Today we have a guest blog post from Tracy, Turberfield, a travel agent from Just Go Travel Solutions. Tracy has 12 years experience as an International Travel Consultant and specializes in cruises and all inclusive vacation packages. She is also a Sandals & Beaches Certified Specialist. But no matter the place you want to travel, Tracy can help!
Going on vacation with your kids is the ultimate family experience, and you will build memories that will last a lifetime. With a bit of planning, you don’t need to be stressed out about it.
If you are travelling with a baby that is totally different then if you are travelling with older children. For the purpose of this post, we will say that the tips below are for travelling with kids ages 3-12 though the tips could still be relevant for other ages as well.
GET YOUR PAPERWORK IN ORDER
Do you have passports? Do you have valid passports? Do you have travel insurance? Or cancellation insurance? Do you need to visit the doctor for any reason? Is there anything else at all from a legal and financial perspective that you will need? Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure you have all this in order. These are all things you want to think about months ahead of time. Also, are there any special things that the country you are travelling to will need kids to have? Things like booster seats are often overlooked. A good practice is to write down a list of all the questions you have so that you can get answers to those questions right away.
BRING SNACKS AND MORE SNACKS
Ever had that moment when you were grocery shopping with your child too close to dinner time, and they had a total meltdown? Yes, you know what I’m talking about here. Keep your kids fed and fed well with healthy and nutritious snacks. You know yourself that when you are hungry you are more cranky and irritable and rule number one when travelling with kids is to avoid cranky and irritable at all costs! You do not want to have to deal with this I can assure you. On that note, make sure you also choose low sugar snacks. Lastly, getting kids to bed early the night before you travel is always a wise thing to do.
HAVE THINGS TO OCCUPY THEM
There are lots of down time moments when you are travelling, in the airport, on a bus, train or plane or even in the hotel room at the end of the day where your child will need to sit and possibly sit for awhile. So, you will want to bring things to occupy them. You can also bring small toys, books, colouring or anything else that is travel sized and will keep your kids entertained for awhile. I also like to bring some travel games that you can play as a family, especially if you are travelling by car. IPads can also be a savior, and you can ease your conscious by the amount of electronic time your kids are getting because, after all, they are on vacation too.
TALK ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE GOING AHEAD OF TIME
Kids seem to deal better with travelling if you give them some ideas about where they are going. Explain the city or resort you are going to, what you will be doing there, show them some pictures or watch a video on YouTube. You can also explain what will happen at the airport or train or any other transportation stop along the way. Not only does this ease their anxieties, but it also gets them excited about the trip! If you make your kids a part of the decision process that is up to you but some options, once the destination is chosen, such as do you want to go to the zoo, or the aquarium will help them feel more invested and excited as well.
USE A TRAVEL AGENT
I highly recommend using a travel agent. Like the lovely company on the left for example (wink, wink) for all your travel needs. Yes, you can go online and book things yourself, but a travel agent has the inside scoop and especially when you are travelling with kids you want the place you are travelling to to be safe, secure and kid friendly. What a terrible waste it would be to spend months planning out the perfect vacation only to find out that the place you have chosen is less than spectacular.
There will always be unexpected things that happen in any travelling situation, but if you plan ahead and think about how things could go wrong, you can put things in place to make sure they go right. Have a plan A, B, and C, and you will do just fine. In fact, as soon as you get home I guarantee you will want to start planning your next family vacation!