of your normal routine to keep things consistent with younger children. When we traveled, our son was still taking his normal midday nap. We were all happier because we took turns supervising (and participating in) nap time.
Take pictures, but be sure to balance it with some disconnect. Even writing this, I felt such joy re-experiencing our precious family time, but I also spent the trip entirely “out-of-office.”
If you can, try to get the suite style room that has a separate space. Once you put the little ones to sleep, you as parents can still enjoy and not worry about tiptoeing around in pitch black rooms afraid to wake your sleeping baby. Actually, my husband and I took an overnight trip and we booked a basic king room. As our baby fell asleep, we ordered room service and we ended up eating our meal in our bathroom. Yes, I did sit on the toilet while eating my food. We had nowhere else to eat where we could have the light on and actually talk to each other. We took a photo of that moment to always remember and look back and laugh.
Consider bringing a grandparent or someone with you for extra help. This allows you as parents to have some alone time.
Pack activity books that incorporate the destination in some way, either introducing history, a list of fun facts, or a coloring book of the iconic landmarks. It’s engaging and an easy accessory to include at dinners or on planes when the patience wears thin.
Have a first aid kit on hand when you travel and don’t forget: never pack important medications in your checked bags! Always keep these on you in your carry on, just in case a bag gets lost along the way, you’re never in a pinch to take care of the family.
Starting around the age of three, it’s best to start filling up the schedule with fun activities. The most effective strategy is to plan one main activity per day that is immovable, and keep other activity ideas in your back pocket for the rest of the day. This may sound trying, but it’s one of the most beautiful things about traveling with kids. You’re leaving time for spontaneity and connection while tapping into their sense of discovery.
Beach destinations are hard to beat! Kids love them because they can run around all day on the sand and swim in the water. Parents love them because the kids just tire themselves out, so they generally sleep well at night.
As my kids have grown older, I invite them to research the trip with me. Collaborating on the planning process is a great way to spend quality time with your kids. It sparks their curiosity of travel and gets them excited about the family vacation. List the best ice cream stops, map out the neighborhoods they’d like to explore, or research excursions that fit within their interests and hobbies.
Download a white noise app! We always turn it on at night when traveling to help our kids relax and drown out any other random noises that they might not be used to.
Always pack a change of clothes for everyone, including yourself!
Pack disposable bags that can hold dirty clothes or can be used when your kids unexpectedly get sick. I might know from experience – gross!
Pack ALL the snacks! We cannot emphasize enough the importance of keeping kids well-fed when traveling, as well as well-hydrated. Reusable water bottles are easy to carry and refill at the airport, hotels, and restaurants so you always have water with you.
Many apps (like Disney+ and Netflix) let you download shows and movies so you can use them when you’re out of Wifi and service range.
Build in extra down time during trips! Kids won’t be able to go at the same pace as you might for an adults-only trip. With that in mind, you also have to understand you may not get to do everything you’d normally do when traveling alone.
I packed a SlumberPod on my then 8-month-old’s first big adventure, which kicked off in a shared airport hotel room. The SlumberPod was a lifesaver! Without it, we would have been sitting in the dark after her 7 o’clock bedtime to ensure she stayed asleep. Now, I don’t leave home without our SlumberPod.” New environments can either be overstimulating or too bright for kids to sleep in. SlumberPods are easily packable, portable, and a breeze to set up in any type of room. Trust us, a well-rested child is a happy child, especially on vacation.
And finally, if you’re tired of lugging around tons of baby gear everywhere you go, consider renting it from a service like BabyQuip.com – it’s like the Uber of Baby Equipment!
Ready to start planning your next family vacation?
For parents, planning vacations for the whole family can also be a bit overwhelming, perhaps even daunting. It doesn’t have to be! Whenever you’re traveling with kids, working with a travel advisor is a major benefit. From booking the flights and hotels to finding the most exciting activities for the kids, we help make the trip memorable. Our advisors can customize itineraries for kids of any age, arranging treasure hunts around the Louvre, Lion King themed safaris, hand painting in the Van Gogh Museum, pizza making in Naples, and touring the hidden secrets of the Edinburgh castle. Let us unburden your to-do list and handle all the nitty-gritty details of the planning process, while creating the trip of your dreams. Ready to start planning a family vacation? Submit a trip request form to connect with our travel advisors.