Traveling as a family is both a joy and a challenge; parents may find it difficult to find a balance between their interests and their children’s. Locations that were once considered exotic are now impractical.
Don’t worry. You can still travel the world and experience what life has to offer with kids in tow, and the journey can be all-the-more magical as you get to see amazing new places through their eyes.
Before you start to travel overseas as a family, here are four tips to help make the voyage easier.
1. Arrange Travel Before You Leave
Airplane tickets are just the beginning. How do you plan to leave the airport when you arrive at your destination? You may think it’s as simple as hailing a cab, but after a long flight, finding good transport to your hotel can be overwhelming.
Instead, look up the airport you’ll be flying into and read about their transportation options. If cabs are always waiting, then you’re good to go. If you have to call out for one, get the number and have it ready before you go. You may even want to call a car service and have a ride waiting to take you to your destination. For larger groups, a maxi taxi can be a great option.
2. Pack Extra Essentials
Bring more underwear, socks and t-shirts than you’ll need. These are light-weight items that you can’t go without. Kids are more prone to lose or soil their garments, and you don’t want to be running around a foreign city trying to find new clothes at the last minute.
You should also save time at the baggage claim by combining belongings into one or two large suitcases, as opposed to every family member carrying their own half-full checked bag.
3. Accommodate Dietary Restrictions
Make sure that you research the cuisine of your destinations for those who are gluten or lactose-intolerant or have food allergies. Find restaurants in the vicinity of your hotel that offer food you can trust. You don’t want to arrive at a destination only to realize you can’t eat 95-percent of its cuisine.
4. Build an Itinerary
Wandering aimlessly is fun when you’re a lone traveler or backpacking couple, but families are better off planning an itinerary. Book guided walking tours that will allow you to take in each location’s landmarks while learning something interesting. Avoid getting lost or having the kids complain of boredom by including plenty of fun activities and excursions, from hang-gliding to horseback riding.
Planning as a Family
Even preschoolers can get involved with organizing the next family vacation. Research different locations together, and explore walking tours and sightseeing videos on YouTube. The best trips you take together will be ones that you’re all equally excited about.
Read here our tips for traveling with teens.
With the whole family on-board, even a one-hour road trip to the next town over can be a great time.