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  • Writer's pictureKirsten Smith

Best Traveling Tips For Families With Kids

Traveling with your kids can be exciting, especially if this is their first time going on a trip or vacation. They will experience new foods, locations, activities, and views. However, I understand just how complicated traveling with kids can become.

While we are all excited to spend quality time with our family, planning a trip can get hectic fast.

Not only do you have to pack and prepare, but you also need to set a new schedule for your kids and figure out how to keep them happy as you travel.

Luckily, I’ll be sharing some of my top travel tips for kids here. Whenever my family travels, these tips help us feel a little less stressed on our journey. After all, traveling is supposed to be fun!

Top 5 Tips to Keep in Mind While Traveling With Your Kids:

1. Plan Ahead

The first thing you want to do is make a plan. No matter what your destination is or how you travel you should figure out the logistics of your trip before you leave. If you are going on a plane, this might mean booking your flight ahead of time and scheduling a time to leave the house. Trust me, it makes a huge difference! Alternatively, if you decide to drive, plan out your route and see what the traffic will be like. Ask yourself what is the best time to get out on the road.

Something else to consider is food and snacks. If your kids are anything like mine, they are always hungry. Knowing when you will stop for food or what time they will eat can help keep them from getting upset. Hungry kids will have a harder time traveling. If you know when you will eat, this will save you a big headache.

Finally, make sure that your trip is fully planned out. The traveling aspect is important, but you also want to have a hotel booked and accommodations ready. Arriving at a destination without lodging is not the best way to start a vacation or trip. This goes for any activities you plan on doing while you are traveling, as well. Make sure you do your research and purchase things in advance, that way everything goes smoothly!

2. Don't Overpack

This is by far the hardest tip for me because I tend to always overpack. It’s easy to overpack when you go on a trip, but I recommend that you pack light and only bring the essentials. Not only will it be easier to get on flights or load up your car, but packing with intent can make it easier to find essential items you need while you are on your trip.

Creating a list is the best way to not overpack. This way you know what you need to bring with you ahead of time. What you need will depend on your family and the location, but don’t forget weather-appropriate clothes, toiletries, medical supplies if you need them, and other items you actually need!

3. Keep Your Kids Entertained

Whether you are driving to a specific location or taking some other form of transportation, you need to keep your kids entertained. Once they get bored this could turn your trip from a fun experience into a difficult situation.

Each kid will enjoy doing different things while they are on a plane, car, or bus. However, the key thing to do is to keep them engaged and excited with whatever you occupy them with. Prepare these activities ahead of time and don’t wait until the last minute to pack them.

For younger kids, consider bringing new toys or games on your trip. This can be fun for them to unwrap and investigate. Additionally, this is a great way to distract them if you have a long drive or flight ahead of you.

Older kids that like electronics can bring along their tablets and other smart devices. You don’t want them on their devices the whole time, but this is a great way to keep kids from getting cranky and upset.

Finally, no matter what age your kids are, interacting with them as you travel can be great. We love to play fun road games like Eye-spy or word games. Also, consider bringing along snacks and coloring books to pass the time together!

4. Think About Your Kid's Safety and Security

In the midst of leaving your home and getting to your location on time, it's easy to lose track of your kids. There is a lot going on after all. However, while you travel, it's especially important to watch out for your kids as they might wander. You aren’t in your hometown, and anything could happen when they are out and about. Make sure to check on your kids frequently at rest stops.

If you are in an airport, make sure you have their identification documents. Also, consider putting your contact info in their pockets in case they do get lost. You can even have them wear a tag on their backpack or have them memorize your email, home address, and phone number.

5. Talk to Your Kids Before Your Trip and Set Expectations

Lastly, before you head out on your trip, have a conversation with your kids. I know this isn’t exactly easy to do, you have so much going on as you plan and pack. Setting expectations with your kids can go a long way and make traveling way easier, especially if you tell them what the plan is and what your schedule will be. This can make them feel like a part of the planning and let them know what is expected of them. The night before, go over your travel schedule, including any stops you will make. If you are going to an airport, fill them in on the security process and how they will need to act on a plane.

Final Thoughts on Traveling With Your Kids

I love leaving town with my kids and going on an adventure as a family! Travel is a great way to let our kids explore the world and see new locations and destinations. However, don’t forget that you will need to have a plan in place. Going on any kind of trip is fun, but a lot can go wrong if you don’t take the right precautions and put some thought into traveling.

I’ve gone over some of my best travel tips to help you with this process, but feel free to share your travel stories and include your own tips for kids below! I’d love to hear from you.

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