by Leslie Campos
Traveling with young children is always a challenge, but with a bit of forethought and planning, you can make family vacations both low-stress and memorable. Patronizing boutique hotels, inns, and other bed-and-breakfasts can be both a fun and cost effective way to travel. Bnbfinder is the best way to find the perfect lodging.
1. Plan Everything
When you’re traveling alone or with a small group of adults, you’re free to pick up and go where the wind takes you. Traveling with kids, it’s wise to plan every step – everything from what you pack to when and where you’ll make pit stops. According to Barefoot Nomad, you might consider using a travel app, and if you’re traveling by car, make sure you have hotel reservations – or better yet – stops at Air B&Bs – along the way. This will ensure you’re not searching last minute and you can plan interesting activities to do while you’re in a given area.
2. Travel Frugally
You can have a great family vacation without breaking the bank. If you stay at vacation rentals you’ll be able to bring and prepare your own food, reducing restaurant costs, and you can do laundry on-site. You can also look for discounted attractions online, and if you’re in a rental property, the host will likely be able to point out family-friendly attractions. According to MoneySense, you can save money by traveling during the “off-season,” or in the middle of the week. High season, holiday weekends, and summer tend to be higher travel cost periods.
3. Pack For Your Kids
Left to their own devices, kids will pack four swimsuits, a single t-shirt, and one flip-flop for a 5-day road trip. Let your kids have a say in what they bring but supervise packing so you’re not stuck buying pricey clothes in tourist destinations. Pack clothes that are comfortable and appropriate for the climate, the setting, and planned activities. If your kids are young enough to have “lovies,” bring those along as well. Tablets and other electronic devices can also be good for keeping kids entertained on long trips.
4. Pack For Yourself
In addition to making sure your kids are well prepared for travel, make sure you have everything you need as well. If you recently had a baby or are nursing, find clothes that are comfortable and travel well, but are still stylish and make you feel good. Comfy leggings, a maternity t-shirt, or a comfy robe or loungewear are the perfect fit. Also, make an effort to pack healthy snacks for everyone – while it can be fun to try new things on trips, you don’t want to be on a plane, train, or auto with sugar-laden kids. If you’re traveling with pets, plan for their needs as well – for example, travel bowls, a safety harness, and frequent bathroom breaks.
5. Establish Expectations
Kids do best when they know what to expect, so try to prepare them for various stages of travel, if they’re old enough to understand. If you have babies and toddlers, dividing your trip into shorter jaunts can help reduce stress and fatigue for the whole family. Keep safety in mind at all times. While some people may give you sideway looks, keeping small active children on harnesses while in high-traffic public places can prevent accidents.
Sometimes when you’re traveling with kids it feels like it’s all you can do to get from point A to point B. Don’t forget to stop and be present, even in the chaos. Take enough pictures and videos so the family can look back on the trip in the years ahead, but also put away the electronics and just be with one another. Look for shells on the beach and eat the giant sundae from the homemade ice cream stand! These moments as a young family are fleeting, so make an effort to enjoy every minute.
Bnbfinder is an excellent resource for helping you identify lodging that suits your family and your budget. Scan the site today to learn more!