The thought of planning a family vacation can be overwhelming for many parents — from packing to anticipating tantrums. But with the right tips and strategies, you can make your trip with the kids an enjoyable and hassle-free experience. Whether you’re taking a road trip or a flight, these tips will help you keep the stress level down and make sure your getaway is an unforgettable one.
When traveling with kids, pack smart. Let each child have a small backpack and fill it with their toys. Put the toys that cannot be lost in your own bag. Bring an extra change of clothes for each kid, as spills can happen. It’s okay to let the kids have screen time during travel, but only for the duration of the trip. Carry wipes and hand sanitizer to minimize germs. Don’t be afraid to ask for extra snacks from the airline staff. Consider doing some laundry on vacation instead of packing as many clothes. Bring old books and coloring books, and leave them behind at the end of the trip.
Get to the Airport Early for Fun and Relaxation
You should plan to arrive at the airport early for an enjoyable and stress-free experience. Sign up for TSA preapproval to save time, and visit the airport lounge to grab snacks. Once you get to the gate, grab the front-row seats and watch the activity around the airplane – luggage, and people guiding airplanes with orange sticks! Your kids will love watching the planes take off and landing and might even be lucky enough to get a wave back when they wave to the airline workers.
Check Your Stroller and Car Seat
Make sure to check your stroller and car seat at check-in. That way, you can avoid checked bag fees, and the plane won’t be crowded with carry-ons. Some airlines even provide you with a large, thick plastic bag to put your car seat in for protection. When it’s time to board the plane, you can check your stroller at the gate. Keeping it with you can come in handy if your plane is delayed and it’s naptime or if you need to make a sprint for security if you’re running late.
Buy a Membership to a Science or Flight Museum before Your Trip
Consider investing in a membership to a science or flight museum before your upcoming trip. The ASTC passport program and the Association of Children’s Museums both offer membership packages that include reciprocal admission at similar museums in cities. While zoo memberships will provide you with a 50% discount at reciprocal zoos, the savings may not be as worthwhile as the other options.
Book a Hotel with a Kitchenette and a Pool
Book a hotel with a kitchen and a pool. Eating out all the time can be expensive, and it’s not always the healthiest meal option for young kids. A kitchen lets you make better choices and have the novelty of eating out less often. Also, a pool provides a great destination for little ones who love to swim. To make a stay-cation, check out local hotels with great swimming pools.